All over the country, hundreds of trainers and their assistants spend their Mondays hunched over piles of entries for the next show on their calendar. It could be hours or even a full day before the task is finished and is the bane of most competitors’ existence.
Equestrian Connect has changed all of that. The “one-minute entry system” is a web-based service that allows users to easily generate accurate and legible entries for nearly any show in the country, saving trainers countless hours formerly spent doing one of their least favorite barn chores.
When the service initially launched in 2010, trainers could fill out their entries online, but still had to print and mail them to the horse show office. In 2012, Equestrian Connect began partnering with horse show management to allow exhibitors to submit their entries electronically.
Instead of having to print out the entries they created with Equestrian Connect, users can now also submit the entries electronically. Gone are the days of the mad dash to the post office to priority ship entries to make sure they arrived to the show office in time. With just one more click and an electronic signature, the entries are immediately submitted to the respective show office.
In a world committed to tradition, many horse people are resistant to change, particularly if it involves a computer. But thousands of trainers are taking the plunge, realizing that the system means they spend less time playing secretary and more time in the saddle.
“Equestrian Connect is the best way to save me time, and saving time makes me money. If I’m spending less time on entries and more time on their horses, that’s much more valuable,” explained long-time user Hope Glynn of Sonoma Valley Stables in Petaluma, California.
This year alone, 25,800 entries were created using Equestrian Connect, with the majority being submitted electronically to some of the top shows in the country. In the company’s home state of California, over 95% of “A” rated shows recognize and use the system. In 2012, the first year of electronic entries being available, exhibitors submitted 4,950 entries electronically. In 2013, that figure more than doubled—over 10,000 entries have been sent directly to shows through the Equestrian Connect software.
“We’ve gone from resistance of new technology to rapid adoption of it,” co-founder Barbara Phillips marveled. And Equestrian Connect has no intentions of slowing down.
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