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Re: RC: Non-Refundable Pre-Registration/Early Entry Deposit

Another RM's $.02, or maybe $.03

At 7:56 AM -0800 2/6/01, wrote:
>Gene & Shelley Dake
>As we were determining our ride schedule for the season and trying 
>to get some conditioning rides in prior to the start of our Midwest 
>schedule, we have come across an atrocious fact!  Some ride 
>management are requiring (and apparently receiving) non-refundable 
>funds with their pre-ride entries.  Not only are they penalizing 
>riders for submitting ride entries early, in addition they are 
>charging an outrageous (up to $25) late fee!!


That fee sounds a bit high.  I think most if not all of the rides in 
our region charge $10 late fee for all distances.  That covers the 
last minute scrambling to accomodate you in enough porta-potties, 
facility fee, catered meals, feed for the horses at vet checks, 
*having enough* vets when the number of riders can't be anticipated 
ahead of time.  I don't know about the Greenway Gallop, but when a 
ride has nearly 100 riders, it's a fine line when to add a 4th vet 
with enough notice; it's very hard to get a vet last minute.  Another 
last minute scramble is to have enough volunteers to man the checks 
when the number of riders goes up.

I haven't charged an admin fee in the past, though my volunteer 
coordinator has urged me to start charging $10 for riders who enter 
but don't actually come.  Yes, I've done all the stuff in the 
preceding paragraph, including making up vet cards/packets, 
coordinating to have enough completion awards on hand, etc.  I'll be 
out a whole bunch more money if a bunch of riders choose not to come 
at the last minute.  $10 towards that would help.  My policy on 
refunds is no show and no call, no refund.  If the horse doesn't vet 
in, full refund.  After all, it wasn't the disappointed rider's 
intent to not vet in, they're out the gas and time in making the 

>have dreamed (or could we have justified) the exploitation of fees 
>by retaining money of riders unable to get to our ride for whatever 
>reason!  I told her that it was unfortunate that her policy was 
>inflexible, and I was happy for her that her ride was so successful 
>that she could afford to discourage people from coming to her ride. 
>We put a lot of money into this sport (as we all do), and we travel 
>throughout the Central, Midwest, and Southeast Regions and we will 
>simply NOT ever attend a ride where we have to pay such an 
>exorbitant, outrageous NON-REFUNDABLE fee.  We WILL take our money 
>and our horses elsewhere.  Itís really too bad that the Greenway 
>Gallop prefers to only have riders who can depend on their weather 
>to come to their ride!  Whatís worse is that riders allow this kind 
>of price-gouging to exist, donít we spend enough?!  The entry fee 
>for their 50-mile ride is $70.  We ride National Championship rides 
>for just a few dollars more than that!  Our last words to yo!
>u, Greenway Gallop, and any others out there pulling such 
>shenanigans:  shame on you!

Gosh, Gene and Shelley, wake up.  Different regions handle their 
rides differently.  There was a recent ride in ours where the entry 
fee for the 50 was $100!  That ride was full 10 days after the entry 
was sent.  You can't compare apples and oranges.  And the riders 
would "vote with their feet", by not coming to GG if their policies 
are so objectionable--I take it that their ride is indeed successful.

My entry fee for NRR last year was $80/70.  Might be $85 next year. 
In these parts, that's pretty comparable to other rides which provide 
horse feed in the checks, 4 vets, rider snacks, catered dinner, 
though we probably exclusively have the anti-vandalism 60ish 
volunteers out on the trail and another 30 working at the checks.

Just how many attendees did you get at your Missouri rides?  My 
riders keep on coming back because we provide interesting, 
well-marked trails and water crossings, enough vets so that there 
aren't lines, enough volunteers so that they don't have to wait for 
P&Rs or timing, and I think they like the amenities of not having to 
have their own feed/water in the checks and such--for a fair price; I 
made the meal optional for a $10 discount last year.  I think that 
the ride mgrs who are in it for the money are few and far between, 
and that most of those are no-frills rides for the same price as the 
"frills" rides.

Have you done any out of region rides?  I've done rides in Idaho, and 
our standard prices in PS would not make it up there, despite all of 
the amenities I've described.

Norco Riverdance Ride (PS)

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