How Come it Costs so Much to Show a Goat?

[Webmasters note: As a comparison, AKC dog shows typically charge $15-30 per class. Horse shows vary greatly but a typical show would charge $30-$150 per class with stall fees of $20-75.]

Most people are unaware of the expenses involved in putting on a show. All you know is that it costs from $5 to $7 a day to show your goat. That seems like a lot. If you know what is involved, you might be more prepared to chip in and help, or at least not think entry costs are high. The figures given are guidelines. There are no set show costs other than sanction fees, and even they vary if you pay late. I will tell you what it normally costs our VPGA club. I talked to show chairpersons around the country, and our costs are comparable.

The first thing to do is find a place to hold the show. Most likely it will cost from $300 to $800 for a two-day show. Hopefully, this includes a covered arena and sawdust in the ring. Straw bedding in California has run about $4 to $6 per bale, and 25 bales are needed to bed 100 goats.

Insurance is sometimes included in the show ground rental, but don’t count on it. Our club pays $400/year. It may be available on a per-event basis for your facility. This may cost up to $500 for a weekend; the average is about $200 or more per event.

Now you need a couple of judges. If you’re worried about how much it will cost to fly in the judges, contact a travel agent and ask for fares from the judge’s location to the show location. VPGA travel records averaged $350 for an out-of-state judge and about $100 for an in-state judge. There are motel rooms (about $45/night) and meals (roughly $25/day), usually two days. Other expenses for the judge might include parking or bus to the airport, baby/goat/house sitter, and possibly a car rental, as well as the judging fee.

A fee? Several years ago the Judges Training Committee recommended that judges charge a fee of $50 for less than 100 goats and $100 for over 100 goats to help offset their expenses. The fee is payment for the time and work required to judge a show. If the fee is a hardship, discuss it with the judge when s/he agrees to judge your show. To avoid confusion, you should have written agreements with your judges.

Sanction your show as early as possible. Fees go up from time to time. Procrastinating will cost you extra.

Now it is time to order ribbons and trophies. This is one area where you can go all out and spend lots of money or economize, depending on your budget and ability, and make trophies. We average about $450 for ribbons and trophies for a 2-day show.

Don’t forget to figure the cost of printing and mailing entry forms. They average about 40 cents each, and 200 will cost $80. Printing an average size show book (optional) should cost about $65 for 100 copies.

OK, let’s see how much this 2-day show will cost:

Category Low High
Show Grounds$250$500
Show Grounds$0$125
Judge's Airfare$450$250
Judge's Motel$180$250
Judge's Food$35$100
Judge's Fee$0$200
Sanction Fees$180$260

The totals should give a good idea of average costs. As you can see, something has to be done to raise money if the show is going to be self-supporting. Entry fees for 100 goats at $5/goat will only be $1,000, if they are entered both days. Sponsors and a good raffle are needed to break even. A show is a lot of work. Good planning is a must, but can be done. We do it all the time, and so do many other clubs and individuals around the country.

I hope this helps you understand why show entry fees seem high. Remember the cost in time and money that goes into putting on the show. And, potential show chairpersons, please don’t let this scare you. There are lots of ways to cut corners and raise money to help offset your expenses. You can do it!

“Excerpts from:

Kinne, Maxine, ed. Pygmy Goats: Best of Memo 3 (1988-1996)
National Pygmy Goat Association: pp 166

This document is for informational purposes only and is in no way intended to be a substitute for medical consultation with a qualified veterinary professional. The information provided through this document is not meant to be used in the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or disease, nor should it be construed as such.