I named this Part 1 because I'm sure it's going to be part of a series.
So Part 1.
I'm sitting in the Grand Oaks show office. Cross country is decorated, show jump is set, dressage rings are ready to go. Rick Dunkerton is putting together packets, dressage tests, waivers, and the multitude of other paperwork he needs to gather. I'm making sure we have enough volunteers, putting together cross country volunteer packets, giving packets out to the officials, and just general paperwork that's necessary.
And Rick is calling competitors. Because their horses memberships aren't active, or their memberships aren't active, or their owners memberships aren't active, or SafeSport isn't done. You know who gets in trouble if memberships aren't correct before the start of the show?
Yes, you read that correctly. If rider's don't get their stuff done on time, I get in trouble with the federations. You know what that means? Fines. You know who ends up paying for the fines in their entry fees? The competitor.
Riders, step up. Please don't wait for Rick to call you Friday morning before the show starts while he's trying to handle so many other things. Take some responsibility. Set a reminder in your phone's Calendar for next year as soon as you renew your memberships.
Rocking Horse is currently sitting at 547 entries as of 11:30 am January 22nd. For those math people, that means Rick has to check 1,641 different things to make sure the organizer doesn't get fined.
Add on trainers membership and SafeSport for USEF and we're at over 2,000 things that need to be checked.
Add on checking qualifications for Modified and above.
I asked Rick what his biggest complaints are about riders entering horse shows.
Here's his list:
1) Updating their memberships
2) Not completing entries
3) Not filling out information on the horse and rider
4) Not filling out complete email addresses, phone numbers, mailing address (how are you going to get a refund check if your address isn't updated? Short answer. You aren't.)
5) Not entering their horses breed, age, sire, and dam. (Y'all, this takes five seconds. Give us breeders some credit, please. If you don't know where to find the information, email me and I will gladly help. Also, if you're horse is super fancy, us breeders want to know how to breed another one!)
6) Not sending in signed waivers
7) Not uploading current coggins
Riders, if you don't want to do your entries thoroughly, I will do them for you. For a fee, of course. :)
Interested in finding out more? You can visit Emily at www.emilyholmesequestrian.com for more Equestrian Marketing Tips, Complaints about Competitors, and other Ocala based Equestrian stuff. You can also find Emily on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and her decidedly boring TikTok. @eholmes611
Emily Holmes is an Ocala, FL based Freelance Event Organizer who is an expert in Equestrian Public Relations. She also attempts to compete in Eventing and Dressage on a VERY amateur level while building a new facility (see Five Hound Farm) with her hound dogs, husband, and a myriad of horses.