Horse show app? - The Horse Forum
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  • 1 Post By carshon
  • 1 Post By QtrBel
  • 1 Post By ACinATX
  • 3 Post By ClearDonkey
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-22-2020, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Horse show app?

Hey all,

So I'm organizing our regional sanctioned horse show this year. Don't ask me how I went from newbie 5 years ago to organizing a show in the middle of a pandemic... the things horse parents do for their kids!

Of course the pandemic makes things much more complicated. Luckily our shows are small, with 30 some competitors normally. The show is on a 55 acre property with a large area for parking horse trailers, a large warm-up area away from the main ring, and the main ring itself. However, to avoid people clustering and make everything run as smoothly as possible under these difficult circumstances, I thought we might use technology to provide updates throughout the day. Someone by the judge's booth could be ticking off classes as they finish so competitors know when they'll be on. Competitors in each class could be listed as they are announced. You get the idea. I'm sure there's some kind of app out there that does this. I'm not terribly tech-savvy, so if you would all be so kind as to share your suggestions with me, I'd appreciate it. Ideally a free app that all competitors can use without having do download anything. The only other alternative is a PA system, but it's really not practical over 55 acres. Surely big venues must use something more high-tech.
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 10:09 AM
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The only think I can think of would be a group chat on SnapChat or a group text. A horse show App sounds expensive since it is such a niche request.
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post #3 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 10:30 AM
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We use a group text to organize and direct those monitoring jumps on cross country courses during shows. I'd think it could work especially if there are not too many or you could divide by class.. Remind (free app) also works well.
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Last edited by QtrBel; 06-23-2020 at 10:57 AM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 10:38 AM
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I tend to leave my phone behind whenever I can, and I never ride with it. I may be in the minority on that, I don't know. But if I'm not, and even if I am, then aren't you running the risk of excluding a certain amount of people if you plan on doing your announcements via phone?
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 11:21 AM
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I have yet to be at any show that uses anything other than a PA system.

One thing I would do that horse shows around here have been doing is only doing pre-registration online/over-the-phone, before the show. Gets rid of congestion in areas that would be used for registering the morning-of, and hopefully decreases the chances of spreading the virus at all.

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post #6 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 01:02 PM
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This is like my expertise - free or cheap unprofessional "system" for running events ahha! Or even just running a group without paying someone thousands to tailor a program ;/

These have worked for me for both online and offline events with hundreds of people involved. I didn't get points for being flashy but I always got complimented on how streamlined/efficient it was. I'll list ones I think will better suit for this type of event tho. Sorry in advance if I patronise you but will just list everything to be safe! I will send you the various links I use (its free stuff like google forms, excel)..

1. Set up a registration form via google forms. It's free and you can make it however you want. The person filling it in just needs the link - they don't even need to sign up to google. Do include a statement of confidentiality at the start and how you will use/not use any information provided.

2. Export it to an online excel (I use google for everything) - it'll update automatically as people submit forms so no need to mess with it. let it update on its own and then you have clean access to everything you need in one place. You can request mandatory information and optional information (like the rider might want to confidentially disclose they have medical issues if say an accident were to happen).

If you are good with excel and even if you aren't (with the power of youtube) can set it up to colour code/notify. ("turn their submission box red if they say YES to "have medical condition")

-----------------------------------------------

As for managing the event:


1. Have pc/laptop, mic & headset optional with speakers of course. Check ahead how many monitors your hardware can manage and buy some lonnnnnnggg cables. I had my main monitor/desk setup somewhere cushy and 2 extra monitors 30 meters out in different directions (we put rubber over the cables on the floor). They had to have power over there ofc. I set the two cheapo monitors to duplicate what was on my desktop. I could have a list of timing, notifications, scores etc... nothing fancy. Was just a way where people could go up and see for themselves. If you're worried about thieves or accidents think about how to secure the monitors. We had brackets on a post.


