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By Debbie Malcolmson


N SOME WAYS, BUYING A NEW YOUNG HORSE IS SIMILAR TO BUYING A NEW CAR. Both are exciting ventures, ripe with the anticipation of future glorious


rides. Walk into any dealer showroom, and your senses are aroused as you take it all in: shiny glistening paint, the intoxicating smell of newness and numerous features and options to dazzle you. You are able to see, touch, feel and even drive your potential next ride. But that is where the similarities end. A quick trip to the local auto-mall and you can see a hundred models in a day. Not so with the typical horse shopping expedition. If buying a horse was only as simple as visiting one


show room! Time is money, and traveling all over our vast country to look at sport horse prospects becomes expensive and inefficient. The fact is that in today’s buying culture, “touch and feel” is often not a part of the horse buying experience. With the ease and availability of digital technology, beautiful photos and well-produced videos are the norm not the exception. However videos can be somewhat deceiving; often times the horse looks better in person than on the video, and other times the horse doesn’t look nearly as good as he seems in the video. To fairly assess any prospect, you need to see the horse in person and experience that “touch and feel.” Yet for breeders who sell horses, it’s a struggle to stand out in a sea of sales ads. More importantly, how does one convince a buyer to actually visit a breeder’s own “show room?” These are dilemmas that breeders face, particularly in this


Phoo by Carole MacDonald 30 January/February 2011


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ouble utch


Two neighborly breeders join forces to do some ‘out of the box’ marketing.


current economy. Competition is tough. But competition is often the catalyst for innovation. In that spirit, two Dutch Warmblood breeders from New Hampshire, Carnival Hill and Majestic Gaits, who are technically “competitors,” jointly conceived an unusual marketing event.


BRAINSTORMING What began as a casual conversation over coffee among


BRAINSTORMING


two friends with the same dilemma quickly evolved into a serious brainstorming session. Before the cups were empty, a rough plan was in place, and this country’s very first KWPN Dutch Foal Expo was conceived! The concept was simple: create a “showroom” and assemble all of the sale foals from both farms at one convenient venue. Instead of investing time and resources to see just one foal, potential buyers would have access to a wide selection. In essence, there would be sufficient reason to justify a trip to their showroom of sport horse prospects. Mares and foals would be buffed, braided and on


Majetic Gait’s newet stallion Schroeder (Sandro Hit x Escudo I), ridden here by Makenzi Wendel.


display so that everyone in attendance could have that “touch and feel” experience. Each foal would further be shown at liberty, with audio commentary provided by a professional announcer who would highlight the merits of the mare, the sire and finally the foal. In total, ten mom and baby pairs representing a wide variety of top Dutch bloodlines would be presented. There would be general seating as well as a VIP section for past clients and supporters. Also planned was an educational booth with general info about the KWPN horse, plus a detailed printed program containing pedigrees and photos of


Phoos at leſt by Carole MacDonald


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