Equine Trader

When it’s time to buy a step-up horse, do you think Facebook is your best option? Not anymore. 

By Lindsay Humphrey

Longtime reiner Chris Holmes developed Equine Trader to make buying and selling easier for all parties involved. Photo by Lindsay Humphreys

If you’ve bought or sold a car on Auto Trader, then you know how user-friendly the application is to find a very specific purchase. That sort of self-tailored search capability was the idea that led to Chris Holmes to develop Equine Trader. 

Holmes, a Utah native and longtime reiner, was frustrated with the clunky process of buying and selling horses, and through his own experience with buying and selling, decided to rectify the situation. 

“I was trying to sell my horse about a year ago, and I went through the typical steps: posting in Facebook groups, calling around to my circle of friends, and then listing on websites,” Holmes said. “Some places you have to pay to list your horse, and others won’t let you list the horse’s price.” 

To add to the problem, in his search to buy a horse, those Holmes liked were difficult to find after getting buried by other listings. His innovative, sales-focused mind saw no other option than to build exactly what he needed: Equine Trader. 

“It’s a free app, so you can download and list your horses today,” he said. “You can list a horse within a minute and blast it out to the world.” 

Holmes wanted to ensure that his application was easy to use for both the buyer and seller. Either party can be as detailed or open-ended as they want in their search or listing. 

“Just like Auto Trader, you can get really specific,” Holmes said. “You can say you want to see all the palomino and buskin 3-year-olds within 200 miles of your location that are out of a certain sire and dam sire.”

Or you can cast a wider net—it’s up to you.

In Holmes’s preliminary research, he found that more than 90% of all internet use on a cell phone comes from applications rather than websites. That made the decision easy for Holmes when he contemplated between the two options.  

“My background is in sales, so this technology stuff is really new to me,” Holmes said of the decision to hire app developers to create his brainchild. 

Holmes shaped the app from the inside out. He spent almost an entire month on the road visiting some of the top trainers and breeders to get their input on his technology. 

“I haven’t bought and sold a lot of horses, so when I was creating the app, I met with probably 15 different people,” Holmes explained. “I asked them what they liked and what they didn’t like. Through that process, we have the app in use today.” 

Available for download for the past month, Holmes has already gotten feedback for both updates and success stories from app users. 

“The really expensive horses sell very easily; they seem to run in a different stratosphere,” he said. “It’s the horses outside of those elite circles that are harder to move. I have one trainer who had five horses to sell when he listed them on the app a month ago, and he’s already sold three of them.” 

The numbers clearly speak for themselves when it comes to the efficacy of the new technology. 

“I think this app does a good job bridging the gap between trying to get a horse moved and someone trying to find one,” Holmes added. “Those people can now instantly connect.” 

Holmes intends to keep the app free for both download and complete usage. As the user and listing numbers increase, he knows the advertising value will grow in tandem. 

“We want to build it up so there are a lot of eyes on it before we start putting advertising on there,” he explained. 

Users can rest assured that the advertisements won’t be intrusive pop-ups; they’ll be simple banners. 

Equine Trader is an event sponsor of the 2020 NRHA Derby presented by Markel. For more information about the app, visit equinetrader.com. To start buying and selling, download the app from Google Play or the Apple Store today.