Last week, Diary of a Horse Obsessed Girl wrote an excellent blog post about the differences between local and rated horse shows. Since she has a lot more horse show experience than I do, I can go ahead and tell you that her post will be way more informative and accurate than this one.
So go read that if you want to know the nitty gritty.
This post however, is more about pictures and silliness. Since I haven’t actually shown rated, I’m just pinging observations here… but per always, I’m doing it with a giant camera lens.
The Differences Between Fancy AA Shows and the Local Shows I Go To… As Told By Someone With a Giant Camera Lens
Prizes are pretty legit. Since Pin Oak is a heritage horse show, the ribbons have an old school feel. First place also comes with a hand painted plate that is pretty retro chic if you ask me.
Why yes, I do want that neck ribbon.
Pretty much everything on this table please.
You also have to jog at rated shows… but only for rated divisions and only for hunters. Yes I know this is confusing – welcome to hunterland.
Grooms are everywhere. Sure, some barns have grooms at local shows as well but in rated land pretty much every horse is trailed by a groom. A lot of riders pick up the reins when they hop on, and hand them off when they’re done showing. Grooms also will constantly wipe/brush/clean in-between classes.
The footing is a lot better, and maintained a lot better. At Pin Oak, it poured pretty much three days in a row. Did they have to stop the show? No. Did the footing look bad the next day? Not at all.
There are more vendors than at local shows, and the vendors are typically more awesome. Goodbye money. I will miss you.
Also, various and delicious food trucks.
More importantly, lots of access to alcohol. For sale at tents. For free at exhibitor parties. Horse shows everywhere should take note of this… I’d probably jump a division higher if there was constantly a glass of wine in my face.
The quality of your competition is typically nicer. I’m not saying my locally shown Thoroughbred could never beat a horse that has been to an AA show… but there’s a reason sales horses who consistently pin at rated shows have a high price tag.
If you’re riding in a big class, like a jumper classic, you may get a cool dude in a red coat serenading the start of your division.
I may volunteer my husband to do this at our local shows. Hey Tim – I will accept your silence on this issue as proof you a) agree and b) have stopped reading my blog. You’ll look great in this outfit! 🙂
Everything at AA shows is fancified. Curtain all the things! Throw the show logo on all the things! Make the judge and jump crew area purdiful!
Most of the jumper jumps at AA shows are sponsored. Hey… gotta pay for that classic money and all the fancy decorations! Sure, some local shows have sponsored jumps but that’s not typically the norm.
Really the biggest difference between Pin Oak and our smaller A shows in the area that I can’t take a photo of is the prize money involved. On the second week, there as a $10,000 Low Child/Adult Jumper classic that you had to qualify for. That’s a lot of prize money for 1.05m!
A lot of the rated show allure is pomp and circumstance, but I can’t help it… I still want to show at a big show like this 🙂 Until then we will be happily getting miles in the local rings!