I have sponsored a number of classes at various different events over the years which I am happy to do as a way to give back to a sport that I love. Sponsors are absolutely vital to events. Some events can't run and some would be able to run but be at a much greater expense to the riders. Sadly it seems riders aren't overly forth coming with their thanks to the sponsors of their classes which is a huge shame. I started a discussion on a horse group Facebook page to find out what the norm was for riders and how they thanked the sponsors of their classes. It was an interesting discussion and the majority opinion was that riders should be contacting the sponsors of their classes to say thank you, more so if they were a prize winner.
Another theme of the discussion that stood out was that there were a number of people that had sponsored events and classes in the past, received no thank you from riders so have opted to not sponsor again. That is pretty sad. I can however understand where they are coming from. When you are a small business, sponsoring an event is not something that is taken lightly, Then to not even get a single thank you from any rider in the class(es) that you sponsored?
Organsining committees are mostly great at thanking the sponsors and some make it easy for riders to be able to pass on their own thank yous by providing contact details and reminding riders this is something they should be doing. It seems that riders don't use the information given to them. I'm not sure what the answer to this is. Riders are given the contact details and reminded over and over again to thank the sponsors but there is only a handful that ever do.
Riders, I cannot stress the importance of taking a couple of minutes to email or message the sponsors of your classes at events. Post something on their Facebook page, send them a picture, tag them in a post on the event Facebook page, anything to acknowledge their sponsorship, . It means a huge amount. If you are buying something from a business because they have sponsored an event or sponsor your sport, let them know.
Without sponsors, you may find the events you enjoy attending can no longer be held. That would be very sad.