A 30-minute horseback ride away from the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), K-2 Show Stables trainer and show manager Jennifer Newman uses the ShowGroundsLive mobile app to plan her days.
Every winter, thousands of equestrians and their horses head to Wellington, Fl. for WEF. With growing popularity, the show is extending far past its facilities, overtaking the entire city. With the expansion comes the struggle to stay in-tune with the happenings around the show grounds.
The ShowGroundsLive software, which operates both online and on mobile platforms, offers a way to access ring status, results, orders-of-go and billing so barns like K-2 don’t have to board their horses in the WEF facilities.
New Technology Is Helping Show Horses Live More Comfortably
ShowGroundsLive keeps track of all twelve rings, updating as the day goes on. Each ring will show how many horses have completed the course out of the total number in the division, as well as an estimated end time and start time for the next class. This technology helps trainers work efficiently, keeping them and their horses happier.
Newman explains how horse shows can be overwhelming for horses, especially over long periods of time. It is important to her, and many other trainers, to stable away from the show and only travel to it on days where they compete.
With the help of the software, Newman is able to maintain a facility in Wellington while also training at WEF.
ShowGroundsLive Mobile App Became a Necessity
Before WEF 2013, ShowGroundsLive added an iPhone app as an addition to their program. Wesley Rosner, ShowGroundsLive creator, says he realized that while some may have access to computers, most people do not have laptops on or near the show grounds.
This year, ShowGroundsLive updated the app for IOS7 and revamped it to be more intuitive, as Rosner explains. The update focused on the display of the orders-of-go and added a live scoring feature. During the 2014 show, users on the app can see scores as the class goes on. This is just one more way ShowGroundsLive is working to give its users the feel of being on the show grounds without physically being there.
Newman says that the addition of ShowGroundsLive has not only helped her know what is going on at the show, but also makes it so she does not even have to enter the show office. Also, the application allows you to personalize it so it keeps track of the people that you need to be watching for.
In addition to personalization, being able to travel while watching the live updates is vital for riders and trainers. The ShowGroundsLive system helps horse show staff run the show more smoothly. Show staffer Pat Duncan, for example, says the app is now much more user-friendly, which helps people get to the ring on time so they can stick to the order-of-go.
With Technology Comes New Problems To Solve
Rosner says software design is always trial and error. He says he always has several ideas that he is working on to better please the users.
Rosner explains how there are several ways the system can update. ShowGroundsLive is integrated with technology from the scoreboards and judges. Also, sometimes the announcer or in-gate person is in charge of updating the system.
Users have found that sometimes the system is not always up to date. According to Zach Libes, a rider at WEF: “Sometimes [the software] won’t update the actual times so that can be a problem with getting to your class on time.”
Rosner says he does not have much experience with horse shows, so he works primarily for his users.
“The challenge is always kind of really understanding the subtleties of how an industry works, how the people work in the industry, what’s important to them and what’s not,” Rosner says.
Despite any issues that the creators have had, they push to make the software more efficient every day.