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.
From the tadpole division at the local starter horse trials through the CCI5* at the Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day, equestrian competition brings people together. At every level, horse shows can expand community and foster growth for the sport of eventing.
Here are some things to consider if you’re planning to host a horse trial, combined test, schooling show, jump derby, or anything else this season.
1. Make it easy for folks to find and enter
The easier it is for people to find out about your event, the more likely they are to enter. Across the industry, entries tend to increase for starter horse trials that are findable through a google search. Chances are you’ll see an increase in spectators, too! Online entries can get you added visibility, but you’ll want to also be sure to remind folks to join you.
You can use your facility’s website and email list plus share to regional Facebook groups on social media to invite folks to enter. You may also want to partner with a local Combined Training Association or Group Member Organization to get the word out as many of them keep an activity calendar for their members. Word-of-mouth and strategically-placed paper flyers are a great backup for an online presence, too!
Implement a one-stop digital entry and payment process (think Amazon’s 1-click checkout!) so interested riders don’t have to jump through hoops to participate.
2. Get local businesses involved
Think outside the box for sponsorship and community support. Your jump derby or combined test will likely attract riders (and their support crews) who would also be excited to learn about businesses that are local to your facility. Reach out to your favorite local eateries, garden centers, and other businesses, even if they’re not horse-centric, to let them know you’ll be offering an event that will bring new potential customers their way.
These businesses will be pleased to hear about the online visibility their support of your event will get, too!
Come up with a few price points for potential sponsors to choose from. Having predetermined options will save you a lot of effort and will also make it easier for businesses to commit to supporting your event.
3. Help create memories
Small efforts can make a big difference. Consider having some light refreshments available ringside for volunteers and participants, offering a special award for the best volunteer of the day, and investing in facility signage to make the experience as smooth as possible for visitors. A little hospitality can go a very long way.
More than likely, your show environment is offering a unique experience for competitors, volunteers, spectators, and even the judge. Identify what makes your offering special and highlight it.
Hosting events can be a great way for facilities and training barns to generate revenue, but they’re also an important way to get more people involved in the sport. Taking the time to consider how you can reach more riders and generate a positive experience can have incredible long-term effects for your community and eventing in general.
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Temecula, Calif.—March 30— "World class." That's what Galway Downs Spring International dressage judges Helen Brettell and Robyn Fisher said in unison of the two rides that put Tamie Smith in the one and two spots in the CCI4*-S after dressage.
Myakka City, Fla.—March 30—In the third year of hosting FEI three-day events and recognized horse trials, TerraNova Equestrian Center welcomes an eventing date to their busy spring competition schedule. Riders from all walks of life, Olympians to young eventers, flocked to TerraNova to experience the previous two fall three-day events. The addition of the spring date gives riders an opportunity to run an FEI event and horse trials before heading home after the winter season.
The United States Eventing Association, Inc. (USEA) is delighted to announce the renewed partnership with SmartPak as the “Official Feeding Supplement of the USEA” for 2023. SmartPak will also continue their support of various USEA programs as a “Gold Sponsor of the USEA American Eventing Championships,” “Contributing Sponsor of the Adult Team Championships at the AEC,” “Bronze Sponsor of the Classic Series” and “Contributing Sponsor of the Young Event Horse Series.” The “SmartPak USEA Stallion of the Year” and “SmartPak USEA Pony of the Year” leaderboards will also allow the company to assist in recognizing the top placing stallion and pony of the Association at the USEA Annual Meeting and Convention in St. Louis, Missouri this December 6-10. SmartPak will provide ample prizes and awards for the programs and championships that they support.
From horse trials in her home state of California where she prepared herself and her horses to take on the best in the nation and around the world to five-star events overseas where she represented the United States on some of eventing’s biggest stages, Tamie Smith had a remarkable season and finished 2022 as the Bates USEA Lady Rider of the Year for the second year in a row.