2. Stream. Set up OBS/Twitch and live-stream what is on your desktop. Requires wifi or good data ofc. You are only streaming your desktop as above. You can stream the event with a camera simultaneously too! You could even have two pcs and one dedicated to streaming the ring. You can have a mic and make announcements over it with speakers set up or if people are listening on their phones. Requires only for them to have the link. The app and programs used are ALL FREE.


3. Google/Excel online documents. People don't need to register - they just need the link and a tiny amount of data. I mostly used this where using wifi was impossible or it wasn't feasible to have a big setup. Quite literally. I had a SEPARATE and PUBLIC excel where people can only view and I was the only one with permission to edit (at my laptop). It auto refreshes. People just need the link ahead of time. We printed and set up reminders everywhere. When people came in we reminded them to check the link for live-updates. Looked like this:

example.jpg

Obviously.. you pay someone to update it manually or do it yourself in real time otherwise the entire system is pointless. :P If you're fancy you can make this second excel extract bits of info from the submission forms so you can even do LESS work.

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Streaming is the harder one because at a big event unless you have someone sort out the networking side you're just not gonna have the bandwidth to stream reliably unless you have very good data and assuming that your audience has data to watch also. I often used extra monitors, an online excel that I managed in real time and posters or reminding people to follow the link. I liked to save paper so had two HUGE timetables printed and laminated to post up for those that aren't tech savvy. Then they could use the monitors above.

SPEAKERS: if possible I also had a few people whose sole job it was to stand by their speaker (they had a headset) and watch the excel on their phone. When it refreshed and it changed they would call out if someone was done and who was next. I obviously did it myself as well if I wasn't needed elsewhere.

Hope some food for thought. Not quite an app but just as workable.
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your suggestions all! Yes, @Kalraii , you get me! It needs to be simple, but running cables is not realistic. This is a 55 acre venue. We are having to keep people 6 ft apart, horses 16 ft apart in the ring! Logistics are a nightmare, but thankfuly, it is a small show. Screens are not realistic as everything is outside. Bad visibility in sun, destroyed monitors in rain. Oh, and did I mention we have no money???

@ACinATX I'm like you - I don't even have a data plan on my phone. That said, I've noticed almost everyone else does, and has their phones on them at all times. Even if every single person doesn't have their phone on them, someone who is with them will. A parent, coach, handler. Our show attendants who will be located in various places.

@ClearDonkey , yes registration is electronic only, and we will still have a PA system so even if people don't have a phone, they can hear the announcer if they are in the main show ring. But I've had the experience, as a show mom, of running the 500 metres back and forth from the warm-up ring area to the main ring area in an effort to figure out which class was on. The announcer only calls the class at the beginning, so if you check in right in the middle of the class, you have no idea where they are in the class list. Meanwhile, your kid is in the warm-up ring having a meltdown, people are missing from the main ring and the class is being held up while someone tacks up because they weren't ready, etc. etc. Feels like there has to be a better system!

I will look at the options you brought up Kalraii! Gotta go finish up my prize list now. Whew, this is a lot work.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Acadianartist View Post
Whew, this is a lot work.
Yes, and get ready to have people blame you and complain about everything, too. You are a saint for doing this!
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 02:32 PM
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Yeah I get the cables - we had the same issue. Thats why the monitors were at the play area and at the entrance only! People just had to look at their phones or take a picture of the timetable. The monitors were old ones I didn't want anymore. I did buy one for 30 off preloved as well. Only talking big enough screen with a cardboard shade over it :P - not like widescreen tv! Fingers crossed for you though.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-23-2020, 08:02 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
Yes, and get ready to have people blame you and complain about everything, too. You are a saint for doing this!
Oh don't worry, it's already happening. We're trying to get a show sanctioned by Equestrian Canada in the middle of a pandemic (we'll be the first in our province), we're all a bunch of newbies on this committee, and the amount of paperwork and Plans we have to write is preventing me from doing any actual work for the job that pays my bills... but people are already complaining that the class list doesn't have the height they wanted, or that we're requiring Coggins...

It's ok, I have thick skin.
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