What happens at a live show?

Foothills Live Show, 2009

Be sure to arrive at the venue at the specified opening time of the show hall, which will normally allow at least an hour (or more) prior to the start of the first class. Introduce yourself to the show host, and find a table to set up your models on. Most shows allow entrants to choose their own table, though it`s a good idea to check with anyone who has arrived before you to see that the table hasn`t been reserved for someone else. Once set up, you`ll soon find yourself chatting to other competitors as they arrive - don`t be afraid to introduce yourself! If you like, you can display your name or stable name somewhere on your person or your entrant table to help others identify you.

You`ll need to unpack your models, laying them down on the table (which you should cover with the towel or blanket), and attach each model`s name or number tag as specified by the show rules. If the show has performance classes first up, tack up those models ready for the first few classes if you didn`t tack them prior to packing. Performance showing is time consuming, so these classes are usually held at the start of the show so everyone has plenty of time to tack up.

When the first class is called, take any models that you have entered in those classes to the specified judging ring, set down the model then step away from the ring and wait for the judging to be completed. While you are welcome to look at the other entries, make sure that you give the judge plenty of room by keeping a good distance from the table when judging is in progress.

Remove your models when advised by the steward or judge, and take them back to your table. Keep an eye on the judging rings and your ears open for announcements during the day. Be sure to congratulate other competitors, and above all enjoy yourself!

At the end of the day, pack up your models ready for the journey home, and offer to help with the tidying up of the show hall/house if you are able. Thank the show host before you leave too. Results are normally typed up and sent to each competitor after the show.

Live Show Etiquette

This is a very basic overview to etiquette at a live show. If you would like to read more, you can read Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig`s guide (written for the US hobby) at http://www.modelhorsegallery.info/library/LiveShowEtiquette.htm

  • Good sportsmanship is a given at all live shows. Be polite to all judges, volunteers, judges and the show host, and to all entrants and other guests at the show.
  • Be quick and courteous when taking your horses to and from the show rings. Keep your ears open for when the steward or judge calls for rings to be cleared.
  • Respect the judge. They are volunteering their time and knowledge (often without payment) to judge YOUR models. Understand that judging is based on opinion as well as knowledge. No two judges will judge a class exactly the same.
  • Do not run around the hall, and be extremely careful when passing by any entrant`s tables or the show rings.
  • Never touch a model owned by someone else unless you have their permission. This includes moving horses in the show ring.
  • Don`t criticise someone`s model. If you don`t like it, keep your thoughts to yourself.
  • Make sure you have read and understood the show`s rules thoroughly. Ask any questions before the show. If a show asks for documentation or explanations with performance entries, remember to put them with your entry in the show ring before judging has commenced.
  • If you want to ask a judge a question, wait until they have finished judging. Do not interrupt them, and be quick and polite while you have their attention.
  • Remember that the show is not all about you. If you do not place as well as you had hoped, don`t let it affect your mood. Be happy for the person who won.
  • If you have a problem with the way a class was judged, or an issue with another entrant, tell the show host quietly and discretely. They are the only person who can do something to help resolve the problem. Sulking will not help.
  • Thank the host, staff, volunteers and the judges before leaving. They worked hard for you and it`s good to acknowledge them for it. Don`t forget your newly found friends and table neighbours, too!
  • Remember that no show is perfect. Some hosts like to hear thoughts and feedback on the day. It`s good practise to send this, along with a thank you note, a day or two after the show once everyone has recovered. Keep your feedback polite, and remember that a show host runs a show for YOU. Don`t act ungrateful for all their hard work to run the show.
  • Take time out at the show to check out all the beautiful models owned by other people. Live shows are often the only place you`ll be able to see unique one-of-a-kind pieces, so take the time to appreciate them!
  • Waiting for a class or division? Chat to your neighbour or someone else. It`s easy to strike up a new friendship because you already have one thing in common: model horses!