How to hold a Live Show

by Gail Berg

The one event that provides a combination of most of the factors that make model horse involvement the best hobby to be involved with is a live show.

This is the best place in model horsedom for socializing (friendship), finding a great show horse (buying), expansion of knowledge (learning/education), competition and reward.

This information has been collected from experience and a lot of thought about some things. It is almost impossible to present a comprehensive collection, but this information should address many of the issues a show holder may face in putting a show on. Some topics may not be applicable to every show; and some topics may be obsolete or erroneous due to changes in a region's culture/economy or because of changing laws and regulations. This information should not be considered as the sole, infallible source of information to put a show together. Experiencing shows in your own region and talking with other regional show holders are invaluable learning opportunities to begin putting a show together.

A show holder needs to accommodate all/most of those factors when putting together an event. (Some locations available for shows do not allow selling, such as a church fellowship hall. Other locations, such as a county fairgrounds, may allow selling, but would charge a significant larger amount to allow selling. Therefore a growing number of shows are prohibiting sales at the show hall.)

From a showers perspective, here are some things that showers may be considering in attending a show.


Everything has a beginning. So too does a model horse show.

There's a reason that a show happens. Perhaps it's to raise money for a charity. Could be it's to determine the best horse(s) of the show season. Maybe it's to have a chance to earn a berth at the national show. Or perhaps it's a chance for friends to get together and show off their latest acquisitions.

Whatever it is, as a show holder, you need to keep any reasons in mind as they may have significant impact on the choices you make in the show you hold.

A show does not come together without many hours (tens or even hundreds of hours) of work before, during and after the show. It is highly unusual for a single person to do everything. There is often a committee or group of people who take on different tasks to help put the show on. At a minimum, there's often a show holder and one or more judges.

This web article will be written from the perspective of a single show holder, to save on extrapolation of grammatical number, but is applicable to any committee.


Some shows make a big deal of having a theme for their event. Folks can come in costume and more.

If selecting a theme, be sure to set up all your promotions around the theme, as well as some special classes added to your class list. Raffle items may also be impacted by the theme.

Themes can be around events (holidays, festivals), locations, or even the show's charitable beneficiary.

Themes can make for a fun event.

Genesis | Timeline | Philanthropy | Venue | Show Date | Class List | Judges | Theme | Awards | Raffle, auction | Vendors | Promotion | Hall layout up | Sponsorships | Finances | Program | Sportsmanship | Countdown | Running the Show | Aftermath

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