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What Kinds of Things Make a Local (Non-Rated) Show Special?

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  • What Kinds of Things Make a Local (Non-Rated) Show Special?

    Am interested in hearing ideas about how to make a local show series "special" and to differentiate a show from other non-rated shows in the same area. I have some ideas but would like to hear some other ideas, within reason - can't spend money that we don't have but what are some touches that we might add.

    Many thanks!

  • #2
    -Supports a good cause
    -Good judges, courses, and footing
    -Fun classes like hunt teams
    -Experienced staff (gate people, show secretary, jump crew, etc)
    -Vendors ... especially good food
    -Realistic 'not before' times
    -Prizes
    -Other entertainment ... the biggest unrated show near me has a carnival and antique car show
    -Make it part of a series of shows with series champion prizes
    "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM

    Comment


    • #3
      1. Nice ribbons. I don't win a lot of ribbons, but when I do I want them to be pretty (as in just not ugly please). There is one show here that I just don't go to because I hate the ribbons (I know that sounds bad, but its true!)

      2. Don't run hours behind schedule.

      3. Concessions available (and that stay available throughout the show)


      The show I no longer attend violates #1, 2, and 3.
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      • #4
        Rated or local, there are some inexpensive things that can add a nice touch to a show, I think.

        I love the places that have baskets of carrots or peppermints in the office or at the ingate for the horses. A water cooler with some paper cups at the ingate/schooling area(s) for riders who are dying as they ride around in those chokers and wool coats is *always* thoughtful (and may prevent heatstroke, LOL.)

        I went to one show last year that gave little gifts along with their first place ribbons - IIRC, it was a box of chocolates from a local specialty store that sponsored some classes. Probably cost very little if anything but people LOVED them.

        If you can afford them, get ribbons that are nicer than the usual little 6" rosette. There is a local series not too far from here that does the whole nine yards - neck ribbons, ribbons with big streamers, etc. They get a LOT of entries from the rated crowd because everyone wants those fancy ribbons!

        Plus all the usual stuff applies: Good footing, adequate schooling areas, decent trailer parking, enough hoses/washrack areas and knowledgeable officials go a long way in attracting repeat exhibitors.
        **********
        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
        -PaulaEdwina

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        • #5
          Where are you located, and where will the new show series be located??
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          • #6
            What dab said along with:

            -Reasonable entry and other fees along with a generous late entry or cancellation policy
            -Clean bathrooms that are close to rings and stables
            -good food is a must!
            -nice prizes and ribbons
            -a friendly staff that is helpful and efficient
            -easy access trailer parking

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            • #7
              HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHER! Even better, one people like
              ~Veronica
              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Located in VA. Not new shows, but looking at ways to improve. Good ideas. Keep them coming...............

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lucassb View Post
                  If you can afford them, get ribbons that are nicer than the usual little 6" rosette. There is a local series not too far from here that does the whole nine yards - neck ribbons, ribbons with big streamers, etc. They get a LOT of entries from the rated crowd because everyone wants those fancy ribbons!
                  There's a local fair that hosts a horse show -- They bill it as the 'smallest show with the biggest ribbons' -- It's a bunch of crossrail divisions, and I think it tops out at 2'6" -- The ribbons are 2' long with huge rosettes -- Every kid loves their ribbon at that show --
                  "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    #1. Good rings, footing, parking and judging

                    #2. Be friendly and easy to deal with, particularly whoever's taking entries.

                    #3.Tie: Good food and KEEP MOVING

                    Specialty classes like a division classic that count for extra points at the end of a series are fun. We have a few shows that have like a children's/adult, green, and working classics at shows in the latter part of the year. It's a good bonus kind of like series end awards, but doesn't require going to all of them if someone can't afford it.
                    "Radar, the man's ex-cavalry: if he sees four flies having a meeting, he knows they're talking about a horse!" Cptn. BJ Hunnicutt, M*A*S*H Season 4, Episode "Dear Mildred"

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                    • #11
                      Some of these you already know about and do <wink>, but I think dressing up the jumps like a 'real' show (lots of brush, etc), shows that someone has gone the extra mile and it doesn't cost anything. Similarly, coffee in the mornings and complimentary pizzas doesn't really cost much and are nice touches.

