Pony Up

It Takes a Pile of Money to Compete in High-Level Equestrianism

Equestrian pursuits are known as the “sport of kings” for a reason.

By Hanna Powers December 2, 2019 Published in the December 2019 issue of Sarasota Magazine

Equestrian pursuits are known as the “sport of kings” for a reason. Horses are expensive. Top horses can be worth hundreds of thousands or millions, and so is all the maintenance that keeps them in tip-top shape. Because of the price point, many top equestrians come from families that find it easier to support this lifestyle. Olympic-level competition requires international travel with a string of five to 10 horses that owners fly around the world. Some of the top riders from the U.S. right now are Georgina Bloomberg (Michael Bloomberg’s daughter), Eve Jobs (Steve Jobs’ daughter), Jennifer Gates (Bill Gates’ daughter), Jessica Springsteen (Bruce Springsteen’s daughter) and Hannah Selleck (Tom Selleck’s daughter).

Here are some of the average fees for the “A” circuit, the top-ranked competitions, without including insurance or vet bills.

Horses and Horse Fees

$25,000-$500,000: What it costs to lease or own a horse that’s competitive on the ‘A’ Circuit; prices go up as you climb the ranks. At the Hampton Classic this summer, there were horses valued at more than $5 million.

Full-care monthly board: A minimum of $1,000

Lessons: $75-plus for a single lesson

Feed and supplements: $500-$1,000 a month

Trimming feet and shoes: $200 every 6 weeks

Show Fees

Trailer fee: $1-$3 a mile

Miscellaneous fees for membership, drug testing, security, etc.: $400

Stall rental: $300 a week or roughly $5,000 a circuit

Full-service groom: $50 a day

Braiding fee: $200

Equestrian Professionals

Massage: $95 for one hour

Chiropractor: $50-$150 a session

Acupuncture: $100-$200 a session

Psychic: $175 for one hour


Saddle: $7,000

Bridle: $550

Helmet: $500

Breeches: $190

Show coat: $300

Boots: $600

Fitness Equipment

Aquatic treadmill: $20,000-$80,000

Theraplate: $6,000

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