Equestrian sports, unlike mainstream sports, don’t get as much exposure to the world and media. During the 2016 Olympics, the sport was ranked last among the “best Olympic sports” in a survey. But while this doesn’t get as much recognition as it deserves, it’s a fairly popular sport among the rich, which leads us to ask: Is equestrian sports simply for the elite? Why doesn’t it appeal to the masses?
Equestrian Sports: The costs
Equestrian Sports is expensive. The reason is as plain as day. For an individual to learn the discipline and join the sport, he or she must have a horse.
Unfortunately, not many can simply afford a horse and pay for its upkeep, which can include horse assessments, vet care, and horse insurance. It can also be costly to store them somewhere unless one already owns a piece of land where the horse/s could be boarded. The cost of the stabling or boarding fees can range from $500 to $2,000 per month.
Apart from these costs, the individual also has to cover private lessons, horse training, enrollment, and competition fees. Furthermore, accessories such as riding gear and clothing need to be purchased, along with horseshoes, stirrups, helmets, and spurs.
According to My First Nest Egg, the cost of exhibiting a horse on the international circuit can exceed $200,000 a year.
While most people are deterred from the sport because of the amount of money one would need to shell out in order to learn it, there are also those who persevere and excel in the sport despite their economic status.
One such example is Maggie Dempewolf, a staff writer at The Fillmore Central Falconer. In one of her pieces, “Equestrian Issues: Are all Equestrians Rich?” she shared that not all equestrians were rich. Some were financially struggling, herself included.
Dempewolf said that a lot of equestrians don’t have a horse of their own, and that riding lessons could eat away at their money. She even said that those who could afford a horse could still be broke, and that’s why they do their very best to keep their horses away from any diseases that may earn them a ticket to the vet.
Cover Photo: IG