Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Tri-State (IA, WI, IL) area
I've only shown at a local level, but we get some "nice" prizes here - end of the year shows have a saddle (just a regular saddle... it's not customized or anything) for the top point earner, Champion/Grand Champions get customized wooden tack boxes and a trophy, places 1-6 get ribbons and/or prize money... things like that. And we pay $15 for a whole days' show (with the exception of a few bigger shows held.)
However... I'd have to say that I really prefer the prize money or ribbons. I got a trophy and tack box once (for Bandit's weanling halter class), and a friend of mine has gotten the saddle two years on a row, and they're nice, but the cash goes a lot further than a piece of fabric or metal. I use the tack box a lot -- I actually have two, but I can't remember where the other one came from -- for storage and such.
My friend who got the saddles... she went out and sold them. For a fair price, but the problem with a saddle is that it's just such a personal thing. You have a specific seat size, tree size, and look that you like/need, and chances are, that prize saddle isn't it.