As part of an effort to improve the reining industry, Pro Management and Global Reining Sport Group partnered to put on a show management seminar at the Tulsa Reining Classic that was open to the public. The mission of the seminar, held Aug. 30, was to take the beginning steps in allowing show managers to learn from each other about the necessities of the reining horse show industry.
“Our experience has shown over many years that because of the budget factor, work load and demands in this industry, it continues to be harder and harder for affiliates to run the horse shows on a volunteer basis,” said Colleen McQuay, of Global Reining Sport Group. “Basically this seminar really is just the beginning of creating a system allowing managers to network their ideas and issues.”
“The increasingly challenging environment impacts all horse shows,” noted Cheryl Cody, of Pro Management, Inc. “Making wise and exhibitor-friendly decisions is going to be the key for longevity.”
The attendees of the seminar were able to address issues within their specific regions as well as discuss solutions to those obstacles.
“I wanted to come to learn more ways to grow our show, get sponsors and other people’s views,” said Valerie Vernon, secretary of the Eastern Plains Reining Horse Association, who attended the seminar. “The big thing that Colleen was talking about was sharing our resources, and I’m a true believer in a professional show management.”
With the growth of the sport of reining, show management teams, whether they are volunteers or professionals, are subject to bigger demands than in years past. In response to the rise, McQuay said the industry is also seeing an increase in the need for professional show management teams.
One of those teams is Michele and Shawn Flarida, of the Buckeye Reining Series in Ohio. Michele said the initiative to begin the Buckeye Reining Series came out of necessity. A group of seven couples, including the Flaridas, got together to promote reining, because in their area of Ohio there was a lack of reining involvement. The business has surged in only its second year.
Michele was able to attend the seminar via conference call and said the decision to do so was an important one to her and her team.
“I think good ideas breed other good ideas, and I don’t think there was anyone better to learn from than Colleen, because of everything she’s done for the industry,” Michele said. “I think it was important to get together, because what works for her there might be something that would work for us here and vice versa. Maybe more importantly is sharing what doesn’t work to avoid any pitfalls and mistakes we might encounter.”
Ultimately, the success of the industry was by far the focus.
“I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more [professional show management groups begin], which I think is a good thing,” McQuay said. “Affiliates can certainly always be involved in their regions, but the demand of our sport now is very difficult to meet with strictly a volunteer staff which commonly rotates from year to year.”