BY TYLER BUI
When David Sanderson met Stacy Lane Sanderson—a professional in the equestrian industry—he knew very little about horses. Thirty years later, he and Stacy now own Hunter Lane Inc., one of the most successful hunter/jumper barns based out of North Texas.
“I started dating this girl that did horses, and that was my entrance into the [horse world.] Now we’re married and have our business together,” says David. “I didn’t know the front to the back of the horse at the time, but being in Ocala, it was easy to learn if you wanted to. There’s a lot of great trainers and mentors—I could go to Don Stewart, Christina Shulsmeyer for help. I would go out to their farms and ask them questions so I could learn.”
Both David and Stacy were raised in Ocala, FL and emphasized that value that the many outstanding horsemen and horsewomen in the area—and the opportunities they provided—had on their respective careers.
“Growing up in Ocala, if I was willing to work hard, I could learn, because there’s so many great mentors and horsemen in Ocala to learn from,” says Stacy. “As long as you’re willing to work hard, everyone is willing to help you. Go out there [and] show an effort—go set schooling jumps, ask your questions, listen, and you’re going to learn.”
The Sandersons moved from that Ocala base to Texas 12 years ago and now are based out of Dallas.
“My wife does all the training, and I do all of the sales,” says David. “We travel for around 30 weeks out of the year, going to horse shows all over the country. We sell and lease a lot of horses and we have a small boutique customer base. Everybody has multiple horses, so it makes it really easy and fun.”
This year marks the first time Hunter Lane Inc. has shown at Pin Oak. As they are originally from Ocala, wintering in Florida has been their norm for many years. They brought a small group of horses to show at Pin Oak, including some sale horses, ponies, and riders competing in the Children’s and Junior Hunter divisions.
“It’s amazing here. It’s the biggest horse show in Texas, and I’ve always known about it. We wanted to travel a bit less this year, and now that we’re in Dallas, we decided to stay in Texas for the winter,” says David. “We did the winter series [at the Great Southwest Equestrian Center], and now we’re here for Pin Oak. The facility is great, the management is great: Amy Uniss, who runs the facility, is awesome. The Hildebrand Family does a great job [as well as] the Pink Oak Charity Board. It’s just amazing.”