Hi – this is Christine (Luke’s mom, Todd’s wife), a former Mudslingers board member and now an official “Board Helper.”
I thought I’d summarize how the club earns and spends, so we can be transparent. I’ve also found that every time I explain this to someone, we get more people motivated to raise funds, acquire sponsorships and donate. So here we go.
INCOME – Here are ways the club receives income:
Jackpots. We receive money for jackpots. Then we pay out 100% of what we receive. No net gain here.
Grounds fees. We pay out 100% of the grounds fees we collect, sometimes more, to CRC. By “sometimes more,” I mean that what we charge in grounds fees doesn’t always cover our arena fees, but it’s usually close.
Donations for 3rd to 5th place prizes. 100% of this goes back into prizes. Again, no net gain for the club. But thank you to the following families for making 3rd to 5th place prizes possible: Benton (Luke and Todd), Heczko (Soso), Sipe (Jackie), Wood (Amy and Aurora) and Wooden (Makayla). If you’d like to cover a layer/level of prizes at a future show, please contact a board member. Any level of donation can help.
Other donations/sponsorships. Sometimes we get sponsorships or donations that are not earmarked for 3rd to 5th place prizes. This goes into our fund for year-end awards. To date, we have $1,000 in sponsorship/donation income. Thanks to Brooke Yellen for securing the Santa Anita Racetrack sponsorship and to Jody Leaf for orchestrating the Sees Candies Fundraiser.
Club membership fees. Not everyone who runs with us is a member, but we do have a lot of members and received about $2,000 in club registration fees this season.
Registration/pattern fees. We pay approximately 22% of the income we receive in registration fees to CGA. This allows CGA to pay for our insurance, among other costs.
This typically leaves about $45/rider of income to the club per show, assuming the rider does all six patterns per show. If you multiply that by 45 riders (our average), you have $2,025. From that, we typically spend about $650 for awards for first and second place, lead liners and sometimes treat bags. That leaves us with $1,375 per show, which we put toward year-end awards.
If you multiply that $1,375 by 10 shows (assuming no rain dates), you have $13,750. If you add that to income from other donations/sponsorships and club membership fees, you get a total income of $16,750 for the year.
However, there are additional expenses that we incur.
Equipment expenses. Typically Sara and her husband donate most of the equipment expenses, like chalk, Hurry Scurry blocks and flags. However, there are other expenses like batteries for microphones and timers, caution tape, etc. We estimate this at $250 per year.
In addition, Sara takes the equipment trailer to and from CRC every show so the club doesn’t have to pay a $100/month fee to keep the trailer there. She stores it at her stables, where she usually charges for trailer storage but does not charge the Mudslingers. Last year, we also paid $600-$700 for new tires for the equipment trailer. These will last a few years, so that expense is not projected for this year.
Unreimbursed stalls. We’re working to manage this more tightly, but in the last season, we were left footing the bill for unpaid stalls occupied by participants in two-day shows. This is why you’re seeing more scrutiny and management, as we don’t want the club to lose funds here. We’re estimating our loss at $300.
Arena fees not covered by grounds fees. Approximately $1,000 per year.
Additional CGA fees. We pay CGA $100 every year toward awards at the CGA State Show held annually. We will also need to pay CGA $350 if no one from the club attends the CGA State Show and works a pattern (each club is required to judge and volunteer a pattern). We have made many requests to CGA to shorten the duration of the show and to move it closer to Southern California since it requires our riders to take off nearly two weeks to participate.
However, even if CGA makes no changes, we would rather pay the fine than expect our riders to incur the time and expense of that trip. Previous trips have cost members approximately $2,000 per rider when you factor in food, lodging (camping onsite), fuel(!) to get horses up to the show and show fees. Last year, Luke and I did the math and opted to join friends and go on a weeklong Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas, St. Thomas and St. Maarten instead. It would’ve cost the same. I know, I’m editorializing, but it’s true.
Two-day show awards. Two-day show prizes are much more significant and exceed our $650/day of show budget. We typically spend about $2,100 on two-day show prizes versus $1,300 earmarked for two days of prizes. That’s an $800 difference, times two 2-day shows equals $1,600.
Year-end awards. Our year-end awards cost around $14,100 if we want to continue to give out quality prizes, saddles for first place, etc. This is based on last year’s total and does not factor in inflation. To be safe, we should actually make this closer to $15,100.
Also, I want to note that Brittney hosts the year-end awards and takes no money from the club even though she rents tables, etc. to host our banquet.
Our total expenses are $18,700. Income minus expenses = <$1,950>. Negative $1,950.
All of the above assumes we are only paying for first and second-place prizes during one-day shows and leaves us with no cushion at the end of the year or for unexpected events, like a weather-based show cancellation
Last season, we had prizes to fifth place in every show. It was wonderful. But the board members footed the bill, many of whom contributed several hundred to a thousand dollars each out of pocket. We did so happily, as we have riders in this club, and we love our club. However, this year I’d like to see board members get reimbursed for purchases, to feel not so stressed about donating and for the club to carry itself. If that happens, our expenses column will grow.
We’ll continue to pursue sponsorships and donations. However, for the club to carry itself, we’re planning a few things: 1) A silent auction at the two-day show 2) 50/50 raffles at each show (or most shows); the club takes 50% of the pot 3) Each member raising $100 in $10 raffle tickets, selling them to family and friends or just buying them outright. We’ll do this toward the end of the season. This should get us past our year-end fund goal and have cash flow to carry into next season. This is important, because to secure good dates at CRC we have to put down deposits up to a year in advance. We’re currently working on securing dates for the 2023-24 season.
If you’d like to be part of a fundraising team or can volunteer to run the 50/50 raffles or silent auction, please let the board know! And if you have any questions about the above, I’d be happy to answer them. You can contact me directly or reach out to the board.