The Year Ahead: An Insider’s View from Professionals in the Equine Industry
By Gabrielle Sasse, PleasureHorse.com
The year 2013 was one of rebuilding for the show horse industry. Additions of classes like Ranch Horse Pleasure and the growth of Western Dressage provided competitors some new avenues. New futurities and programs like Western Pleasure Super Sires wrote some big checks, and horse shows tried different ideas to draw exhibitors and spectators into their venues. Even though numbers were down, we just kept hearing “everyone just seems happy this year!”
The team at Show Horse Today certainly enjoyed seeing talented horses and ecstatic competitors all across the country at the “majors” and weekend shows alike. We are looking forward to seeing what 2014 brings, not only for our business, but for the entire horse community. We asked some of the leading trainers, breeders, tack and show clothing designers to give us their thoughts about the industry over the upcoming year. We asked what they were looking forward to, any concerns they may have, what major events they were planning on attending, and if they were trying any new business or marketing ideas.
Clarice Cooper, of Cooper Quarter Horses in Georgia is excited about the breeding season. “We are very lucky in that our customer base has become a close group of friends, and we value their business. Getting to catch up with our customers’ holiday happenings is the sign of the start of breeding season. We are still in an economy where hard working people are very conscious about every dollar spent. In every aspect of the business, we should be thankful for those who are showing, breeding, and continuing to own horses. It impacts everyone in some trickle down way. As a stallion owner, creative marketing is always a priority and a creative challenge.” Clarice said she plans on doing more online marketing for this year, and she and Ryan are “excited to attend the futurity this year. Having baby Liam, we were unable to attend the 2013 shows.”
Dave Whitney of Quarter Horse Directory (QHD.com) certainly has his eye on the industry. He provides information such as show records, pedigrees and offspring for stallions, broodmares and show horses alike on his site, including putting together comprehensive lists of leading stallions and mares. He is most excited about “the growing interest that pleasure and halter people have in not only a horse’s temperament and how it moves, but also studying the power of the horse’s pedigree before they breed, train or purchase a horse.”
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