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So you think you pay too much for show stabling?

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  • So you think you pay too much for show stabling?

    I've done my share of hunter/jumper shows. I've paid my stall fees and tried to just grit my teeth and bear it. I've learned about the insane rates that HITS Thermal charges for their permanent barns.

    But until I moved to Australia, I never knew things could be any different. Today, I attended (as a spectator) my first big horse show in my new country. It was great! Lots of fabulous riding, some terrible riding - your typical show, only, y'know, without the hunters and the attendant whining about politics.

    But check out what I found in the back of the show program!

    Are we angry yet?

    (This was a national show, by the way, not a dinky schooling show. If anyone has experience running shows both in Australia and the U.S., and would like to chime in with an explanation for the price differences, I would sincerely love to hear it. Not being snarky - if there's a legitimate reason, please, tell me! I do understand that land values would probably have something to do with it, particularly at someplace like Pebble Beach. Thermal, on the other hand, is in the middle of nowhere.)
    Last edited by angrychinchillas; Aug. 10, 2010, 07:20 AM.

  • #2
    That's simply amazing. I think the reason, at least to some degree, is called "greed." It's what the market here will bear. As long as people keep paying, the shows will keep charging.
    Whoever said money can't buy happiness never owned a horse.


    • #3
      What is the rate of exchange?
      You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.


      • #4
        I think 1 USD = 1.10 AUD (approx.).
        "I was not expecting the park rangers to lead the resistance, none of the dystopian novels I read prepared me for this but cool."


        • #5
          This morning it's 15 AUD = 13.54200 USD
          Whoever said money can't buy happiness never owned a horse.


          • Original Poster

            Mmm, yeah, sorry for not including exchange rate information in that. Thank you, IslandGirl.


            • #7
              Originally posted by IslandGirl View Post
              That's simply amazing. I think the reason, at least to some degree, is called "greed." It's what the market here will bear. As long as people keep paying, the shows will keep charging.
              Also bear in mind that unless the show management owns the facility, it's often the greed of the facility owners as well. That being said, when I was managing shows, stalls under tents were often a loser. Between the cost of the tent, the wiring for the electric, the stall rental, the clean up, etc... the stabling fee to the competitor was not enough to cover the associated costs.


              • #8
                I *did* notice the part about the straw though - someone in Australia is undoubtedly complaining about the fact they can't bring their own shavings

                There is a venue near me that hosts both H/J shows and some breed shows...same facility, same permenant stalls. A friend goes to the breed shows there, and I was shocked when she showed me one of their prizelists...Why do the same stalls cost exponentially more for the H/J shows than for the Arabs or the QHs?!?! Something isn't adding up...
                Please don't sabotash my conchess.


                • #9
                  Yes but they want $12 for a bale of straw???? did I read that right??
                  If you are lucky enough to ride, you are lucky enough.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by hellerkm View Post
                    Yes but they want $12 for a bale of straw???? did I read that right??
                    Right, but we pay $6 per bag of shavings... And usually bed with 6-8 bags.


                    • #11
                      We had to pay $14/bale of straw here to bed our foaling stall. Sigh.


                      • #12
                        HaHa, being from Australia and reading those rates I'm thinking "Gee, that's pretty expensive'!


                        • #13
                          ^yeah me too, I thought it was on the pricey side!
                          Welcome to the country OP! I think that horse showing just isn't as big a sport over here. The entry/stable fees etc aren't high, but then there's no big prizes or sponsorship either.
                          I do think we are lucky though, I was at a SJ show on the weekend that was really nicely set up, I paid $8 a round to jump a lovely course twice (two different heights) plus about $10 ground fee, and I won a fancy bottle of horse shampoo and $10 for 3rd place in one of the very small classes - win!
                          Also, there's is no such thing as Hunters over here, so there isn't much point buying super expensive gear when you aren't judged on it I suppose. And horses just don't cost as much, you can pick up a nice jumper for less than $5000 if you don't want a worldbeater.


                          • #14
                            Was that the Showjumping Champs in Canberra, angrychinchillas? Forgive me if I'm wrong but that looks like the entries to me :] two of my horses were there over the weekend.

