Above: Alison Koenig (3rd from left), Sales Paddock CEO with clients at Quarter Horse Congress.
By Lauren Mauldin
Sales Paddock is an equine marketing tool that is as mobile as you are. With the ability to check in at specific horse shows, send alert messages to buyers and quickly list new horses for sale – this mobile phone app blends technology and marketing to the benefit of sellers and buyers.
Alison Koenig, the founder and CEO of Sales Paddock, knows how frustrating selling horses can be. Spending ten years as a Quarter Horse hunter/jumper trainer in Wisconsin, Koenig saw how difficult it could be for a young professional to market horses at big shows like Quarter Horse Congress. As an up and coming trainer, Koenig struggled to advertise horses alongside professionals with a larger network. Seeing every surface at the show covered with paper fliers and pull-tabs, she wondered if there might be a better way. “I thought, wouldn’t it be great to have something where we knew what was for sale at the horse show?” After starting a family, Koenig decided to switch her focus from training to technology and find a mobile solution to the problem — founding the Sales Paddock app in 2016.
The app was created from a seller’s standpoint to make everything as painless as possible for the busy professional. New users can get a horse listed in less than ten minutes using pictures and videos directly from their phone. Sellers like Linda Radigan of River Bend Jumpers love how quick and easy the app is to use. “I can do it from my office, and by office I mean — back of a horse,” Radigan said about listing.
Sales Paddock has a lot more to offer than speed. The horse show check in feature allows professionals to let buyers know where the sales horses are currently showing. So, if a barn is gearing up for a few weeks at Thermal they can quickly mark which sale horses will be available at that circuit. Additionally, sellers can send out custom messages about specific horses using the alert feature. Whether it’s updating buyers on show results, price changes or other important updates, Sales Paddock makes it easy for sellers to communicate with interested buyers. “People can say “hey, I’m going to ride this horse now’ while they are at the show, and then a group of people that have saved the horse [on the app] can go and watch it school,” Koenig explained.
Sellers are taking notice of Sales Paddock’s innovative features. Currently, there are around 300 sellers using the app to market hunter/jumper and AQHA horses with approximately 500 ads for sale or lease. With roughly fifty new users per day, Sales Paddock continues to grow in terms of both horses represented and buyers shopping.
Since Koenig developed the app from the perspective of a young trainer, it’s no surprise that sellers love its features and ease of use. “The feedback has been incredible. A lot of trainers tell me they add a horse in-between two lessons,” she said. Customer feedback from both sellers and buyers is important to Koenig. Adding a filter specifically to show lease horses was the direct result of brand ambassador, Shannon Dickinson of RAVEsales, but that’s not the only improvement headed to Sales Paddock.
In an upcoming release, the app will feature an interactive map of sales horses. Buyers will be able to preview locations and see pins displaying all the sellers and their horses in that area. With this feature, buyers can plan ahead when preparing a trip to see horses. Additionally, Koenig is increasing the capability of the “save” feature. Soon buyers will be able to organize saved horses into lists. “If you’re a trainer, you can make a list for each of your buyers and place horses within those lists,” Koenig said about the new organization feature.
For people who don’t like adding apps to their phone, they can expect to see a website version of Sales Paddock planned to launch in the spring of 2018. For Koenig, the sales platform is constantly open to improvement. “My tech team has never told me no,” she said.
Currently Sales Paddock is free to try, and sellers who list their horses now will not be charged for all of 2018. Koenig considers the app as an added tool to what’s currently available within the realm of horse sales. “It’s a way to take a little bit more control of your sale horses,” she said. With quick, easy to use features and ongoing improvements, Sales Paddock continues to effectively connect sellers and buyers in a digital world.
About the Author: Lauren holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California Riverside, and is a lifelong rider and writer. Beyond equestrian journalism, she explores body positivity, mental health and addiction through personal narrative. She enjoys showing on the local hunter/jumper circuit in Austin, Texas.
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