Monday, May 20, 2019

Have ponies will travel

The longer I go between blog posts, the harder it is to get back into a regular blogging schedule. It's been nearly two weeks since my last post, and I barely know where to begin. Fortunately, I have this great guest post by my friend, Jackie Rossi to help ease the transition. Thanks, Jackie. I can't wait to see what you bring to the Jennifer Show!

Travelling to Destination Shows

by Jackie Rossi

I really enjoy model horse showing, but I work about fifty percent of my weekends. This means that I can not attend many of my local shows. So, I tend to look for shows are on weekends I’m already not working and will give me the most bang for my buck. I want to have a nice performance division, and I want judges I’m eager to show under. A lot of times, this means I am traveling. 
I have my carry on game down to a science, and I have a set of performance props that travel really well in checked baggage and are versatile. It works for most of what I like to do and really well for mini shows- I brought forty horses in a plastic shoebox to Meows and Minis last year!
My last show was Candyland Live in Colorado, and I am aiming to do the Jennifer Show in September. Both of these hit my requirements - they are on weekends I am already off, have interesting class lists and great judges. However, I live in New Jersey. It's a twenty six hour drive, which is doable but not practical  so I was really looking at flying. My Candyland plan included a gigantic killer robot in 1:9 scale that was made of fragile materials and was not something I could take on a plane with me. I also had a few other things in the hopper that were not practical for plane travel. I decided to ship things.
Happily, I had a place to ship things to, as my best friend lives in Denver. If I didn’t have her, I would have just shipped to whatever hotel I was staying at. I started by planning out what I could ship and what I felt needed to be hand carried. My criteria for hand carrying is stuff that is valuable and if it got lost, I’d be upset. This means that show horses and things like tack get hand carried, and indeed, that is mostly what went into my two carry-ons. I used my hard side suitcase for horses, dolls and tack, and more dolls and tack went into my backpack. A soft sided checked bag held my clothes and toiletries and stuff like that.
Props that were shipped included my guardian stalker (which I built with the idea that it would have to be shipped, so it breaks down into four pieces. That went into one box, and was packed with care since its mostly Styrofoam. Not valuable, something I can rebuild, but fragile. I wanted to make sure it would arrive show day in one piece!  I also packed things like my table drapes  and fabric footing with it, to help pad the contents of the box.
The other box included heavier stuff, and was packed around a Breyer pick up truck that I needed for one of my set ups.
Next up was actually shipping. I used the post office out of convenience, but you could use UPS or FedEx as well. Keep in mind that heavy and oversize boxes will be more expensive, and using an express service will be as well. You need to build this into your show budget- but I suspect that I come out ahead over driving twenty six hours between gas, tolls, meals and at least one overnight at hotel. I used a six day shipping service, so that meant I had to get things together  well in advance of the show. Shows of this type require advance planning, and a lot of it! This is part of your planning.
Showing out of your immediate area requires a new level of logistics to get everything you need/want for the day in place when you need it. I’d also recommend strongly to consider what the level of competition may be (destination shows are always going to be much tougher) and plan your day accordingly. I only did performance at Candyland, because I needed to focus on the entries I brought to do them the same level of justice I had in practice set ups.
(You do practice your set ups, right?) 
At the Jennifer Show, I do want to bring some halter horses, but only my very best large scale horses, and maybe first and second tier smaller horses. I’m also going to seriously plan out my performance showing to make sure I bring stuff that is high quality, and worthwhile, while keeping the amount of “stuff” to a minimum. Yes, its tempting to carpet bomb, but this type of show is more a tactical strike and requires a higher level of planning. I can’t just throw stuff in my car and make it work on the fly if I expect to do well. 
I also have to make sure that *I* personally can handle all of this. Putting my show string and plan together is solely my responsibility. I need to know my shipping options- where are things going, what services can I use, how much can I put on the plane with me? What can I really afford? What combination is going to end with me having a good time at the show and not turning into a monster mid day because I’ve over extended myself and as a result, am not on my A game in performance? We all know a grumpy shower having a bad day can be tough to be tabled with!
For my Jennifer Show plan, I probably will pack up a box of my better show horses, and most likely I will pack up a regular show tub and layer horses in foam, and then box the tub up. Heather Malone has successfully shipped her show string around using this method, and I’ve been impressed by how well it works.
In the end, I had a great time at Candyland, and I feel I did the perfect amount of showing for me on that day. I’m hoping that a pared down halter string will be manageable for TJS, but we will see. My goal is to see friends and have fun....and maybe allow my giant killer robot a chance to terrorize the day again.


  1. Thanks for this post! I never thought of putting ponies inside a show tote inside a box, I might do that when I have to ship some of my larger ponies to The Jennifer Show.

  2. This is making me want to attend TJS more than ever...