Jun 27, 2023

Five Tips to Keep Your Horse Show Organizer Happy this Season

USEA/Lindsay Berreth photo

The following is provided through a partnership between STRIDER and the USEA. As part of our commitment to diversity, enabling access, and building capacity throughout the industry we are pleased to provide this content to benefit the sport of eventing.

To make a horse show happen is no small feat. It requires tremendous dedication, time, and sometimes heroic acts from a large village of people. One of these village heroes is the horse show secretary or organizer. Processing entries. Sorting through payments. Verifying documentation. Assigning ride times. Changing ride times. Working out stabling charts. Handling rider, owner, trainer inquiries—these are just some of the many to-do list items of a horse show organizer.

The team at STRIDER is committed to digital tools and best practices that save organizers time and sanity when facilitating the competitions from the grassroots through FEI. Whether you’re headed to a schooling horse trial, casual jumper show, recognized competition, combined test, or a dressage fix-a-test, check out our top tips to keep your horse show organizer happy this season.

1. Get Your Paperwork Organized

    Aim for a complete entry the first time around. Check the prize list or entry platform where details are listed to find out what documentation is required before you start the entry process. Some competitions have multiple waiver requirements, many will need additional equine health certificates or vaccination records, and others will require entry agreement signatures from the rider, owner, and trainer.

    It can be helpful to keep a file on your computer’s desktop with up to date health docs for your horse as well as anything else that may come in handy for entries throughout your competition season. By whatever means your horse show organizer is accepting entry, try to get all of the required documentation to them in one swoop. Having everything ready to go in a desktop file will save you upload time and keep your organizer from having to hunt through email to track down your late-add documents.

    2. Follow Directions

      Be mindful of the organizer’s preferred means of communication and method of receiving entries. Do your best to stick to one!

      3. Enter in a Timely Manner

        Repeat after us: a lack of planning on your part is not your horse show organizer’s emergency. You can find open and closing dates published on entry platforms or the competition’s prize list. Another handy resource is the USEA’s competition calendar. Use your phone’s calendar to set reminders of those dates so you won’t miss a deadline. Not only will you save your organizer some anguish at the eleventh hour, but you’ll likely avoid getting waitlisted.

        4. Streamline Your Communications

          As best as possible, try to provide your show organizer with as much information as you can through their preferred entry method. But of course, this is life with horses; changes happen, questions come up, coggins get updated, and of course there are requests for preferred stabling locations, ride times, you name it.

          If you can, condense your questions, requests, etc. into as few correspondences as possible to save your organizer some time and hassle.

          5. Say Thanks and Enjoy the Ride

            Now that all of the paperwork is (mostly, we hope) worked out—enjoy the show! Many members of so-called horse show villages are volunteers, who have given a great deal of time and effort to make your competitive outing happen. Be sure to try to have a great time with your horse and give a big thank you to all who helped to make it happen.

            With some of these best practices, you can help ease the strain on competition management teams and help our sport continue to grow. Plus, you’ll stay off of the horse show organizer’s naughty list—a place none of us want to be!

            STRIDER is the leading entry platform across disciplines for the equestrian industry.

            From enabling riders to discover and book the perfect opportunity to helping equestrians across the industry grow and run their businesses, STRIDER fosters connections to top-tier experiences. Please visit www.striderpro.com to learn more about the suite of software products and services available.

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