Sitting in the red seats that line the South Point Arena at the USHJA Nationals Championship Horse Show in Las Vegas, it’s easy to feel a sensation I’m sure we’ve all felt at horse shows - imposter syndrome.
I was there as a small business owner, and I was feeling incredibly lucky that USHJA asked me to provide my company, RingSide Pro’s, services at the show. However, as I watched the Jumbotron flick through the logos of the industry giants sponsoring the event, I felt small. How long would it take to grow my company to a size where it could be seen next to those corporations?
Then, my heart skipped a beat. There on the massive screen was the RingSide Pro logo. My logo.
Part of my deal with USHJA included sponsorship, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise. However, I spent the year with my head down and focusing on my work. I never took the time to let my progress sink in, and I was feeling like such a small fish in a big pond. Seeing my company’s logo on the jumbotron was an important moment for me. I was able to reflect and appreciate how far I’ve come - all the way from Virginia to Las Vegas!
When I started RingSide Pro in 2019, I had so much confidence in the roadmap I had laid out for the company. Then a global pandemic hit, and I learned an important lesson: some of the best work you’ll do comes when you need to pivot. My original plan was to create online entry and results software. My pivot was to focus on communication software that would allow horse shows with any online entry system to quickly and easily communicate with anyone on the show grounds.
RingSide Pro’s Text Message Alert Service was born! As horse shows started back up in the fall of 2020, RingSide Pro allowed shows to use mass text message alerts to keep people informed without needing them to gather near the ring or in barns. As social distancing restrictions loosened, horse shows found new uses for the service, and they continue to use it today.
My proudest achievement is that the service is flexible enough for all kinds of events to use it: schooling shows informing haul-ins of what time to arrive for the afternoon schooling break, a summer show sending instructions of what to do when lightning was spotted near the ring, and a week-long show sending reminders about evening hospitality events including a crazy Oktoberfest night!
In 2022, I was able to work with some of the top horse shows in the country including:
- The Upperville Colt and Horse Show
- The USHJA International Green Hunter & Hunter Derby Championships
- The Capital Challenge Horse Show
- Temecula Valley National Horse Show
- The USHJA National Championship Horse Show in Las Vegas
Receiving feedback from users is an important step in my process and helps me build the software. Each time I send out feedback surveys, I dread reading the results because I am so scared someone will tell me they hated the tool I’ve worked so hard to build. Once I muster up the courage to read each response, I realize that fear is all in my head.
“This was one of the best run text alert shows I’ve been to. It made the logistics of Vegas so much easier and made sure we were always on time for the posted orders.“
“I would like to see even more text updates for each ring please. As a barn manager, it was EXTREMELY helpful.”
“It was so nice to get the updates. Very convenient and helpful. Thanks!”
Reflecting on the last three years of work on RingSide Pro, I am proud of what I have built, and I have so much more planned for the future. But before I jump into the next phase, I am grateful for the time I’m taking now at the end of the year to appreciate just how far I’ve come.
Ex: RingSide Pro uses new technologies enhancing the traditions of equestrian sports. Through their online learning tools and competition management services, they are creating an online "One Stop Shop" for all equestrians. Learn more about RingSide Pro and their services on Equivont.
Originally posted on the RingSide Pro Blog.