A couple of weeks ago while I was at the Fox Valley Saddle Association’s mini event (a schooling show for eventing hopefuls) I got an offer from a very nice lady to set up my booth at the upcoming Fox River Valley Pony Club’s annual CCI* (Rolex is a CCI****, just for comparison purposes). The CCI* is celebrating its 40th year, and they held the event this weekend at a beautiful facility in Barrington Hills, IL. (Note: Barrington Hills has to be one of the “horsiest” places in Illinois) The Barrington Hills Riding Center is a public facility, owned and managed by the park district, and partially located in a forest preserve. The cross country phase of the 3-day event takes place in the preserve.
I heard there were something like 250 entries, but everything ran so smoothly that the competitors had no difficulty using the warm-up rings or showing up on time for their competitions.
This show was truly a pleasure to be a vendor at, except for one thing…
As you can see from the photo caption, we had a little “accident”. I suspect that the frame got bent a little from the strong winds back at the Harvard Milk Days show, and when I went to raise the top, two of the trusses did not want to cooperate. In fact, they rebelled to such a point that the metal actually cracked and folded a bit. I managed to get the whole thing up after a lot of fiddling with it, but it wasn’t right and it probably won’t go up again. To make matters worse, no replacement parts are available. I can probably find someone to “remanufacture” the pieces, as they are fairly simple in design and construction, but it annoys me no end that the original manufacturer does not support their product only four years after I bought it! Whatever I do, it will have to be accomplished by July 7, which is my next outdoor show. Wish me luck!
Alli, for what it’s worth, I had an extremely sturdy greenhouse get picked up by 70 MPH winds (ripped it out of 8 inches of frozen dirt and sent it sailing at least 300 yards) that included a complete tear through one of the metal supports (and some bending that needs to be straightened out still). I went to Lowe’s with the torn pipe, asked for help and was outfitted with all I needed (from departments I wouldn’t have considered) with a fix for around $8. Might want to give that a try before you trash your booth.
Also, don’t know if you subscribe to Randi Thompson’s How to Market Your Horse Business FB Page, but she’s running a contest spotlighting equine related FB sites. Might want to enter yours if you have one (I think it’s going on for another week) and if you wish, vote for me while you’re there 🙂 (you get five votes).
Thanks, Nanette. At this point I don’t have plans to trash it; will definitely try to kluge it. And if that doesn’t work, I think there is a market out there for spare parts. Since everything except these two truss pieces is in good condition, I might be able to get something for it, although the results would be piecemeal. Manufacturer says people bought extra complete units before it was discontinued to use for cannibalizing parts, but it’s been so long now that I can’t locate any on the usual sources, such as ebay or craigslist.
Point being, you may not need actual parts. I culled together a fix with some interesting items from plumbing, hardware, garden and other departments I would have never considered as resources. Of course, I was lucky to find a very helpful and creative employee.