Cost of competing

I'm jumping on the blog hop bandwagon, since I find it so interesting how much things cost between countries.

Most of the competitions in America seem prohibitively expensive to me. From what I understand about the UK is the cost of competing is similar to here, but I have no idea what the costs are to compete over on the East coast of Australia. I have a feeling it will be similar.

Here in WA we have 2 main equestrian bodies for English-based sports: Equestrian Western Australia (EWA), and the Pony Club Association of Western Australia (PCAWA). Both these bodies have separate insurance and if you want to participate in both you have to buy 2 types of insurance. FYI, all costs are in Australian $$$!

I have to buy competitor insurance for EWA since I compete at 95. That sets me back $418pa and covers me 24/7 for any horse activity.

Because I have EWA insurance my PCAWA insurance is $55, which only covers me at events/training days. I have both since PC events and training days are cheap, local and good training opportunities. EA events are generally more expensive and less frequent. Having both gives me flexibility.

Coolie is registered for life with EWA, at a one off cost of $155. Once Hen gets up to the 95 mark, I will have to register him too which come with additional vet costs for micro chipping.


The event entry fee is about $110 for 95. It costs more the higher you go.

Then we have an EWA levy of $25 per event. This gets re-invested back into equipment/ground maintenance which benefits all competitors.

Most places charge a ground fee usually between $10 and $20.

For me, most events work out at about $150 to ride. I don't have to add anything additional to this cost but when I take both horses I usually get a  yard for Henry. That's about $20 per event, but only events that we camp at. Coolie gets the float yards so that is free.

Show jumping

Prices vary between EWA and PCAWA events but is between $15 and $20 per round.
We have to pay a levy at most places and a $10 ground free.

These shows cost me about $50-$60 to do 2 rounds of SJ.


Again prices vary, but i am cheap and wont pay over $30 for a test. For official EWA shows it's about $45 per test plus other costs and it's too much for me!

For PC comps, it's about $27.50 at most competitions, then a $10 ground fee.

Mostly I go to places where I dressage and SJ. I pay under $100 per competition.

All the photos I buy are an additional cost I will happily pay!

Additional costs

Diesel costs vary depending on how far we go. Most events are within a 2 hour radius and I go through a tank to get there and home. That's about $100. Local shows are around 20-40 minutes away and I don't know how much they cost because they are just part of daily driving.

We BYO food to events, usually sharing with friends so that keeps the costs under $100.
Lets face it, I BYO cake...
I find it weird how so many people ride with their coaches at events, especially in America. Blows my mind. Most of us fly solo here unless you ask, or your coach just happens to be there. It is different at higher grades but for the most part we are on our own. I am so glad it's not a cost I have to consider.

All up I think an away from home event costs me about $300 without cutting any costs. It's not cheap but I think it makes competing very accessible for most people.


  1. it's never cheap with horses, is it? but then again it's so worth it ;) seems like your costs might not be too too different from mine - but then again i don't do anything recognized or rated, which cuts wayyyy back on fees here in the states.

    1. Heh, I refuse to add too many things up for fear of heart failure. Wouldn't change it for the world though.

      You guys really do seem to have a lot of choice about how and where you compete.

      I am really curious though, how many classes do you guys have at events? And how many people in each class? I can only imagine you have a lot more people competing than we do.

    2. In California we average 240 entries per event, with obviously MANY more entries for some shows than others. Usually there are more entries for more levels shown (but some facilities are just a lot more popular than others). The show I run (a one day that happens twice a year) usually gets around 110 entries for Intro, BN, N, Training, and Prelim. That's about 22 people per division. We split junior/open.

      At bigger venues you'll get 420 entries, and there will bee 40 or even 80 riders in one division (say, Training level), and that will be split to 4 classes -- Jr, Amateur Rider, Training Horse, Open.

      There aren't as many choices out in California. We have 9 venues spread across about 900 km. We even have mileage rules that mean that events can't overlap dates within certain miles. I think it's different out East because it's much denser on the East coast.

      I can't imaging going to a show without a trainer! I didn't grow up riding, and have probably been to fewer than 20 shows all told, so I definitely still need my hand held. Just knowing that I have someone there to problem solve with me and help me through a shitty warm up is really helpful!

    3. I can't imagine 400 people at one event! We probably get about 250 at our events, that run from 65cm to 3*. Way more people in the lower classes, often we split the classes into 2, plus the juniors. There are often no more than 10 riders in the 2* & 3* classes.

      I always imagined all of America to have a lot more events than we do, but I am coming to realise just how lucky we are. We have at least 12 official eventing dates per year, all within a roughly 200km radius of Perth. Then we have other pony club events statewide, but mostly the southern area of the state. Not enough people up north really.

      It would be handy sometimes to have my coach at events, but it's just not a thing here even when you start out. If you're lucky you might have a knowledgeable friend who can show you the ropes. My coach did have a group of us at our first event where she ran through everything with us but after that we were on our own.


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