I've signed up for a USDF rated show in March, with Taran. It's in Houston, about a 2.5 hour drive from me.
- Classes: $40/each, I show 2 per day (USDF allows up to 3). Add $10 for GAIC qualifier and $8 for SWDC qualifier, so add an extra $18 per day (highest test at each level is the qualifier, and I always sign up because I WILL go to the championships if I qualify, dammit). So total of $98 for two tests for one day.
- Show office fee: $35/day (can be up to $50/day, depending on the show)
- USDF drug fee: $16/day
- Total for the weekend: $298, would be $36 less if I didn't do the qualifiers.
- Stall fee: $120/weekend, plus $12/bag for shavings (I get 4 extras because Paddy likes a fluffy stall for his beauty rest, so another $48, and no you cannot bring your own)
- RV hookups: $50/night (x2 nights). It's not as expensive as a hotel room, but it's also not cheap. However, I do love having the ability to get food and take a nap right at the show.
- Total for the weekend: $268, would be less if I didn't get extra shavings or have RV hookups.
- Hauling: I have my own rig but let's face it, owning a rig is not cheap. I calculate that it costs me a minimum $1.00 per loaded mile every time I haul with it. If you're thinking that's a lot, it costs about $75 to fill it (38 gallons of diesel, and diesel is a whopping $1.79 right now), $80 each for 2 oil changes per year, roughly $500 in trailer maintenance per year (bearings, lights, and new tires every 4 years or so), and I just paid $2000 in repairs on my truck. So $1.00/mile is pretty reasonable if you consider the real costs of owning a rig. The show is about 300 miles round trip. So that's $300 to haul. Obviously in-town shows are cheaper for hauling, but they're still a good 30 miles from home, so the cost isn't negligible. If you want to cheat on this cost and just figure out fuel costs, it's probably $75, since I can make it there and back on 1 tank.
- Food: We usually bring most of our own food, but go out on Saturday night for dinner. So including groceries and one dinner out, about $100 for the weekend for 2 people. It seems expensive but do you know how much brie cheese and cider I can put away in a weekend???
- Total for the weekend: $400, would be MUCH less if I didn't do the $1/mile math or eat out. But I like food and I'm trying to be realistic about the costs of owning a rig.
Expenses you might have but I don't:
- Training: I've only had my trainer at one show this year, and our schedules didn't really work out for her to help me warm up. So no training fees, although they'd be $75/day if I did.
- Tack stalls: There are some shows where I would love to have one of these, but I'm cheap. They're about $110/weekend.
USDF rated shows aren't cheap. Even if you JUST include classes and stall fees (like for an in-town show), it's $466 (tack on an extra $80 if you choose to do the 3 rides per day that USDF allows). Add in the RV hookups, hauling, and food, and you're up to... gulp...
Dear hubby, I hope you're not reading this. :D