EXPERIENCE BY THERESA CARDAMONE
was born with a fascination for horses that is unexplainable considering the fact that the rest of my working-class family was oblivious to their existence. My only contact with those
magical creatures was via sports page coverage of Thoroughbred racing or the horse stories
I borrowed from the Bookmobile each week. As a teen, I was a true fan-girl, sending good-luck
cards and gifts ahead to the various tracks where my heroes (Riva Ridge and Secretariat) were scheduled to face their next challenge. I loved them like they were my own, and I was forever changed by the experience of being present for some of their greatest victories.
That direct connection to racing’s biggest stars underscored my penchant for dreaming big and fueled my determination to finally have a horse of my own. Even though my family could offer
no support, my pen pal relationship provided the inspiration I needed to make the jump from
“wanting” to “having.” Within a year, I was cleaning houses in my neighborhood after school to support my first horse. Soon, I had graduated to competing in local shows. When I wanted to
buy my first Arabian horse, I won the money on a TV game show. Valez later carried me across the USA and into a career in the Arabian industry.
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All over the world, kids and adults alike are dreaming the
broadened the audience for football in general. People who
dreams include winning championships in the show ring!
are now going to one at the stadium. And on the corporate
dream of horse ownership. More often than not, those
Every day, parents are faced with the same dilemma that
mine were—how can they support their child’s dream? Often, the answer is simply that they don’t have the financial
means. There is no middle ground. There are many adults who have worked hard all their lives, just getting by, clinging
to their fading horse dreams. They are lacking a mechanism
otherwise wouldn’t be watching a football game on television level, men and women who may not have previously watched
football are now leading staff-wide fantasy sports contests. We can see a similar arc of progress for FanStable—we fully expect that it will have the same audience-broadening effect for horse show participation.”
to connect them to real show horses the way that I was
Instead of drafting players to a sports team, FanStable players
risk and expense.
into their fantasy show barn. If the horses perform well in the
through fan mail; a virtual means of involvement without the
Fortunately for the contemporary horse lover, successful entrepreneur and longtime Arabian horse breeder and promoter, Jeff Sloan, has got you covered with his newest
brainchild, FanStable. “FanStable is a first-of-its kind application that is a fantasy sports-style experience for people
who love horses,” Sloan explains. “Fantasy football has
draft real-life horses of all breeds from actual horse shows actual show, fans earn points, prizes, and bragging rights. It’s a great way to attract new enthusiasts, introduce them to the
breeds, and help them decide which breeds and disciplines most interest them. For parents, the app provides an interim
period during which their kids can learn about the different breeds and disciplines to discover which ones they are most passionate about and want to focus on.
Fantasy Sports for People who Love Horses!
Create Your Dream Stable and Compete to Win!
Project Manager Phyllis LaMalfa is the
person.” Peyton’s fellow competitor, Tyler
it is being rolled out. “It’s completely
his scope of understanding within the
face of FanStable at all of the shows where
Lambert, credits the app with expanding
free to play,” she enthuses. “You can go
Arabian breed. “If I’m not familiar with
to the App Store or Google Apps and
a division, such as sport horse or working
download the FanStable app. Once you
western, I pay closer attention to those
have downloaded, you create a login for
divisions, so I can earn more points on
yourself using Facebook or your email
FanStable!” he states.
address. You can then name your fantasy
show horse stable. As you pick horses you like and want to
Jeff Sloan believes that FanStable can be an extremely
horse show and look at the horses in each class, then pick
and participation in real-world shows. “We’re starting
follow, they then become part of your stable. You select a up to two horses per class. You get awarded points for each ribbon winner you pick. You don’t have to own a horse. If
you have friends who are showing, you can support them from home. It gives people who can’t afford a horse a way to interact.”
According to Sloan, revenue for the app will come via advertising and sponsorships, as well as via in-app
powerful tool to attract attention and increase ownership with the Arabian breed because it is the one we know
and love,” he says. “This could be very helpful in getting more people involved—bringing more money, interest,
and energy to the breed.” Once the model is proved in the
Arabian breed, FanStable will expand to cover all breeds and all disciplines related to showing, beginning with the Andalusian and Lusitano Nationals in September.
purchases that will be offered to players who want
A study by the American Horse Council reports that
app. Ultimately, there will be a real-world marketplace
and/or show horses but can’t, due not only to economic
to accelerate and enhance their experience with the
attached to FanStable so that people who fall in love with
a horse in the virtual experience can purchase the actual horse (assuming it is marked “For Sale”) if the player decides to take that next step and graduate to ownership.
FanStable had a well-received test run at the recent Arabian
competitor Peyton Bergstad downloaded the app at the
there are tens of millions of people who want to own
barriers, but also because they currently have no way to
test the waters before making the plunge. “We believe that
we will ultimately draw millions of people from around the world onto this application playing these contests,” Sloan enthuses. “And a meaningful percentage of those
people will graduate to real-world horse ownership and showing.”
show before introducing her friends to FanStable. “I’ve
Speaking as a former fan-girl, it is a prophecy that I
miss out on any points,” she explains. “But I would be just
horse lover, I can hardly wait to create a Fantasy Stable
made it a point to select my winners every day, so I don’t
as inclined to use the app remotely for shows I’m not at in
enthusiastically endorse. And as a present-day Arabian of my own! ■
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FANSTABLE E XPERIENCE
FanStable players Peyton Bergstad (center) and Tyler Lambert (bottom) at the 2019 Youth Nationals.
Ar abian Horse Times | 117 | Volume 50, No. 3