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Show Managers - what do you do when...

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  • Show Managers - what do you do when...

    your hired judge calls you the week before the show and asks to be put up in a hotel the night before your show? Do you just pick up the tab no questions asked? do you split? Is there some protocol I should be aware of? Thanks!

  • #2
    From what distance is your judge coming?
    Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
    November 11-13, 2016


    • #3
      Most of my judges stay over the night before the show since we start at 8am. I would much rather foot the cost of the hotel than risk not starting on time because the judge had not arrived.

      I have had some of them stay over after the last day as well. Depending on the trip home and what time we expect to finish up.

      Now if you are talking about someone local, that's a different issue.
      Trinity Hill Farm


      • #4
        Have a Contract

        When I hire a judge, usually about 5-6 months prior to the show, I ask if they need a hotel. If so, I write in their contract that I will be paying their hotel. If they say they don't it's not included, and if they ask after the contract is signed it's too late and they pay their own.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Dapple Grey View Post
          When I hire a judge, usually about 5-6 months prior to the show, I ask if they need a hotel. If so, I write in their contract that I will be paying their hotel. If they say they don't it's not included, and if they ask after the contract is signed it's too late and they pay their own.
          This is how my trainer handles it too.


          • #6
            Normally this is negotiated and included in the contract with the official at the time they are hired. Of course, that doesn't really help you now.

            If this is a good judge, potentially someone you will want to call on again, or even someone whom it would be difficult to replace on short notice... frankly, I'd just make the reservation and put them up at a hotel.

            You could (nicely) express some surprise and let them know politely that this was not an expense you anticipated, but that you wish to maintain a good working relationship going forward and so you will try to make the appropriate arrangements. It is really not uncommon to offer overnight accommodation to a judge, so the expectation is not terribly unreasonable (although the timing makes it a challenge.)

            The rub may be whether or not you can GET a reservation locally. If it's a big show or there are limited hotel options, it may be difficult. If that is the case, I suppose you could always offer to put them up in a private home.
            We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


            • #7
              As someone who has done some judging at the non-rated level; the night before hotel has both been offered and requested.

              I like to stay the night before if the drive is more than an hour and 1/2.

              I don't want to be late, and I want to be well rested. There could be an accident on the way; and the competitors deserve fresh eyes.

              This is usually discussed and determined when I am contacted to judge, and I would never think of calling a manager at the last minute and request one which had not been prearranged.


              • Original Poster

                Thank you all. This is a high level judge and we are a small level show so I just wanted to not step on any toes but not get stepped on either!

                Turns out, the judge just sent back her contract this week and although I have no mention of a room in it, I definately don't want her to be late or tired. And, I can see value in keeping us on her good side for future engagements. I will keep it in mind to ask about overnight accomodations in the future so that it doesn't come as a financial surprise like this time.


                • #9
                  Sounds like the right choice. Now check into Hotwire to book a cheap room.
                  Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                  November 11-13, 2016


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by chunky munky View Post
                    Sounds like the right choice. Now check into Hotwire to book a cheap room.
                    Or not...those sites do not name the hotel until you leave the cc number and you don't want to get the judge in the place next to the strip club with a meth lab out back. Plus they can give you a 30 mile range defined as "close".

                    Especially if it's a woman, book her directly with one of the more well known Express type chains, quiet, safe and near retaurants. they will appreciate that.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                    • #11
                      I can tell you that I have personally used Hotwire many, many times. I have never gotten a substandard hotel. You can see on a map where they are before you book them. About 2 years ago I go the the Four Points in Lexington, Ky during a big show for $66.00 a night when most were paying 120.00. On the other hand, I have had horse show managers book me into hotels where there were drug deals and tricks being turned next door. It helps to know the area you are trying to book a room. They also tell you what the amenities of the hotel are on Hotwire. Often their best deals are at the last minute when there have been cancellations. Good luck.
                      Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival,Scholarships and College Fair
                      November 11-13, 2016


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by findeight View Post
                        Especially if it's a woman, book her directly with one of the more well known Express type chains, quiet, safe and near retaurants. they will appreciate that.
                        Use your USEF membership to get a discount....


                        • #13
                          What a great question. I started a small unrated circuit last year and recruited sponsors. I am lucky that one of my customers is a sales rep for Holiday Inn Express and Courtyard Marriott. They give me either complimentary rooms or rooms for a great discount in price. I give them a receipt for advertising at our show. It is probably too late to find a local chain that would offer the same deal but it may help for your future shows.


                          • #14
                            Some of these online websites require payment upfront/no refunds. So you might want to check the online price w/ hotwire, hotels.com etc vs the hotel website.

                            If you do have to pay in full upfront - i would also revise your contract to include hotel room for night before show with a clause stating if room is booked by show and not used by judge any fees/charges incurred by the show management will be deducted from the Juding fee.

                            We had a judge who stiffed us on a hotel room - demanded we get a room for him and low and behold he decided to stay w/ one of his buddies instead and didn't bother to tell anyone to cancel the room. So we were out $150... nice huh.. We also had a judge charge us for mileage from their beach house - 2 states away!!

                            Best to get everything in writing.!


                            • #15
                              On the other side of this...I had a room for a 2-day show I judged. I drove up the morning of the first day so I only needed a room for the Saturday night. I get into my room after dinner and about an hour later the power went off; no generator in this hotel. I did get my wakeup call luckily but no water or lights in the morning. There was a bottle of water in the room, good to brush my teeth at least... When I went to check out, I told the hotel that the horse show should not have to pay $150.00 for a room with no power. They credited the horse show the full amount, needless to say they were thrilled! I only use a room if the show is over 2.5 hours away and even then I would rather prefer to sleep in my own bed and drive a bit more.


                              • #16
                                Actually, I used an online site when my A/C died at home mid July and I couldn't take the third day of waiting for the new one to arrive.

                                I saved quite a bit but it evaporated when it did turn out to be one with a recently busted meth lab complete with corpse and roving packs of kids visiting the nearby regional amusement park runnning the halls.

                                Be sure to check out wherever you put your judges.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by findeight View Post

                                  Be sure to check out wherever you put your judges.
                                  ITA. It doesn't need to be the Taj Mahal, but it should be safe, clean, and comfortable.

                                  Any judge driving much more than an hour should be offered a hotel room for the night before, and if it's a late finish and/or a long drive home, the night after as well. The ideal situation is to get a free or discounted room in exchange for advertising the hotel, as another poster mentioned.

                                  Some judges will prefer to drive more than others, but if the show starts at 8:00 and finishes at 6:00, and the judge has to drive two hours each way to boot, that's a pretty long day!

                                  As others said, it's best to get a written contract so there are no misunderstandings, and then touch base with the judge a week or two before the show.

                                  I have had the situation come up a few times when I ended up coming from another show in a different direction, and needed a hotel room, but as long as it's not a last minute surprise, it shouldn't be a big deal.

                                  If your show can't afford a hotel room for the judge, then you need to hire local people.


                                  • #18
                                    The area Joyrider is in is a pretty nice area with a lot of colleges so there's a jillion hotels 10-15 minutes away, including a holiday inn express, courtyard marriot, econolodge, howard johnson, and a few smaller local places. I think there's a best western there too. I don't think any of them have a reputation for being particularly seedy.

                                    Just make sure to check into graduations, Joyrider...I don't think any are this early but may the Lord help anyone who is trying to get a room at any of these hotels for the 2 weekends the 5 colleges graduate.
                                    Originally posted by PeanutButterPony
                                    you can shackle your pony to a lawn chair at the show...so long as its in a conservative color.