As horse riding becomes more popular, riding clubs are often on the lookout for spaces to host their shows. If your property is large enough to accommodate the arenas and stands, you may want to get in on the action. Done correctly, using your property as a show grounds can be a lucrative and rewarding experience.
Have the Best Grounds
Set aside enough acreage for a performance arena and a schooling ring, then build sturdy secretary stands and spectator bleachers. Include retractable awnings for sun protection if you can. For the safety of horses and riders, cover the riding ring with the proper footing, often a combination of rubber and sand with other synthetic composites mixed in. If you’re including jumper events, get custom horse jump packages. The jumps can feature sponsor names, colors and logos; or can be used as a billboard for your own business. Riders will appreciate designated spaces to set down tack and supplies. A clearly marked first aid area is an absolute must.
Employ the Best Staff
Long before the event, a good staff can make a difference. Skillful marketers will effectively publicize the show and generate interest from surrounding clubs. Entrants and spectators should be greeted promptly by courteous, knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Attendants, ring masters and ring stewards can be volunteers but be sure to have a respected large animal veterinarian and reputable farrier on site. An enthusiastic and capable announcer can keep the show moving at a reasonable pace. Most importantly, retain fair, experienced judges.
Provide the Best Experience
Conduct a few well-run events and word will travel quickly among the equestrian community. Provide lots of parking, with spaces large enough to accommodate horse trailers and the trucks that tow them; a separate lot for spectators’ smaller vehicles is advisable. If you don’t want the hassle of providing a food stand, invite several food trucks. Customers will appreciate the variety and convenience. Don’t forget the restrooms—calculate the expected attendance and provide enough portable water closets for at least 10% more.