Show Jumping Blog
The place to find and share information and opinions about Show Jumping.
Prize money: why do we have it?
When my daughter first started to ride ponies competitively I was quite surprised to discover she was competing for prize money. And I must admit, the days she won more money than it cost to compete made me smile.
Very few other amateur sports offer prize money, some go so far as to prohibit it, so is it reasonable to think our sport could/should also work without prize money (particularly at lower levels)?
Given most other sports do without, is prize money anything more than just another cost for less experienced or capable riders (who are effectively being forced to subsidise more experienced/better mounted riders)?
And of course, a significant proportion of horses entered in various classes are not actually competing to win, but have been entered to school and give the horse more experience at a particular height. So the proportion of entry fees that goes towards prize money for those horses is nothing less than a donation. Perhaps competitors should be able to opt out of paying and winning prize money under such circumstances?
At a time we are trying to grow our sport, are seemingly unnecessary costs like funding prize money for other people's benefit just making it harder to attract, and then retain, new entrants?
What do other people think?