Show season is upon us! Finally!
Coming from the experience of working behind the doors of the show office, it certainly gives you a different perspective of the show world. In it you find the hustle and bustle of the stressed exhibitors, the backend work of running the show smoothly, and overall making sure that everyone is having a great and safe time. We wanted to shed some light on how you can help yourself (and the show staff) come this uncharted show season.
1. Do NOT, and I repeat, do NOT yell at your office staff
Firstly, like was stated, this is uncharted territory. Never before have we faced a pandemic that has caused our entire nation to shut down. It is only fair to comply to the protocols that the state and local governments are putting in place for your saftey. Let's be thankful that we are allowed to get back in the pen.
We all know that sometimes we can get a bit flustered and let's be even more honest, a little crazy when it comes to show time. Don't take it out on the show staff if things get a bit sticky with the protocols put in place. Take a pause and remember we are all in this together.
2. Don't be offended by the showbill
The cliche saying "things change" is relevant here. Things do change, look at our world now! Showbills are the same way. In these times, show managers have to think about what is best for the show AND how to keep following any protocols that had to be put in place to host the show. This could limit the amount of stalls that can be sold, distance from other exhibitors, really anything at all.
What is most important to remember here is to support your local open and breed show associations so that they can continue to host shows that you love.
3. Ring Stewards are IMPORTANT
There is a reason that every successful show has a great ring steward. They give you the directions specifically from the judge on where you can line up, exit, and begin. Listening to your ring steward is of utmost importance when we begin showing. Need we mention the word 'protocol' again?
4. You guessed it, Gate Keepers are important, too
It's repetitive, but still important. Gate keeping is the first half of keeping the show running smoothly and efficiently. They call for exhibitors, check them in, run them in the gate, or close the gate if the exhibitor is taking their time.
The gate keeper gets the hustle going.
5. Be a great exhibitor
This one may encompass a lot, but it is sort of like being a decent human being.
If you know what classes you are going to enter by default, do it. Especially if the show team is needing you to make entries via email, text message, Facebook message, or online to keep the show office with minimum traffic due to social distancing. Do not wait till the last minute to enter.
Likewise, if you need to scratch a class, own it. Unless your horse got injured, own your scratch and carry on.
Be a good neighbor to your stall aisle buddies. Don't leave your junk in the middle of the aisle way, don't block their stalls, and try not to get too rambunctious. Remember to keep that social distancing.
This also goes for your pets. Keep them on a leash if they are not trained to heel. While most dogs are child & other dog friendly, some are not and you risk your pet getting injured.
Lastly, before you complain, have you volunteered?
These are all simple steps we can take when entering back into the show pen! Let's have fun and enjoy our horses