Though trained from an early age to carry a human upon its back, a horse is more than a living, breathing bicycle.  We communicate to them, and they comply or communicate back. The horse, an animal that normally travels in a herd and loves hanging out with its pals munching grass, willingly goes with its rider to jump fences, herd cows, perform dressage, or navigate a trail. Remember, this is an animal that easily clocks in at more than 1,000 pounds—if it doesn’t want to do something, he or she will throw their weight around. More often than not, though, a person’s horse wants to join in and will put their sizable heart into participating. In return, we take care of them, providing food, water, shelter, safety, exercise, and companionship.


Competitive trail riding

Anytime you’re on the back of a horse, teamwork is happening, but Competitive Trail Riding (CTR) highlights the incredible relationship between horse and rider. All competitors in CTR complete a long-distance route—which often involves camping overnight—within a specific window of time.  To successfully complete one of these routes, riders must develop their horse’s fitness and fearlessness, as well as nurture their trust.


The North American Trail Ride Conference (NATRC) sanctions competitive trail rides, and, says Bev Roberts, NATRC representative and Eventgroove customer, “We are a non-profit educational and family equine sport ​organization. We teach riders how to ride and care for horses covering long distances for multiple days. We do this through seminars, clinics, online instruction materials and competitions held across the USA.”

A nonprofit organization in which all the work is handled by volunteers, NATRC holds an annual raffle to help offset operating costs. Its goal is to raise about $5,000, and the drawing is held at NATRC’s annual convention and awards banquet. Tickets are sold for $5 each or five tickets for $20, pricing that Bev told us she and her raffle ticket selling volunteers find most appealing to potential raffle participants. Additionally, NATRC limits the number of raffle tickets they order to about 1,000, keeping the odds of winning more reasonable while also ensuring sellers (who are volunteers) won’t become overwhelmed by the task.

The raffle prizes are terrific, and NATRC makes the drawing fun for the winner and beneficial for the prize donor.  NATRC has raffled off saddles, a trip to Peru’s Machu Picchu, a stay at a guest ranch, and gift cards. The donor, explained Bev, “receives advertising in our regional and national newsletters and websites, flyers, on the tickets themselves, and at the convention. They are invited to be present at the convention, attend the banquet, draw the winning ticket and hand out the prize.”​ Incidentally, the best part of the raffle for Bev and the rest of the NATRC team is seeing and hearing that moment when the raffle winner has been called—it’s always exciting!

Proud and pleased is exactly how all of us at Eventgroove feel that Bev and the NATRC keep choosing us for their raffle tickets! Their first order for raffle tickets was in 2011, and Bev tells us this was because our raffle ticket templates were so easy to use. Now, NATRC comes back because of our high-quality tickets at a great price, along with our efficiency, fast order turnaround, nonprofit discount, and friendly, helpful staff. How awesome is that?! Moreover, says Bev, “​Except for our Executive Director, all the work done in our organization is handled by volunteers. So anything we can do to save time and effort helps prevent volunteer burnout. One small way to do this is by sticking with one ticket printing company​ and one ticket design. When raffle time rolls around again, we just change the date and the prize(s) on our raffle ticket design and we’re ready to go.”

It’s our goal to help our customers in any way we can, and we spend a lot of time thinking how to make things easier and more efficient for hard working nonprofits like NATRC. To learn we’re doing that is like winning a trip to Machu Picchu.

If you’re interested in learning to ride competitive trail, visit the NATRC website and Facebook page—they’re a real friendly and fun group, and it’s a sport all ages and families can enjoy!