Grow Eventing – Holly Jacks-Smithers kicks it off in Ontario with a practical approach

Ellen Wade joined Holly for a free introductory lesson to Eventing and loved it. Courtesy of Holly Jacks-Smither's Facebook Page.

bitofbritain-Week1

 

Grow Eventing – Holly Jacks-Smithers kicks it off in Ontario with a practical approach

Eventing is dying in Ontario. This year, Eventers have witnessed a disturbing drop in entries and as a result, many of the favourite and traditionally biggest shows, including Glen Oro and Grandview dropped from two-day to one-day shows. Dreamcrest cancelled the Intermediate level in the spring and cancelled the fall show altogether because of lack of entries.

This matters for anyone who events as a hobby as the number of shows are reduced so choices become very limited. This especially matters to riders who rely on earning income from the sport through coaching and selling Eventing horses.

If you are an Eventer and whether or not you are a young rider, adult amateur or professional, to keep the sport alive and growing we all have a responsibility to do our part to help Eventing flourish.

We are happy to bring you this new series “Grow Eventing” with ideas and tips about how we can all contribute to ensuring this sport grows and continues to be viable.

There have been a few online discussions that we have been monitoring as people banter around ideas and suggestions to bring new riders into the sport. In the last couple of weeks, Holly Jacks-Smither came up with a brilliant suggestion that I had to share. Over Facebook she published this invitation:

In an effort to grow eventing at the grassroots in Ontario, I’m giving anybody who wants to try xc schooling for the first time a free xc lesson. Come on all you hunter jumper and dressage riders, once you try it you will be hooked ! I will be schooling at different venues for the next month weekly, so shoot me a message!

Amazingly, Holly received over 100 enquiries. She limited the response to people who have never competed in Eventing. At the moment, she has introduced over 12 new riders to Eventing. Imagine the impact if only half of them sign up for Events next year in Ontario?

Holly has a full business schedule and works seven days a week with an abundant clientele. She was able to fit this schooling in with ‘newbies’ this fall as her competition schedule was a little lighter than usual. She did not make this effort to grow her business, but rather to invest in her future. She says, “I don’t need clients right now, but I will in five years. So I have to make sure that Eventing continues to have a viable path in Ontario where I reside.”

It is very likely that every single Eventer knows a rider with a horse who competes in a different discipline. If you have a vested interest in keeping Eventing alive and growing, invite a friend to take a lesson with you and your coach. Ask your coach if they would be willing to take on one of your friends for a free cross-country lesson to try out the sport. If the coach cannot do it for free, still ask your friend to join you!

For coaches, try and fit in a day where you can invite riders with horses to try a cross-country lesson with you. Holly made sure that all riders had helmets and vests. Be sure to maintain the safety standard for beginners.

We can all meet and brainstorm ways to grow the sport until the cows come home, but the truth is… Eventing needs to grow at the grassroots by the people who love it. Current riders, coaches and fans are the most influential and best ambassadors.

We challenge you to bring one new rider to sign-up for an Event in 2018. If every rider can bring one, we will double the entries from last year. This tip applies worldwide. Even if you live in an area where Eventing is flourishing, continuing to grow the sport globally will make it more appealing everywhere. Everyone wins.

Invite a friend…Grow Eventing!

Scroll for more top stories on Eventing Connect

The science behind the products – What I discovered about equine nasal strips | Eventing Connect   There are so many products out there to help horses and humans live better and perform better. Sometimes, it is difficult to know what is based on facts and science and what is not. I have always been a sceptic about anything that is not obviously explained. I am a student of science and I love reading and di…

Men versus women at the 2017 CCI4* events: Are we really equal? – Sponsored by Back on Track | Eventing Connect   Great for muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints. Products for horses, dogs and people. Visit www.backontrackproducts.com   Men versus women at the 2017 CCI4* events: Are we really equal? – Sponsored by Back on Track Equestrian sports are the only Olympic disciplines where men and women compete against…

bitofbritain-Week1

The top 20 photos from 2017 that will leave you amped for next season – Part 1: Show jumping | Eventing Connect   The top 20 photos from 2017 that will leave you amped for next season – Part 1: Show jumping The 2017 season has come to an end in North America. Eventing Connect’s ‘photographers’ attended many of the top events on the continent this season and captured some awesome shots. Our Christmas present to our reade…

Extreme hacking: Ditch edition – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   Extreme hacking: Ditch edition – VIDEO Break Hacking can be as boring or as exciting as you want it to be. You can just walk down a nice little trail and enjoy the great outdoors with your horse. Or you can add some difficulty to your hack by throwing in some jumping obstacles. This rider decided that jumpin…

SeminoleWellness2017_770x170

Wednesday’s SCOOP from Eastern Hay | Eventing Connect   Wednesday’s SCOOP from Eastern Hay Today’s SCOOP sponsor: Eastern Hay is the premier source of hay bales in Eastern USA.   Worldwide bits and bites China: Glanders, flu and African horse sickness targeted by international horse sport body – Horsetalk.co.nz The International Horse Sp…

Why you need social media for your 2018 riding goals – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster | Eventing Connect   Why you need social media for your 2018 riding goals – Sponsored by MD Barnmaster 2018 is almost here and with the arrival of a new year, we always attempt to reinvent ourselves with new self-commitments to improve our lives. Making changes is not easy and many New Year’s resolutions are often not kept after…

