Jun 25, 2022

Three Ways to Expand Community through Competitions

USEA/ Taylor Pence 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.

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.

        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.

        Connect with STRIDER on Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

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