Thursday, April 18, 2013


One of my April activities is being the Show Secretary/Manager for a local schooling show series.  As part of that job, I get to pick out the first place/champion prizes.  Which should be fun because it's shopping with someone else's money!

But, I'm a little stumped.  I've gotten some really rotten prizes at shows. You could tell that the prizes were just an afterthought, like the organizers thought, "Oh crap! We're supposed to give prizes, right? What've we got laying around?".

I want this show to be different.  I want really good, thoughtful prizes that will make people want to come back and show with us again.

So, I'm asking you guys for ideas....

What was the best prize you've ever won?

What would you like to win?

Does the prize even matter?  Are you more likely to show somewhere again because they offer great prizes? Or is the prize just "meh..."?

Another pic of Spider from last weekend's show!  This was the beginning of the medium trot.  I got a 6.0 and the comment "needs more".


  1. To me it all starts with a great ribbon, if the ribbons are meh, then the prizes need to be good, if the prizes are good then the ribbons can be meh. But really if the ribbons are good places 1-5 or 1-6 or however gets placed will feel pretty good.

    Best prizes I ever won: embroidered anything, tote bags, duffels, chairs, saddle pads, scrims, whatever! Lead ropes (can never have too many of those) I got a bridle bag, horsey houseware like plates or cups. Love cups or mugs! Little bags of treats to give to my wonderful horse.

    1. Aww, man... I already ordered "meh" ribbons! Now I'm going to have to step up my prizes!

      Thanks for the input, those are great ideas!

  2. My daughter got a hand painted mug and glass at Regionals last fall and they are gorgeous - of course, a horse is painted on them :)

    I would love a saddle pad or cooler. And I agree with L. Williams - a goodie bag for the winning horse would be sweet!

  3. Ooh, what a fun job!

    I know I'm not exactly your target audience, but... I love logo'd stuff. I've gotten tons of glasses and I use them all: coffee mugs, wine glasses, beer glasses, insulated plastic ice tea tumblers, etc., and those are pretty cheap. Endurance is big on ride tee-shirts, but yall would probably like saddle pads or hand towels instead. Or even wet wipes! Anything that I can use. Does the association have "colors"? Can you get lead ropes in those colors?

    Things I don't really like: coupons. Even if it's a vendor I usually shop at, I just never remember to dig out the slip of paper and put in the code. Treats - my pretty princess mare has definite tastes, and there's certain brands she just won't eat.

  4. I love quality prizes (nice saddle pads, etc) one of my favorites - mostly because I LOVE the product line - was a complete set of Cowboy Magic champoo/conditioner/detangler/whitener... I also LOVE leather product prizes - new leather halters, etc...

  5. My favorites were a hand towel with an embroidered horse and a folding chair with the show series on the back. I like t-shirts, too.

    I think that prizes are a nice touch and I like them better than ribbons in some ways. Ribbons get put away after a while, but functional prizes last and will remind your participants of how much they enjoyed the show experience.

  6. Neck ribbons, fleece coolers, embroidered stuff... I love things that I can use or set out that shows that I got first place!

  7. Definitely a great ribbon. Huge rosette and potentially neck ribbon. Prizes I have won and loved... coffee cup, glass beer mug, big ass ribbon. Prizes I would love to win... monogrammed fly bonnet w/show logo, cooler, saddle pad. I have no use for trophies/plaques/plates really.

  8. I love coffee mugs, travel mugs, tees anything I can take somewhere not horsey, but be reminded of my 'happy place'. Otherwise saddle pads,leads, things that can be used to spoil any horse.

  9. I second what others have said and add quality horse grooming products :)

    I guess it depends on what you are getting prizes for- since it's a local schooling show I don't think you need to go crazy but for year end something nice would be more appropriate - IMHO :)

  10. Ya know, I'll be frank here. The best prizes I every won were money.

    How about some gift certificates to stores or vendors that are available all over? Not just local places in case the competitors do not live near the showgrounds.

    You could attach the gift certificate to a bag of treats/carrots for the horse with maybe some kind of little memento--logo key chain, coffee cup, etc.

    The ribbons are always nice, but I have garbage bags full of them up in my attic and nothing to do with them all.

    Then again, I showed for like a hundred years.....*vbwg*

  11. Meant to add...I really like the new picture of you and Spider. It's a keeper!!

  12. I'm so used to NOT winning anything at shows that it doesn't really matter. However when they do give them out, everyone pays attention. However, when a show is KNOWN for giving great prizes, I go back and so do most other people. Don't get cheap little brushes, those are dumb and seem halfhearted, Pus most people have a million grooming tools. Best prize I ever got was a gorgeous halter. I still use it! At shows I've been at they also give away coolers, saddle pads and riding clothes for winners. I love that kind of stuff. One cheap prize I LOVE is treats! You can never have too many.

    1. I also second neck ribbons. I've won two in my life and even though they weren't firsts, I love them more than any other ribbon!!


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