Aside World Magazine
Summer 2020 Issue
5 Things to Know About Virtual Horse Shows
Article By Pie Truono and Tammie Conway
To say that 2020 has been a unusual year is an understatement. In fact, this year has been crazy to say the least and everyone is trying to figure out things on the fly. With the spread of COVID-19 shows were brought to a screeching halt around March/April and are still not fully back up and running depending on where you live so the horse community has had to get a little creative to get our showing fix and lets face it, help preserve our sanity! Their have been an influx of all things virtual: clinics, meetings, lessons, and you guessed it- shows. These shows range from photograph to ridden and are taking place world wide. Some people were allowed to ride during "lockdown" while others were not or opted to not ride to decrease potential burden on hospitals in the unfortunate event that someone were to get hurt. This led to a large series of on-line virtual shows popping up - some great, some not-so great but they all have some things in common which is what we are here to talk about and give some pointers. Even though virtual shows appear to be winding down, several continue including ISSO's. As members, hopefully you were aware and able to participate in our Spring Virtual Horse Show but if not, don't worry, we have two more opportunities coming up (the Summer show in August and Fall show in October or November).
This is probably more of an endeavor of do as we say not as we do... but here goes:
5 Tips you may want to consider when venturing into the world of Virtual/On-line Horse Showing:
Be Organized!! The easiest way to stay organized is to start an Excel spreadsheet or write down in one place a list of each show you are entering. You should include classes entered (along with each horse if more then one), close dates, contact person, any rules specific to that show, and PayPal addresses. This also is a good way to remember when to check back on placings and track your winnings so you can get your points into ISSO within the 30 day post event deadline! We would hate for you to miss out on points for year end awards because of a deadline!
Get a PayPal account if you don't already have one! Most shows are using this method for payment. Some shows are doing free contests but then if you win a ribbon you will need to still pay shipping and handling so PayPal would still be needed. A few shows are doing bank transfers as well but given most shows are in the UK it is much more expensive then just having a PayPal account which seems to be the universal method accepted.
Know the Rules! Some shows are US based but a majority are UK based so if you are from the opposite side of the pond it behooves you to investigate what rules and terms are used for classes before you enter a show. If in doubt, most of the shows are happy to explain or send you clarification of their rules if you shoot them a private message. Some shows also have very specific instructions on how to enter classes, what to write/attach to photos/submissions, what to add to PayPal comments, etc.
Photos- gather all your photos into files on your phone or computer to make them easy to retrieve. Make sure you have bought the photo rights/have permission to use them. Remember NEVER use any photos with watermarks! This is steeling from the photographer so at the least you are doing a disservice to someone's business (most of the time these are small/local businesses and we want to see them survive so that they can take more photos in the future) and worse case you could get in trouble if they want to press the matter. Make collages when appropriate of popular classes so that you can reuse them and save you time in the future. There are free apps if your phone or photo programs do not have that option.
Have Fun!! This is the least stressful way to show and is a great way to take your mind off of current events and remember past and present ponies/horses that touched you along your journey. If wanted, you can also make new memories with your current equine partner(s) by doing new photoshoots if you have the time and resources. Some classes are even just for those that crossed over the rainbow bridge and it's a nice way to keep them alive at heart!
No matter what you do, we hope that this article can help you in some way if you decide to join the community of on-line virtual showing! Stay safe and hope to see you soon in the ring!