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Trials and Tribulations of Show Organization

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  • Trials and Tribulations of Show Organization

    I've been doing horse shows a long time (longer than I care to remember...). I understand it takes almost an army of various personnel to put on a show, especially international ones. I realize that sometimes things get behind schedule, equipment doesn't ship when it should, people don't show up when they should, and there will always be some sort of general chaos. As owners, grooms, riders, ect. we accept this as a universal constant and, despite our griping and complaining, we are simply thankful to be able to show at this particular event. Usually everything sorts itself out rather quickly. But to not have anything of a STABLE for fifteen horses arriving in less than two days??? The other grooms and I arrived at where our barn -should be- on the WEF showgrounds yesterday only to discover an open empty grassy lot!!! Today we are taking turns checking in on the progress being made on the barn as our horses are arriving tomorrow morning at around 9am. As I have never worked WEF before and have just started my new job with Chado Farm, this whole scenario is making me a little nervous. The head groom is confident our barn will be up tomorrow morning -and if it isn't, we'll just high-jack a couple stalls from the FEI Barn - but this whole mess will still make for a 16 hour day tomorrow beginning at 5am. I love this job already.

    Does anyone else have any show organization/management horror stories? This is by far the worst situation I've had to deal with at any show, but what about your experiences, WEF or otherwise?

  • #2
    If the head groom is confident that things will work out, why are you so worried? The head groom has learned from experience to go with the flow as things will get sorted out. Learn that lesson from him/her. Chill out and have some fun.


    • #3
      Per some rumors regarding debts owed to certain tent companies, she might have valid right to be concerned ;-)

      If I had a trailer full of 15 horses arriving in 18 hours and they didn't have the tent up yet? Yeah. I'd be raising a fuss.
      EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


      • #4
        Originally posted by dags View Post
        Per some rumors regarding debts owed to certain tent companies, she might have valid right to be concerned ;-)

        If I had a trailer full of 15 horses arriving in 18 hours and they didn't have the tent up yet? Yeah. I'd be raising a fuss.

        Totally. Doesn't matter how confident head groom is, things are not the way they should be. It's terribly unprofessional and puts money-paying clients in a bind. They arrived expecting to be able to put the horses in their temporary home and get everything settled, now they cannot do that.

        Sorry things aren't going so well! Hopefully things will play out the way they should and you have a great time!

        I have no horror stories, fortunately, lol. I've heard of forgetting helmets and girths, blah blah. But I was totally shocked when I heard of someone forgetting to put their horse on the trailer, lol


        • #5
          So how did you make out about the stabling?? What horses have they sent to WEF? Did they bring Gemini? Please keep us up dated with the news !!


          • #6

            What happened with the stalls?


            • Original Poster

              Sorry for the delay in response! We have no internet at our house so I have to high-jack it from Panera when I can. Fortunately, the barn situation worked itself out and the workers finished assembling it at 5pm Friday evening. Lucky for us, the horses were late coming down from NJ and did not arrive until around 10am, which gave us plenty of time to set up (as much as we could, considering most of our stuff was on the two vans). As I have never stayed at any show for longer than two days (re: horse trials), I never realized how closely setting up a barn for three months resembles putting together a larger-than-life jigsaw puzzle. Those stalls fronts and panels are really heavy! And there is so much creativity that goes into decorating these temporary barns, what with all the landscaping, curtains, stall fronts, lounge areas, even flagstone and brick walkways that lead right up to the stalls. Impressive to say the least.

              Sadly Gemini is not here with us. He is at home, happily turned out for the winter with a pasture buddy. We have 8 horses of our own and seven client horses. Little Big Man is definitely here, as is Little Big Mama (?), not sure of the other horse's show names. Things start to really happen on Wednesday when a few of the horses have their first classes of the season. So far the days have been pretty good (all three of them!) and although the work can be intense and fast paced, everyone is nice and relaxed and definitely no drama. I'm still getting to know the routine but I think within a week or two I'll have the hang of it. I'll keep everyone posted as the season progresses!


              • #8
                Glad it all worked out. Daughter just came back after a weekend of lessons in the cold rain of Saturday and the frigid wind of Sunday!! Not fun to be out on greenies in that! Said by Sunday all tents were up, and a friend of hers working in "management", was put on manual labor in order to get stuff done! Hopefully the cold spell snapped!