Show bill goofs can be nightmares

Equestrian event show bills are a key promotional tool for horse shows. They're not just for counting down till our own classes take place on the show grounds during actual events.

Yeah, we knew that.

Here’s what many people do not know about horse show bills.

These documents generally contain several essential points, and they need to be correct. Participants, attendees, and promoters rely on show bills for basic facts about upcoming horse shows.

Equestrians, riding instructors, horse trainers, tack sellers, traveling vendors and others pore over show bills to determine which events they choose to attend.

As an equestrian columnist, I frequently collect show bills as references (and often publishable images) for event roundup articles in our region.

Here’s what makes me tear out my hair, when it comes to show bills. I’d bet others agree.

Today I published one of my weekly event roundup pieces, including tons of show bills and event flyers for horse shows, training clinics, trail rides, and other horse happenings in our region.

Before completing my article, I spent an inordinate amount of time, patching holes in various horse show bills.

(My publisher doesn’t pay me enough to do that, but I have occasionally tried to help a few equestrian colleagues fill in the gaps. Still, because space is limited, the most unreadable or incomplete show bills are unlikely to make it into such articles at all.)

  1. One show bill indicated the event would be held on Saturday, the 8th. Unfortunately, June 8th falls on a Sunday this month.
  2. Two show bills did not list the locations at which the horse shows would be held.
  3. Three show bills included no street addresses for their event venues.
  4. Four show bills misspelled key words, such as “beginning,” “jackpot,” “sponsored,” and “Wednesday.”
  5. Five show bills omitted any contact telephone or email information.

Perhaps worst of all, far too many horse show bills contained so many lines of tiny type that they were nearly non-reproducible and almost undecipherable when published online.

This need not be so.

In fact, I recently wrote a book (published a few months ago) to help equestrian event hosts, managers, and publicists to draw participants to their horse happenings.

Having spent decades working in public relations and advertising with and for several major corporations (Abbott Laboratories, Bristol Myers, Caterpillar, ITW, Johnson Controls, etc.) and agencies, first as a PR executive and later as a freelancer/consultant, I couldn't stop focusing on ways professional business principles might help to increase visibility of events in the horse industry.

With this in mind, I broke down several of the most applicable areas, targeting them specifically for equestrian applications.

This book, titled 25 Top Tips for Promoting Your Equestrian Event: Get the Herd Out, covers many of these principles and even contains a chapter on creating show bills. That section includes a show bill checklist, making the process as simple and straightforward as possible.

25 Top Tips for Promoting Your Equestrian Event: Get the Herd Out is available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, and plenty of other booksellers.

Hope that helps.
Graphic created
by this user
from public domain clipart
Book cover artwork –
 From Gait House Press –
fair use

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