The Real Cost To Show A Horse
I love horse shows. Ok, I am obsessed with horse shows. Online shows, real, live horse shows. Western, Hunter-Jumper, it doesn’t matter what kind of show, I just love horse shows. And the area where I live there are a lot of horse shows. I am lucky enough to live close by a show ground that hosts a summer long series of hunter jumper shows. And every year, I go to these shows as a spectator.
Yep, that’s me at the Colorado Horse Park. Standing next to one of the 6 foot tall standards they use in the Grand Prix. And yes, I have a pretty awesome farmer’s tan going on. And yes, I look like a dork. But I am just so happy to be this close to the International arena at the Colorado Horse Park. #don’tjudge
But one of my bucket list goals is to be able to go to this series as a competitor. This has been a dream of mine for as long as I have been going to these shows. But they aren’t inexpensive. In fact, they are expensive, really expensive in my opinion. So before I go to said shows, I wanted to figure out what the real cost will be and I thought I would share that with you. You now, in case you were wondering how much it would cost to go to an A rated hunter/jumper show.
The Hunter Division
When I try and decide which division I would enter, my heart is drawn to the jumpers, but I wonder if I would be better to start in the hunter division. I have been told that Frisby would make a nice hunter. And he has a very ‘pretty’ jumping style. But he has his faults, like a large lump on his back leg that isn’t so pretty, and I think that would hinder him in placing in a hunter class.
I would be more likely to show with Ethan, and he is a great horse, but I just don’t think he has what it takes to be a hunter. I could be wrong. Maybe in the next several months when I can ride again and get him jumping, he might surprise me. But I prefer the objective judging, like against a timer rather than the subjective judging of a hunter judge.
And while there is a certain beauty in the hunter division, I like a little more creative freedom that the jumper ring allows. So I think we can count out that I will be showing in the hunter ring.
The Jumper Division
This is where I really want to compete. And I think the modified low jumpers would be a good place to start. The fences aren’t too tall with a max jumping height of 3’1″ and they even offer a low jumper classic class each week. The classes are affordable at $50.00 per class, and the classic would be $125.00 entry fee. Again, not horrible, considering you do have the potential to earn a little bit of money as they add money back for each class. This means you have the opportunity to win a little bit of money.
I think this would be the best series to enter for me and my horses, especially for the first “big” show.
The Real Costs
But, the class entry fees aren’t the only cost for the shows. There are a lot of other fees that need to be considered:
- Office fee: $50.00
- Medic fee: $15.00
- Stall fee: $275.00
- USEF Drug fee: $16.00
- USHJA Fee: $7.00
- Night watch fee: $14.00
- Shavings: $7.00 a bag (x 9 bags = $63.00)
Total additional weekly fees: $440.00
And then there are the memberships that need to be paid each year:
USEF Membership: $55.00
USHJA Membership: $85.00
CHJA Membership: $60.00
So the total cost for each week of shows would be: $865.00, per week making the grand total for all 7 weeks, and the memberships would be a total cost of $6255.00. That is crazy expensive! Well, it is for me. That is to enter 7 classes a week, and keep my horse on the show grounds! And that doesn’t take into consideration the cost of working with a trainer, that is all extra money.
And then if I want to school at home, I will need to have (or make) big jumps, so I can perfect my skills and nurture my horses ability at home, before we get to the fancy-schmancy show.
Going to an A rated show is going to cost a lot of money. And honestly for me, right now I can’t really justify that. But if I could break even, you know, win enough money at the horse show to offset the cost, then yeah, I think I can justify it. And after all, it is a bucket list wish, so you need to be able to do it at least one time right? Am I wrong in my justification? I think not.
And It’s good to have a goal to work towards. It might take me a year or two to be able to realize this goal, but one day, I want to achieve it. #goals.