                      Lastly, and this should be a no brainer, knowledgeable judges. I was at an Associate show a few months ago where one of the judges asked a class of three, one child on a pony and another person on a dead green horse, to counter canter in an eq. class.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Offset View Post
                        Some of these you already know about and do <wink>, but I think dressing up the jumps like a 'real' show (lots of brush, etc), shows that someone has gone the extra mile and it doesn't cost anything. Similarly, coffee in the mornings and complimentary pizzas doesn't really cost much and are nice touches.

                        Lastly, and this should be a no brainer, knowledgeable judges. I was at an Associate show a few months ago where one of the judges asked a class of three, one child on a pony and another person on a dead green horse, to counter canter in an eq. class.
                        I agree with dressing up the ring a bit BUT *if* the show is aimed at those looking for schooling rounds, don't go crazy with the flower boxes, decorations etc... or you might wind up making the jumps a bit intimidating.

                        I am curious though what the problem was asking for counter canter in an eq class. That's a pretty standard request around here ... was it a beginner eq or something?
                        **********
                        We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
                        -PaulaEdwina

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Having someone help with parking if that is a bit tight. Or having signs posted about where to park (i.e. Trucks/Trailers, vs Passenger Cars vs Motorcycles)

                          I tend to direct any not so horsey people who come to watch to an area away from the trucks and trailers. Not that I don't want them around, but it helps keep them out of harm's way.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Didn't mean it was a "problem", just unnecessary to judge the class in question and way over the heads of those in the class. A group of fairly competent teenage eq kids? No problem.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There's likely a parent in your barn who has a DSLR camera and can learn to take photos for your shows. If they can download those regularly to a laptop and have them available for viewing you can probably get people to buy th epictures. Keep the prices reasonable, $10/each for a 5x7 definitely turns a good profit for the show (RiteAid and CVS are under $2/each for same day). You can take their address and have the photo(s) printed for them at their local store or you since you're a series you can print them at your nearest store and the photos are available for pickup at the next show.
                              "Beware the hobby that eats."
                              Benjamin Franklin

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                              • #16
                                If it is a schooling series and you get a cooperative judge, have a time after a group of classes where the judge can give a short summary of the classes seen and maybe even share the scorecard. I know I once had a judge share comments on the class as a whole and then gave each of us something to work on. Was a great way to understand what a judge sees. Good for people starting out if it is a schooling series with lots of greener horses and riders.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The Ocala Jumper Classic held at Sharn Wordley's this year was one of the nicest shows we have attended for a long time and, yes, it was unrated!
                                  Beautiful surroundings and courses, superb footing, no classes below 3'6", the pros in attendance with their young horses and future stars, free beer, tents to sit under for shade and a leisurely European pace. Oh, for more like this!
                                  Sakura Hill Farm
                                  Now on Facebook

                                  Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.

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                                  • #18
                                    I only do the local shows. I second friendly organizers, gate masters (hmm, that doesn't sounds right, but I think you know who I mean) - for me, this can totally make the atmosphere at a show. I would LOVE to hear some constructive comments from a judge.

                                    If the show is around a holiday (specifically Halloween) costumes are always fun. Usually the costumes are restricted to flat classes and a prize is given out for the best costume.
                                    My blog: Journeys in Riding

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm at my wit's end, I can tell you...we're offering a $250 Hunter Derby at 3 of our shows this year. Got r or R judges for all the shows. The lines are set correctly. Jumps are decorated beautifully. Can't fill anything but the cross rails classes.

                                      Did I mention, the Derby is set at all of 2'6?

                                      Yes, it was cold at the Spring show...but not freezing.

                                      I don't know what to do to draw in riders...hoping the summer show will have more show up...
                                      http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

                                      Originally Posted by JSwan
                                      I love feral children. They taste like chicken.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        MGP- Where are you please, and when are your shows?
                                        ~Veronica
                                        "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                        http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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