Addressing concerns from participants at the 2023 World Show

FROM Dini Swanson WDAA Executive Director,

Addressing concerns from participants at the 2023 World Show.

#1 Over the years we have received feedback from exhibitors about the location of our World Show, mostly positive, but I’d like to address some concerns and hopefully clarify our position.

  • Location

Guthrie, Oklahoma is the closest facility to the center of the country that our show will fit in.

Switching coasts is very expensive, and it is nearly impossible to book venues every other year. There is a reason many shows that used to do this do not anymore. Volunteers are hard to come by and building a local team is very important. Moving equipment to different locations, plus storage add to costs. Building relationships with hotels, etc. takes time and they count on having you come back every year, that is the best way to get the best rates.

  • Availability

September – October is the best time of year for a championship. With our entries coming from Canada, New England, Florida, Michigan, California, Washington State, etc. earlier can be dangerously hot and later can mean snowstorms for our Northern competitors.

Most venues all over the country are booked solid during the fall months, many years in advance.

  • Capacity

Over the years many different venues have been investigated but none have met our requirements. Our exhibitors are used to showing in covered arenas, require nice RV parking, affordability, safety for horses, exhibitors, and equipment, etc.

Currently at the Lazy E we use 2 large indoor/covered arenas each holding 2 courts. This only requires us to have 2 teams to run the show. If we were to spread out each court to a separate arena that would require another team to run it, which would increase expense, and require showing outdoors at most other venue options.

  • Venue attributes

The Lazy E offers such a unique setting, the beauty and useability of the facility is hard to beat. The lake, trees, trails, and grassy areas provide a wonderful, relaxing experience for both horse and rider. We are constantly working with the Lazy E staff to improve the exhibitor experience. The Lazy E has stall repair scheduled throughout 2024.

  • Entry limits

2023 was our largest show ever, much larger than we were expecting, any issues with footing were due to the lack of time to work the arenas properly. We will set a maximum entry limit in 2024 so make sure to get your entries in early. Horse shows do sell out, it is rare, whether it is stall availability, or time allotment, it can happen. We always bend over backwards to fit as many entries in as possible, but there is never a guarantee of a spot for everyone in a show.  

#2 Exhibitor hospitality at the World Show.

  • Most shows, local, regional, national or world, do not provide no-fee parties for their exhibitors, particularly without a sponsor. After researching other championship shows, we found large parties were always sponsored. Our exhibitors party on Friday night usually costs over $8,000.00. Which is considered very low nationally.
  • This year we were lucky enough to have Pepper Creek Equine Center sponsor the preshow Welcome Pizza Party for exhibitors, and the American Warmblood Society and Sporthorse Registry sponsor the Costume Freestyle Cocktail Party.
  • In order to provide top notch hospitality, we must have more sponsorship from participants and corporate sponsors. If you attended any event at the World Show, please consider supporting the show with sponsorships.
  • We are deeply grateful to ALL our 2023 sponsors and buyers at the silent auctions and commemorative buckle drawing. Horse shows are very rarely wholly financed by entry fees alone, all extras are covered by sponsorships. Our World Show is well known nationally for outstanding exhibitor hospitality. We offer an unheard of 4 hospitality events at no cost to the exhibitors.
  • We must keep in mind that shows rarely occur where top notch restaurants and catering are located. Feeding large groups of people at the same time is difficult in any instance, but doing so out of a concession stand kitchen is an even bigger challenge. Most venues require you to use their in-house caterers.
  • This year we were forced to move our Saturday evening Awards Ceremony to the outdoor arena picnic area. We have such a huge attendance at that event we no longer fit in the indoor event space. What a great problem to have, so many people wanting to celebrate together!!
  • The World Show staff and officials are aware that exhibitors are exhausted after a long show. The show secretary’s office works tirelessly to finalize results so the ceremony can begin as soon after the last ride as possible. Some of the awards we have are a bit unusual and take extra time to calculate and track. We begin the ceremony the minute we receive the final list of awards. 
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