May 5, 2010
Itís Show Time!
Copyright © 2010 Robin Brueckmann
So the daffodils are up and the grass needs mowing. It must be time for the spring shows! Itís time to gather your paperwork and make sure that you have the information in order so that your visit to the show secretaryís office to check in is smooth and painless.
Make sure that your Coggins test is current. That seems so basic, but too often last yearís Coggins expires at just the most inconvenient time. When your horse gets his spring shots, get a new Coggins pulled too.
Is your horse registered with USDF and USEF? If not, itís time to get that done. You can do this online now, which is painless and quick. If you are not a hard-core dressage competitor, you can get an HIDóHorse Identification Number. You will need to do this for both USEF and USDF. Again, you can do this online. You can get your horse registered with both organizations either year-by-year or lifetime. If you plan to show the horse for several years, itís cost-effective to get him lifetime registered. It will also be important if you ever wish to sell him. Getting that lifetime registration is one less thing that you have to remember every spring, and Iím all about uncomplicating my life.
You need to check your own memberships as well. If you are a member of a GMOóGroup Member Organizationóthat will provide you with enough of a USDF membership to show with, but if you want to go to Regional Championships you will need to be a Participating Member. At any rate, you will need to have a regular (junior or senior) membership with USEF. Some areas of the country want your GMO membership number as well, so make sure that membership is current too. If you are an amateur, you will need to get an Amateur Card from USEF, for which there is no charge in addition to your membership. You will need to provide a copy of the Amateur Card with your entry if you enter Amateur classes.
Once you have your USEF and USDF paperwork in order, go to eqverification.org to get it all printed out on one piece of paper. Organizers like this much better than a fistful of copies of all your membership cards. You will need to send your membership verification in with your entry.
If you want to enter a freestyle, you will have to include a copy of a test sheet documenting a score of 58% or higher, either from the highest test of the level of your freestyle, or any test at a higher level.
Now to the entry form itself. Have a copy of the prize list in front of you. Choose the classes you want to enter. Make sure to look up the entry fee for each class; some classes may have higher entry fees than others. If you want your ride to be eligible for qualifying for Regional Championships, you will need to include an extra $10 per qualifying class.
Make sure to fill out the entire entry form, starting with the show name and date. Many organizers are responsible for multiple shows, and you donít want your entry to go into the file for a completely different show. Fill in your horseís name exactly as it appears on his USDF and USEF registration. Donít use nicknames or abbreviations. In the same vein, fill in your own name as it appears on your USEF and USDF membership cards. If you use your maiden name sometimes and your married name sometimes, you will have trouble at the secretaryís office and your horse may not get credit for his efforts. For example, Mary J. Smith and Mary Jones-Smith are completely different people as far as computers are concerned. Donít let confusion happen if you can avoid it.
When you fill in your horseís description, use common abbreviations. I judged a Haflinger horse recently who was listed in the program as Black. I was pretty sure that the rider had entered the horse as Bl for Blonde, but in most of the country Bl stands for Black. The same idea goes for breed abbreviations. If itís important to you to indicate the breed association, you can do that: AWS and AWR are two different American Warmblood associations; And and PRE both indicate Andalusian horses. Dutch horses may be listed as Dutch, KWPN, or KWPN-NA. Show secretaries prefer that you use simple abbreviations if possible.
If you are the owner-rider-trainer of the horse, make sure to fill in all the spaces. Conversely, if these are different individuals fill in for each one separately. On the back of the entry form, there are separate releases for owner, rider, trainer and coach. Each box requires a signature. Writing ďSameĒ is not sufficient. If your horse has an absentee owner, you can sign the entry form as Agent, but there must be signatures for owner, rider, and trainer, and for coach if you will have someone coaching you who is not your trainer. These are legal forms, and everyone who signs obtains legal responsibility for that particular role.
Back to the front of the entry form, fill in the classes you want to enter. Double-check the class number and the name of the class, as well as division if that is applicable (junior/young rider, amateur, open). Include the office fee, number fee, association fee (drugs and medication), stabling fee, and camping fee if applicable. If there is a ship-in fee put that in the place of the stabling fee if you are shipping in. Golf cart rental? Make sure you put it down, with the appropriate fee.
If you want to order extra bedding, follow the directions on the prize list. Sometimes this goes on the entry form, and sometimes itís separate.
Subtotal your class fees, and then add in the other fees. Double-check your math. Check it again. Write the check, and then make sure you have included all those different pieces of paper to go with your entry. Drive to the post office, pay the extra postage, and then go to the barn to ride and get yourself and your horse ready for a fun and rewarding show!