If you have a camper, you can camp adjacent to the HITS Horse Show grounds in Saugerties, NY. See pictures and learn about the campsite options from our stay.
Camping at a… horse show? Yes! Actually, it’s really more common than you might think. Camping is a great option for affordable lodging if your horse show offers RV hookups. Some horse trailers come with living quarters inside of them and sleeping close to your horses is a reality for many serious horse people as they travel the various show circuits.
When we found out that our daughter would be showing at HITS on the Hudson in Saugerties, NY, one of our first goals was to find decent lodging. The hotel options in this area are rather limited. It seemed that our main choices to stay as close to the show grounds as possible were the Comfort Inn in Saugerties or the Howard Johnson in Saugerties. Many of our barn friends ended up staying at either one of these.
We ended up going with option #3: the campground next to the horse show grounds.
HITS on the Hudson Horse Show Campground
HITS (short for “Horse Shows in the Sun”) is a series of shows that take place at several locations across the United States. The HITS series that takes places in the Hudson Valley (Saugerties, NY) is located on beautiful, sprawling grounds that house various competition rings, stabling facilities and yes, a campground.
If you pull up Google Maps, you will see that the campground sits directly next to the horse show grounds. There is a walking path that connects the show grounds to the campground through a small wooded swath of land.
The HITS website had little-to-no details about this campground, so we figured it would be helpful to put together a little write-up of what you can expect.
How to Make a Reservation at HITS Horse Show Campground
Prior to sending in our horse show entry, I emailed the contact listed on the show site and asked about RV reservations. The method of reserving a campsite was to check off a box on the horse show entry form and include that payment with our horse show entry.
I was concerned that they would sell out of spots before we got our entry in the mail, so I asked the contact how early we needed to book. The response back was basically “We have tons of spots. We never sell out. You’ll have no problem getting a spot.” (Yes, they were right.)
Sites are full hookup and first come, first served
We ended up heading to this horse show with about 15-20 other families. Of these families, 3 of us had campers and decided to stay at the campground. Between us we had 1 pop-up camper, 1 5th wheel camper and 1 travel trailer (us). We all arrived at the campground within about an hour of each other and we basically had our pick of campsites.
There were dozens and dozens of sites to choose from, all offering full hookup with water, electric and sewer. We settled together in the middle somewhere. I’m sure the campground fills up more for bigger horse shows (we were there for a youth dressage festival) but during our event, there were maybe 15 campers there TOTAL for the weekend.
The campground DOES have a bathhouse that offers bathroom and shower facilities. I don’t have additional information regarding the bathhouse, as we used our camper bathroom the entire trip.
HITS Campground Pricing
We paid $135 for 2 nights at the campground in Saugerties. It was definitely a no-frills campground, literally just a big parking lot, but we at least had full hookups and the location couldn’t be beat. It was nice to be so close to our horses and to the competition in general.
One night we hosted a team dinner between our three campers and we had plenty of space for people to set up their chairs and enjoy the meal.
Golf Carts Available for Rental
The horse show had plenty of golf carts available to rent. We brought our own golf cart so we did not need to rent one. The golf carts were fairly pricey at $90/day for a 4-seater cart. However, seeing as how the horse show grounds are absolutely enormous, it might be worth the rental fee. Our golf cart came in handy for any number of runnings to and fro. It also gave the kids a break from walking in the July heat in full horse show clothing.
No Campground Office
As I said above, this is a no-frills campground. There is no main office that we saw. You don’t need to stop anywhere to check in or out. You pre-pay your fee when you submit your horse show entry and then pick a spot when you arrive.
I do not know if this campground permits campfires. There is a very big possibility that it does NOT allow them, with the horse stables so close by. The campsites do NOT have fire rings at them. We did not have a campfire nor did we observe any fellow campers having one.
Campsites Not Cleaned Regularly
One huge negative was how trash-filled these campsites were. Our campsites had broken glass bottles and beer bottle caps strewn ALL over them. It was horrible. We had to spend a big chunk of time picking up the obvious glass shards before we could let the kids walk around. It was apparent that the campsites are rarely raked or picked up, which at $65+/night, is inexcusable.
Fortunately no one got hurt during our stay, but it was a real concern while we were there.
Overall it got the job done
Location was prime, cost was less than a hotel, and it gave us a nice excuse to use our camper. All in all, it was a good choice for our weekend horse show lodging and we would stay here again should we find our kiddo showing here.
Though next time we’ll make sure to pack a rake in case we need to clean up our campsite again!