Adding modified to an existing venue

. We are a smaller-ish venue usually having 110 at our recognized. I am taking over as secretary next year and have ideas, one of which is adding a modified. We are currently starter to Prelim. We have a jump graveyard and some talented professional jump builders. We also have a water complex that I want to bring up to speed but that is another thread. I was reading on the other thread that some felt that a modified division didn’t bring in any additional riders which somewhat makes me sad. We are wanting to plump our venue up numbers wise.

I feel the fact that dressage and stadium is on grass is a negative. There is also talk of adding a level above prelim (1*?). To me, if you are going to run a 1*, sand would be nice or is grass common in the upper levels in other parts of the country?

2 Likes

A 1* is a Modified CCI. A 2* is a Prelim CCI. Adding FEI levels adds a whole new level of complexity and expense so I would be wary of doing it without a ton of rider support to make sure it’s worth it. Adding regular Modified would be a lot simpler but it’s hard to know how many entries it would bring in without knowing your area very well… It’s very popular here in Area 2 (although the 1* is not, likely because it’s not necessary for qualification for a 2*).

3 Likes

I think the comment about Modified not bringing in new riders was in Area II where there are already a fair number of events with modified. If you would be one of the only events in your area with Modified, I think it would bring in new entrants.

Several of the smaller venues in MD/VA run through Prelim on grass - it’s certainly not out of the ordinary.

3 Likes

I volunteer at a venue in the heart of Area 2 that runs all 3 phases on grass, starter up through I. There are plenty of other local event options, but it’s known to be a good venue for a lower-level move-up and people turn out. This fall there were 250ish entries. For comparison, Area 2 Champs (venues are <30 min apart) drew 315ish a month later at a venue with nice fiber footing.

I think it’s all about finding your niche. Are you the friendly event where newbies and move-ups will have a great experience? Are you the place with the best competitor party? Are you the venue with the best footing? The only venue offering modified? (Adding FEI sounds like a huge headache to me, but if that’s what your market wants…)

1 Like

Here in Area 1, for years most recognized events hosted dressage and stadium on grass. It has only been in the last ten or so years that I’ve seen a trend towards competitors pushing organizers for venues with a dressage and SJ ring.

Grass should be a non-issue on all three phases, but I do hear from time to time people complaining at various venues about how they didn’t do well in dressage or SJ “because it was on grass”.

Have you heard from your community that they are unhappy with SJ and dressage on grass?

In that regard, I’m a real hard-ass and have zero empathy with this crowd. I did dressage on the grass at Stoneleigh in the fall… 'Nuff said. (for those that aren’t familiar with Stoneleigh: it was an A1 event that ran spring, summer, fall. The courses were always great for the level and it went over some good terrain and woods. In NE in the fall, it would get muddy especially because a huge portion of the XC was backed up to a major interstate and when it rained the water runoff would leach into the field. Competitors wouldn’t go to it because they didn’t want to “slog through mud” on all three phases – aaaand, we lost the venue because of these competitors… So… Yeah. ).

I would not change any thing your first show. I would use your first show as a gauge to measure the pulse of your community and figure out if Modified is needed in your area/market. Some FB posts or email blasts would help gauge rider responses as well – but I think that social media makes everyone say they are interested and/or going and then when the day comes there are crickets.

I agree with Findthedistance – try to find your niche crowd. Modified would be a welcome addition here in A1, but in NoVA and MD and even NC and SC there are so many modified options that I think adding another purely for the attendance would not draw the crowd one would hope. IIRC, you are out west, right?

3 Likes

No, we are smack dab in the middle of the country. Queeny Park in St Louis has a modified but no higher. They are 4 hours away and usually only have 3-4 modified riders at a show. another issue is we have a second horse park locally that has permanent stalls, a nice water complex and a large sand arena for stadium and dressage. The park where we are at will not allow any permanent structures so we are always temp stalls and grass.

1 Like

And while getting a 2* together may be a huge undertaking, we certainly have the riders here who will tackle it and it will be the only one in the midwest (?). The powers that be who run it are motivated to do it. I feel morally we also need a modified. I am a lowly secretary but I am enthusiastic and committed to this venue and am friends with the group running it.

3 Likes

Before I moved to Area III two years ago, I was in Area VIII (Indiana). I would absolutely have traveled extra for a modified; being on grass would be fine. There are so few venues doing it (IEA, Queeny Park are the only two I can think of) and the big KHP events haven’t added it. I know a lot of folks that are looking for a path to move up in that area and it’s hard to find a “friendly” prelim, so another modified would be great. For a 2*, a lot of folks plan on Hagyard in October but that is probably out of range for the “west” midwest. FEI would be a lot harder than modified I would think but I’ve only helped run a National (USEA) HT, so don’t know about FEI organization.

1 Like

I know we talked earlier today, but I 100% would love a Modified at the event!

And I got your great text! I will pass on to the powers that be. Thanks again!

1 Like

If you build it…they will come :slight_smile:

1 Like

There has been talk of FRVPC adding Modified in Area IV as well in addition to the 2*. I definitely think they are both good things to offer for the area even though it obviously means more $$ and work to put on.

1 Like

Where in area 4?

Barrington (suburb of Chicago) - FRVPC HT

1 Like