Eventing Horse Show Costs

Everyone else seems to be doing this and I find the posts really interesting to read so I figured why not join in.

USEA Membership: $85
Adult Rider Program for CA: $25 (I did this last year in order to go to camp, but did not this year as I don’t do any of the team competitions or other adult rider programs)
USEA Horse Registration: $40 (this is a lifetime limited registration so I paid it last year and didn’t have to do it again this year)

Rated Event
USEA Admin/Starter/D&M Fee: $21 (I don’t pay this if I do Intro)
Entry Fee: ~$230 (Most of the events I’ve been to are $230 for BN or Intro, but some are $255 and one of the Intros I am going to is only $200)

Stabling:~$150 (anywhere from $125-$160). This includes 1 bag of shavings.
Shavings: $10 a bag. Levi likes to turn his entire stall into a sh*t salad and I basically have to strip it and re-fill his stall every 1-2 days so I buy a lot of shavings. Usually $50-$60 for a weekend. Eugene is better behaved and goes through a more normal 3-4 bags of shavings.

Stalls come in various degrees of escape difficulty

Hotels are usually ~$150 per night. Luckily, because there are two of us competing, that’s more like $75 a night (if I think of it like splitting the hotel with a friend or barnmate). We do camp in our truck if the weather is nice, but if it’s too cold or hot, we get a hotel. My husband has also been working from the hotel on some of our trips and him getting a full day of work in more than makes up for the cost of a hotel. Woodside is nice for being 15 minutes from our house and we can stay at home.

This can be expensive. Since events in CA are often quite far away, we sometimes haul long distances. The truck and trailer are fully paid for, but wear and tear is a thing and repairs are costly. Our truck gets ~12 miles to the gallon when hauling. Gas in general and diesel in particular are expensive in CA.

Most of our recent events have involved my husband working an extra day and driving up separately in our car to meet me. Like the hotel cost, that one’s worth it for him to get a full day of work in, but it is an extra cost. I’m going to go with $0.50 a mile for a rough estimate.

To Fresno: ~300 mile round trip = $150
To Camelot: ~422 mile round trip = $211
To Twin Rivers: ~320 mile round trip = $160
To Woodside: ~30 mile round trip = $15

This averages out to about $150. (The average is technically $134, but Woodside is really skewing that. The median is $155 so I am calling it $150.) This cost is split for myself and my husband making it roughly $75 per person show. This doesn’t include the second car or the driving back and forth from lodging so it’s most likely an underestimate.

What can I say; we’re suckers for media. We spend way too much on this category.
Videos: RideOnVideo is at most of the rated events in our area. If they are there, we will purchase the package. It’s $150 each with a multi-horse discount of $25 for a reduced total of $275 or $137.50 each.
Photography: The ride photographer in our area offers a really affordable package of $75 each for high res digital copies of all pictures. They offer a $10 off the second horse deal which brings the total to $140 or $70 each.

Worth it
(PC MGO Photography – used with purchase)

Where We Save Money
We clean our own stalls and feed our own horses. Kate or her working student will throw them their morning hay if we’re getting there later, but we usually don’t pay for any stall services. At Camelot, we paid two girls who were fundraising to clean and do morning feeding, but that was more to support them than any need on our part. We do all of our own braiding, grooming, tacking, etc.
A lot of people are including food in their totals, but honestly, we eat out a lot at home. Being away doesn’t really change the cost of us living for us.

Average costs for one event:
Entry Fees: $250
Stabling (including shavings): $200
Lodging: $200
Transportation: $75
Media: $200
Total: $925

This is a per person cost and we’re often both showing so double that.

I’m not including training costs because I’m not going to discuss Kate’s fees online. Kate is very affordable though and I lump what we pay her for show training into our training/lessons budget. We also still attend some events without a trainer.

14 thoughts on “Eventing Horse Show Costs

  1. Dom

    I love seeing everyone do these posts. It is a bit depressing since I keep toying with the idea of getting another endurance horse (until I remember that I can’t afford to do endurance unless I catch ride). Eventing would be more doable since we have events locally, but the costs of the competition itself are so much greater! The bottom line seems to be that all horse sports are super pricey!!! I love seeing how everyone makes it work with their budget!

    1. Olivia Post author

      Horses in general are pricey. I don’t know that there’s any cheap way to do them. Endurance seems much more affordable than eventing to me, but you do need to be willing to drive long distances. Just reading about how far you drive to catch ride makes me twitchy. I wouldn’t want to haul my horses that far. But then, I hate driving. I do miss endurance though.

  2. nadsnovik

    When I travel with my trainer, in her trailer, my costs are about $1000 to an event thats about 10 hours away. Plus I pay for a lesson and warm up. But, I skip the hotel and stay in my tent, using her LG in the trailer. It is a ridiculously expensive weekend!

    1. Olivia Post author

      10 hours away! Oh my gosh. I don’t think I could do that on the regular. I’m impressed you keep the costs down as well as you do with that sort of mileage.

  3. Suzy

    Lol I prefer the head in the sand approach – I’ve managed to convince myself that the entry fee is the cost, and everything else is “incidental.”

    1. Olivia Post author

      That’s how I generally do it and adding it all up was kinda scary. Of course, this doesn’t even include all the additional expenses that I am still counting as incidental like all the tack or fly spray or clothing or whatever I inevitably order in the weeks leading up to a show when I decide I need something new/better.

    1. Olivia Post author

      Seriously though. All that for maybe one ribbon is a b*tch. I do love a good ribbons spree at a H/J show.

  4. the_everything_pony

    I’ve loved reading these posts! It’s giving me a great go-to for me to think about the costs of competing if Amber and I can get to that next year. Yeah you guys gravel far! That’s probably one of your biggest expenses – gas. With prices going up, my diesel is getting ouchier to fill too. It’s so cool though to see how it does differ between disciplines, areas and venues!

  5. KC Scott

    I feel you at the fuel pump. My truck has a 32 gal tank, and most pumps around here cut off at $75/$90/$100, which doesn’t fill it up!

    CA events are a bit more expensive than here. Around NC, most entries for recognized shows are $180-$200, and unrecognized are about $150. Stalls here run around $125-$160. I camp in my trailer, which saves a lot of fuel/lodging costs, and usually am charged $30-$40/night.

    1. Olivia Post author

      It’s nice the events themselves are cheaper in NC. I don’t know why ours are so high. Our next trailer will have either an LQ or at least be insulated so that we can stay in it when it’s hot or cold. Right now we can only camp in ideal conditions.

    1. Olivia Post author

      Have you always been part of a training barn? I’ve never done it that way myself. It’s part of why I’ve been enjoying these posts and seeing how other people do it.

Comments are closed.