A Few Quick Tips for Running a Successful Fun Show!
By Carolyn Mains
We all know that running a horse show can be stressful; however, these tips can help to remind you of details that may fall by the wayside but are crucial to the success of your day.
The first items you will want to tackle when planning your event are choosing a date and a venue.
Tip #1 Try to minimize conflicts with other local shows so that your turnout will be higher.
Once date and location are secure, you’ll want to come up with a class list. This will determine the type of show you want to hold. You can choose anything from western pleasure to hunt seat, trail, or gymkhana. The possibilities are endless; however, you’ll want to be sure you have the necessary equipment and man-power for each type of class you choose to hold.
Next, you’ll want to obtain insurance for your show. As a member benefit of ARG, you can purchase this insurance through Equisure, Inc.
Tip # 2 Research who may require proof of insurance certificates (landowners, lessors, etc.)
To be sure competitors and spectators know about your show, be sure to advertise to the public. Flyers in tack and feed stores are one easy way to get the word out.
Tip # 3 Don’t forget to use other means like email groups, sending flyers to local barns, and posting on the ARG web calendar.
Of course, any show needs staff. You’ll want to be sure you have a secretary to handle entries beforehand as well as the show office during the show. A judge is a must as well as an announcer to keep things running smoothly.
Depending on the size of your show and its needs, you will require any number of volunteers. Make a list ahead of time to make sure all positions are filled.
Tip # 4 Have a few standby volunteers just in case.
Jobs to keep in mind are: gate attendants, warm-up stewards, ring crew, and parking helpers. Remember, your volunteers are priceless. Keep them happy by providing them with water and snacks, or if it is a full day, a lunch might be in the works.
You will also want to make a checklist of equipment ahead of time. From simple things like: exhibitor numbers, clip boards, pens and pencils, a stapler, tape, etc. to judges cards, a money box and change, stop watches, tape measurers, and arena equipment, you don’t want to be caught on the day of your show without the necessary tools.
You’ll also want to order awards for your competitors.
Tip # 5 Have fun with this, and be creative!
The keys to any successful show are planning, preparedness, and knowing that a few little things may not go just as planned. Sure, it can be a lot of work, but at the end of the day, the smiling faces of both horse and human will be worth it! ■
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