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The Tech Equestrian

Welcome to the new normal. Technology is everywhere and effects everyone and everything.  To keep up with the changes and information that impacts the equestrian world, I hope you will enjoy the stories, profiles and insights that this blog will feature. In addition, stay connected on social by joining my Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages!

EQUO – The Future of Horse Transport is Now

EQUO – The Future of Horse Transport is Now

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Four years ago, Daniel and Steven Bluman, international professional equestrians saw an opportunity that grew out of the struggles of transporting their equine athletes. It was a painful process, calling each of the large shipping companies to get a quote, waiting a day or so for a quote and then when you thought you were all set, they changed the schedule on you. “They wanted to change that process, because the only thing that was changing was the equipment to transport horses, nothing else,” said Juan Palacio, CFO and CMO of Equo.

Uber + Expedia = Equo
“Our platform works like Uber, everything is scheduled, tracked and paid on the app, and the planning and shipment aspect is similar to how you use Expedia,” explained Palacio. To date, Equo has more than 1,500 active users and 4,000 who have signed up and logged in. 

The app features an instant quote tool, and the pricing adjusts based on how flexible you are in timing and location along with 24/7 access. The credit card payment process is seamless and secure. “Our customers find that the quoting tool is one of their favorite features,” Palacio added.

 Easy ordering screen.

Easy ordering screen.

 

Four Stages to Each Trip
Reliability, and safety are what matters when transporting precious animals and Equo has developed a method in achieving that to deliver on their promise. “There are four stages to a trip,” said Palacio, “It starts with the request from a customer, and then you are assigned a shipper with name and full details, followed by a pick-up notification on the day of travel and live tracking in route (including alerts and updates), and lastly, a post-trip history and summary.” There is also a two-way rating system, where the user can rate the driver and driver can rate the user, just like Uber. 

In terms of safety, all of the drivers have to go through background checks and are under contract. Equo is the only online horse transport that hires legal drivers. The app launched in January 2017 and they now have 150 shippers available in their network.

 Ride tracking is part of the stages of the trip.

Ride tracking is part of the stages of the trip.

What’s Next?
“We are working on introducing 2.0 in the next few weeks,” said Palacio. The plan is for a redesign of the app from improving the graphics to the navigation and overall user experience. “We want the experience to be seamless and mirror what customers are used to, similar to an airline app,” added Palacio.  The new enhancements will also include the ability to add comments so both parties could compliment the rating.

Who uses Equo?
Equo is proud to offer land transport for some of the largest and most successful barns in the country. “We originally were focused on the Southeast, mainly Florida and have now expanded into Canada and Mexico and the rest of the U.S. with a high concentration in California,” said Palacio. We also have sponsored riders mainly from the hunter/jumper community including Daniel Bluman, Andy Kocher, and Tanya Jenkins(from the reining world). Young riders are also part of the brand ambassador strategy to build awareness at an early age.

Equine Tech Pioneers Unite
Today, there are many new innovative technology companies that are dedicated to serving the equestrian world and like Equo are small and need to build mindshare. “There are numerous advantages to creating an equine technology collaboration program,” said Palacio. Equo is now partnered with BarnManager, JUMPFAX, and StableGuard and each offer a unique solution, but together are very powerful. “We share ideas, refine our go to market strategy with cross promotions and sharing of costs, giving us more visibility and in the end a great mix of technology options for the consumer.”

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In 5 years, technology adoption for equestrians will depend on how well technology companies work together to make it easier.”
- Juan Palacio
CFO and CMO
Equo

“I am proud that StableGuard is part of the Stronger Together Equine Tech Collaboration. Equo, Jumpfax, and BarnManager are all led by young, innovative, passionate entrepreneurs who want to lead the way for technology development in the equine industry. Our goal is to provide horse owners and riders with the tools they need to simplify their daily routines of horse care, management, and showing. We are excited to continue to support the growth and expansion of high-tech companies in the equine industry.”
- Alexa Anthony
CEO, Magic AI Corp.
President, StableGuard

"The advantages of this partnership are overwhelming. Not only are we able to reach more people faster by combining forces, but also we can really advocate for each other, and streamline the message that we are trying to communicate to the horse world. We are all using technology to improve the lives of equestrians. This is our shared mission, and together, we can make progress more quickly, and spread the word of our progress more effectively. I am truly honored to be a part of Stronger Together Equine Tech Collaboration, and I am excited for what the future will bring."
- Nicole Lakin
CEO and Founder
BarnManager
 

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