GoHorseShow sat down with 36 year-old show manager Cody Fisher of Olive Branch, Mississippi to find out more about his background and why he enjoys managing horse shows. Fisher Horse Shows runs his largest show the Circle G Classic, March 30th through April 1st of this year in Tunica, Mississippi. There will be six judges including Lori Gordon, Chris Jones, Betsy Tuckey, Bruce Walquist, Gretchen Mathes, and Brent Maxwell, and it is co-sanctioned with the Arkansas Quarter Horse Association. They are doing an all-inclusive fee for $170 plus stalls, shavings, and RV. Stalls are $80 for the circuit or $40 a night. There will also be a free BBQ on Friday night prepared by the Best Little Boarhouse in Memphis. The trail classes will also feature Tim Kimura patterns.
The second show Fisher manages is called the Cotton Bowl that is also held in Tunica, Mississippi September 21-23rd that will feature four judges. According to many exhibitors, they attend this show to help prepare for the Congress.
GoHorseShow is curious why his shows are so successful despite these difficult economic times. Let's find out more about Cody!
Q: How did you get involved with horses? Where are you originally from?
A: My father, Ronnie Fisher, has been training for over forty years. I was born into the business. I lived in Searcy, Arkansas for 26 years before moving to the Memphis area to work with Mike Massey and Masterson Farms to further my training career. (Pictured left: Ronnie Fisher aboard)
Q: What are some of your accomplishments and your horse's names that you have shown?
A: I have had the privilege to work with many nice horses and students that have had success in the arena. I was involved with Ziploose N FancyFree, Cluition, Kiss My Assets, Ms Intangible Dream, Clusos High Roller, Just Be Cool, Justa Kiss of Class, RL A Sudden Kiss, Mr Smooth Sheik, A Good Catch, Smooth Brown Wrapper, Investor Cluso, Genuine Sheik, Dont Skip Sheik, and Step Out With Sheik.
Q: What do you like about the horse industry?
A: The sense of family. People who show have a natural bond and kinship. I haven't felt that anywhere else.
Q: Do you still show?
A: No. I haven't shown since 2009 when I catch rode one weekend. I have shown in a very limited fashion since "retiring" towards the end of 2004.
Q: Tell me about your family?
A: My wife and I have one child: a beautiful daughter, Evelyn, who just turned two years-old. She is our world.
Q: How did you get involved managing shows?
A: Frank Given offered me the chance to take over the shows he and Johnny McRight managed. I had served on the board of ArQHA and the MidSouth QHA and felt comfortable running my own shows.
Q: What do you like about it?
A: The people. These are my family members. I also enjoy the challenge of trying to grow a business. I love to see big classes and I can't wait to see how much larger the next show will be.
Q: What are some of the challenges?
A: Pleasing the majority of the crowd. There is only one winner so that makes it tough. I also wonder if I am offering enough other incentives to come show. Are the classes big enough so that more people get points? Is everyone able to be comfortable and get their horses ready? Are people having fun? Scheduling! How to not lose money.
Q: What is it like working for FedEx? What do you do there?
A: FedEx is a huge company with multiple layers, positions, and offices everywhere. Most people think of FedEx as the Superhub with the planes, couriers, and packages going everywhere. While that is a major aspect of FedEx, there is another layer of support that allows all of that to take place--the software. I work in the Services division of FedEx within the IT Department. My group supports the technology staff that installs the software that allows customers to ship packages. I don’t have the sexiest job within FedEx. I sit behind a desk and answer emails, phone calls, and other queues used by internal employees and resolve problems throughout the day. I also print outbound and return labels for large customers that are not set up to ship large orders. I get to help people so that is cool. I talk to employees from Canada, the Jersey Shore, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between.
Q: Anything you have learned working for FedEx that carries over to managing shows?
A: The people come first. If you take care of your people, success will follow. I have made several mistakes so far and know I will make plenty more, but if your people know you are trying and take care of them most of the time, then they will forgive you when you make a mistake. FedEx tells the sort staff to handle each package as if it’s the ‘golden package’, meaning each package is important to the person as if it were made of gold. This sets the table for customer service. I need each and every person at the show to be satisfied and know their needs are important, regardless of how many horses they bring or what event they show in. I can’t always accommodate their requests, but I do need to attentively listen so I can learn how better to serve in the future.
Q: Tell me about your shows and what sets your shows apart from others and why should exhibitors attend your shows?
A: We strive to offer a better show experience at our shows. We have a great facility and staff that understands exhibitor needs. It is tough to cater to every group at the show, but I try hard to let each person know how important they are to the success of our event and how proud we are to have them attend. I listen to constructive criticism and continually work to improve our events. We work to make certain the schedule flows well and everyone has somewhere to prepare. The dirt will be properly maintained and the stalls are safe for horses. Outside of the show, Tunica offers world class gambling and accommodations for our guests. There are plenty of dining options, golf courses, shopping, and museums within a short drive.
Q: Thanks Cody for sharing your thoughts with us!
A: You're welcome and we look forward to seeing everyone at our shows.