Tuesday’s Top 10 – Stupidest Christmas gifts for eventers | Eventing Connect   WARNING: Only read if you have a sense of humour Check in every Tuesday for our Top 10 list that could feature just about anyone or anything related to Eventing. No rider, owner, coach, or nation is off limits. Remember: “Life is a tragedy for those who feel and a comedy for those who think.”   …

Who is the ‘five-star’ Novice jumper at Grand Oaks Horse Trials? You decide…vote now. | Eventing Connect   Who is the ‘five-star’ Novice jumper at Grand Oaks Horse Trials? You decide…vote now. Over the weekend, riders in the Florida were competing at the Sneak Peek Grand Oaks Schooling Horse Trials. This exciting new event ran divisions ranging from Beginner Novice up to the Training level. I was not competing…

How Superman rides a horse – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   How Superman rides a horse – VIDEO Break The famous fictional superhero, Superman is known for flying around and using his superhuman strength to save the world. But what would happen if Superman saddled up a horse? I think this video explains it…

A ‘grand’ new addition to the 2018 Eventing season – A show preview you must see | Eventing Connect   A ‘grand’ new addition to the 2018 Eventing season – A show preview you must see Eventing around the Ocala, Florida area has been steadily growing for years. Over the last two years, there have been three new events added to the area: Three Lakes Horse Trials, Exmoor Horse Trials, and most notably, …

Last Week TODAY | Eventing Connect   Last Week TODAY Catch up on interesting tidbits that you might have missed last week. We work hard to catch all the good stuff so you don’t have to.   Eventer or show jumper?   Birthday fun. Just got back from a great birthday night away in #Savannah with @jesshampf. Couldn’t hav…

Winter is an exciting time of year according to horses – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   Winter is an exciting time of year according to horses – VIDEO Break Winter is well underway and the cooler temperatures are making horses around the world quite fresh. Riders are doing their best to survive the bitter temperatures and riding their suddenly feral horses. Even four-star eventer and dressage q…

offbeatsafaris-4-770x170

Eventing absolutely slaying it again on Instagram this weekend | Eventing Connect   Eventing absolutely slaying it again on Instagram this weekend Instagram connects the world through photos and eventers love to share their lives on this social media platform. We have found Eventing pics from every continent in the world on Instagram. This is your chance to check out the entire world of event…

Bitches and dogs ruling the barn: Winter warriors and snowbirds | Eventing Connect   Bitches and dogs ruling the barn: Winter warriors and snowbirds No stable is complete without numerous dogs hanging around. At horse shows, there are likely more dogs in attendance than horses. It is almost unheard of to meet a rider who does not own at least ONE dog. Check out these killer bitches and dogs …

Eastern Hay 770x170-March

The most beautiful montage of horses in action you will ever watch – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   The most beautiful montage of horses in action you will ever watch – VIDEO Break Horses are one of the most stunning animals on the planet. Combine horses’ natural beauty with some of the best landscapes in the world and you have this mesmerizing video. This video is a promo for an equine photography worksho…

Crawling Between Heaven and Earth – The adventure begins with this free introduction | Eventing Connect   The adventure begins with this free introduction On a lazy Sunday, we are happy to bring you an excerpt from the latest novel Crawling Between Heaven and Earth, from Eventing Connect contributor, Mary Pagones. Mary is a New Jersey-based writer and editor. An enthusiastic reader of all things pony-and horse-re…

The votes are in and the new Perri’s halter goes to… | Eventing Connect   The votes are in and the new Perri’s halter goes to… With over 4,000 votes cast, our readers chose Mr. Muddy Moose as the coolest name containing the letter “U”. Congratulations to Christine Backston from the United States; Mr. Muddy Moose will be getting a fine ‘Amish made’ Perri’s leather halt…

What winning a CCI1, CCI2* and CCI3* looks like | Eventing Connect   What winning a CCI1, CCI2* and CCI3* looks like Winning a CCI event is a huge career accomplishment for an eventer of any level. FEI event wins are hard to come by, especially CCI events because horses tend to only compete at two of these a year. In order to be victorious at a CCI event, horse and rider have…

Things you NEED to know before riding your new OTTB | Eventing Connect   Things you NEED to know before riding your new OTTB This week, the 2018 Retired Racehorse Project opened up entries. So horse people around North America are on the hunt for Thoroughbreds to re-train for this incredible competition. It is the ideal time to share with you again, this informative article from AJ…

Find out how eventers around the world answered these tough “Would you rather” questions | Eventing Connect   Find out how eventers around the world answered these tough “Would you rather” questions Last week, riders from around the equestrian world played a game of “Would you rather”. The questions we asked made riders choose between some tough choices. Everyone has different opinions on what is important to them. So…

BACK ON TRACK-1-770x170

When you ALMOST stick the landing – VIDEO Break | Eventing Connect   When you ALMOST stick the landing – VIDEO Break Not every jump is perfect and sometimes it is tough to stick the landing. This rider almost had it and then things took a sudden turn for the worst. Have you ever seen such a random fall?    

Eventing Connect Classifieds are here – Post your ad FREE for 60 days | Eventing Connect   Eventing Connect Classifieds are here – Post your ad FREE for 60 days Eventing Connect is pleased to offer a Classified section to provide you with another platform to sell your horses, tack, services, property or whatever you may have for sale. Hundreds of thousands of readers visit us each month and we w…