With my financial concerns as of late and an awards dinner tonight I was thinking…What is your definition of showing on a shoe string budget? Lucky and I did great this year. We showed a lot and were lucky enough to end up with 3 wonderful year end awards. I spent too much money on showing in 2012 though. I am going to do something right now that I don’t think most people would do. I am going to share my show budget. and honestly, it feels weird doing this. Like I am really exposing myself…
Everything I spend I plan for. I would not call myself rich or well to do, but I obviously have enough to afford the luxury of showing, and it really is a luxury. It is something I love to do though so I plan for it very, very carefully each year. I laugh when I see people at overnight recognized shows saying they have a tiny show budget. Would I love to be doing USDF/USEF shows? Heck yeah! But I cannot afford it. Just two of those would have been over my entire 2012 budget. I think almost everyone out there showing though thinks they have a really small show budget. So how does this horse show aholic get it all in? The answer is to plan very, very carefully. I would love it, but doubt anyone else will do it, if other people also shared how much it cost them to show for a season. Money is such a personal thing though I understand if no one else wants to share.
Trainer Fees: My biggest “cost savings” this year was doing it on my own most of the time. I needed help at the start of the year though from Dom to teach Lucky to self-load, my trainer to figure out why Lucky was not being good at shows, and the Young Rider to give me the confidence that I could do it on my own. I will estimate that my total for all of that was about $250 this year.
4 Shows at the Show Ground that was far away (of which I scratched once) – $55 per show so $220 Total
1 Show at farm down the road – 1 class at $25 so $25 total
EC Championship show (which I scratched after the closing date) – $75
2 Fun Shows – $70 day fee each time so $140 total
2 Local Show Grounds Normal Dressage Show (with member discount) – $35 per show so $70 total
1 Local Show Grounds Dressage Championships (with member discount) – $35 for $35 total
3 Local Show Grounds Weekday Show (with member discount) – $25 per show show so $75 total
So I have my own truck and trailer, well half a truck since I split the cost with my Dad. I am not going to count the cost of insurance on the truck though as part of my budget because as long as I have Gen I will have a truck and trailer no matter what. For me that is a safety thing as a horse owner so that cost would be there if I was showing or not.
My big transportation cost was gas. I am going to estimate the cost of gas. I never had to fill the truck, but I would always stop and top it off, so there were many $20 visits to the gas station. Assuming the cost of gas was about $4 this year and that I get about 14 MPG average between towing (which is like 12MPG) and not (which is like 18 MPG) I think that I spend about $200 on gas. It was probably less, but I don’t know for sure.
New Tire for Trailer: $89
Local Show Grounds – $55 for Lucky and I
EC GMO – $0 because I am a lifetime member
ES GMO – $ 55
Trainer Fees: $200
Entry Fees Total:640
Transportation Total: 339
Organization Memberships Total: 110
Show I spent about $1,289 on my show habit this year. Without a doubt the most I have ever spent in a single year on showing. In fact, it was $289 OVER my budget, which I was feeling by the end of the year. There were a lot of things I had to give up by the September came around. Since I did 13 things it works out to about $100 a show. That seems about right though because my show budget is normally about $600 and 6 things a year is pretty normal for me, about once a month. So was it worth it? To me it was. I had the best show year ever! I entered for too much which hurt my budget in the end, but I had such a great year that even just thinking about it makes me smile.
So it about $100 an event too much for a show? Well, that depends on who you ask!
I am just starting to work on my show budget for 2013 and one thing is for sure, I cannot do another year like last year. That being said, last year was a once in a lifetime opportunity to just go and do whatever I wanted, a dream I have had forever. And I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it!