                            You will pay a bit more than that at the shows/events in Sydney and other major cities, and at the Royal shows... but nothing compared to what I've seen in the US show programs!
                            And you will pay a lot less at the smaller, local shows.
                            Generally the show will provide the straw or shavings, which makes it easier to dispose of waste if it's all the same product. You pay roughly the same amount buying straw/shavings for home, they don't mark it up too much for the shows.

                            I'm sure you'll have noticed by now that we don't have anything like hunters. I suppose hacking (our term for showing, much different to your meaning of hacking!) is the closest you'd get, in regard to fashion and trends etc, but that's all on the flat and judged entirely differently - much more like dressage in regards to frame and movements, and masses of bling is soooo in right now.

                            And like paintball, I am astounded at the amounts of money spent on horses in the US as hunters and jumpers. If the costs of importing weren't so huge, I'd be taking some of my horses over to the US to sell for huge profits


                            • #15
                              I attended a schooling show over the summer that was held at a county park. Stabling for three nights was $150 - this got you the stall and two bags of shavings. Of course, you had to order more shavings.

                              Well, I was looking for a place to camp nearby and stumbled across the website for the county park. Guess what the park charges per night for use of a stall? $15.


                              • #16
                                That is simply unbelievable! We're used to paying 500 bucks up here!


                                • Original Poster

                                  cobiemurphy - Why yes, it was! How'd your guys go?

                                  I really can't say I'm sad about the "loss" of hunters in my life. Not that I'm trying to denigrate it as a sport or activity, but it was never my thing (I just can't bring myself to care THAT MUCH about the latest hunt coat or why a judge would place a class in a particular way when it's completely subjective), and anyway, my aim is the Olympics someday, and hunters will probably never be an Olympic sport.

                                  paintball, lucky is the word! Holy cow. I'm excited at the prospect of being able to show regularly without breaking the bank.

                                  Is the cost of shipping to the U.S. so huge? I know it's horrendously expensive to bring a horse from the U.S. to Australia (I was quoted US$16,000 to bring my boy over), but I assumed much of that was because of Australia's insane Quarantine regulations.


                                  • #18
                                    Thought so my boys went well, no placings but they're eventers, so it was just a good schooling weekend.

                                    The thing that really spins me out is the amount spent on hunters, when it isnt an Olympic sport, or even an international one. I can understand the money being spent on jumpers or dressage horses, because there's such a large international market, and the opportunity to represent your country at the highest international level - but there's nothing like that in hunters. I'm not saying that it's not a great achievement to make it to the top in hunters.. but you can go further in other sports

                                    Have you moved here permanently angrychinchillas?

                                    To be honest I don't know about the cost of shipping to the US.. I've just always looked at the prohibitive prices of shipping from any country to Australia, I suppose it could be cheaper going the other way!


                                    • #19
                                      At the A & AA shows by me--stalls are a minimum of $200 to start. Nothing included. Haul in fees are $75-100.

                                      A bag of shavings is $9.

                                      You are NOT allowed to bring in your own bedding.

                                      I understand manure removal & tents & temp stall rentals & paying people to set it all up cost money. But when you are at places in permanent stabling that does not see any improvements for years yet they keep raising the stall fees?? It makes you wonder...

                                      Our local unrated circuit back in 2000 was charging about $65/stall for a 3 day show. Already a few years ago you were seeing $125-135 as the norm. And now they have added on all the "extra charges" like the big shows--trailer in, schooling, late fees, etc...

                                      I understand people have shows to make money, but at a certain point it crosses into greed when you are still charging top dollar to show & giving the exhibitors nothing back.
                                      "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by smm20 View Post
                                        I attended a schooling show over the summer that was held at a county park. Stabling for three nights was $150 - this got you the stall and two bags of shavings. Of course, you had to order more shavings.

                                        Well, I was looking for a place to camp nearby and stumbled across the website for the county park. Guess what the park charges per night for use of a stall? $15.
                                        Sounds like Ft Tuthill in Flagstaff, AZ.

                                        Try explaining to a noncompetitor coming along w/ a competitor that she has to pay the same "show rate" for a stall instead of the usual county park rate. That was a joy I don't care to experience again.
                                        ~ Horse Box Lovers Clique ~