Friday’s Five – Horse show prizes equestrians would LOVE to win

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Friday’s Five – Horse show prizes equestrians would LOVE to win

Event organizers do not have to break the bank giving out prize money (although riders would love money!). Eventers are actually quite easy to please and our expectations are incredibly low. We would be happy with prizes that are useful and not necessarily expensive.

If competitors can utilize the prize they win, it leaves them with a positive lasting impression of the event. For the riders that do not win, they also have an appreciation for useful prizes. It will bring us back year after year, as long as cool prizes are up for grabs.

Here are five useful prize ideas that competitors will love:

1. Free entry. Organizers do not have to reimburse the rider for the entry they just paid, but give them a certificate for a free entry to the next event. Entries are not cheap, and any rider would appreciate having a free one in the bank for the next season, or later on in the year, if the event runs multiple events. Event organizers need to be reasonable about this certificate; allow it to apply to any level of competition and do not put an expiry date on it.

No expiry date and an entry for any level, this is as good as cash.

No expiry date and an entry for any level, this is as good as cash.

 

2. Grooming supplies. I have never won grooming supplies that I have not made use of. Hoof picks and brushes wear out over time so it is nice to be able to replace them with fresh ones. Bottles of detangler, shampoo, conditioner, shine-on, and other grooming products are always nice to win rather than having to go and purchase. Give away quality products in reasonable amounts. Not sample sizes and pony-sized curry-combs. Awarding riders with quality grooming supplies makes their lives easier and they can compete a sparkling horse at their next event.

Quality products make you feel you like a winner.

Quality products make you feel you like a winner.

 


 

3. Saddle pads/blankets. My favourite prize has always been a nice saddle pad or blanket with the event’s name that I have won, and the event’s biggest sponsor’s logo (if there is one). I love riding or leading my horse about in something that shows that it actually won an event. I know, kind of egotistical of me. But for all of the hours that riders put into this sport, this kind of prize really matters. We need something to validate our efforts. It is important that organizers don’t chinch out on buying these products. Only give away quality. No one is going to outfit their horse in a piece of garbage, even if it is apparent that it was won. This can be a sought after prize if done correctly. Riders will always remember the occasion, plus their horses become billboards for your event.

Blankets that riders would use, are prizes worth giving.

Blankets that riders would use, are prizes worth giving.

 

4. Gift certificates for stores that are online. I have sadly thrown out piles of gift certificates, which I have won at events, for local tack stores. I travel hours upon hours to get to the event’s destination and by the time I collect my prize at the end of the event, it logistically makes no sense for me to head off to the tack store to collect my prize before driving home. Tack sponsors for events should have online stores so that riders can cash in on their gift certificates regardless of where they live and their purchase can be shipped to them. This way no gift certificate will go to waste and riders will actually win something they can use.

5. Picture frame and photographer gift certificate. This would be the ideal prize in my books. Organizers should give the winning riders a picture frame and work with the show photographer to provide the a gift certificate for a photo for the frame. Event organizers are fortunate that there are so many talented photographers at their events who they could partner with like Andrew Bailini, Shannon Brinkman, AK Dragoo, Xpress Foto, Brant Gamma, Libby Law, and many more. It does not have to be a poster-sized picture, but it should be large enough that you do not need a magnifying glass to make out who is on the horse. Winning events is not a common occurrence for most riders. Let’s celebrate the win and provide riders with a way to always remember the event. Even a professional rider, who wins heaps of events, would find this prize useful – they could give the picture to the horse’s owners.

We often never get around to buying a picture and would so value a frame and photo to remember our success.

We often never get around to buying a picture and would so value a frame and photo to remember our success.

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