My Horse For Sale

Personal Tragedy Inspires Online Business Startup
After losing a longtime friend and horse enthusiast to cancer, Jan Erhardt found herself embarking on an entrepreneurial challenge.

In 2002, Erhardt lost her friend of 17 years and fellow horse enthusiast, Sarah Standfier. It was a friendship that began and ended with horses. At Standfier’s death, Erhardt promised to sell and find homes for Standifier’s horses. Four years later, Erhardt’s kindness turned into her own business,

Erhardt met Standfier through mutual friends while searching for a lesson horse for her daughter. Through the years, Standfier, who worked at a racing facility, would contact Erhardt when injured race horses were being sold at bargain prices. Erhardt would rehabilitate the horses until good owners could be found.

Erhardt also found Standfier to be an invaluable resource when friends or family were looking for particular horses. “She had a huge heart and softness for horses,” Erhardt said. “She was just really a very gifted person … kind of like Dr. Dolittle, talking to the horses. She could really communicate with and work with a horse to find out if it was a good match for the person.”

After losing her friend, Erhardt went through a tedious process of advertising the horses. She ran print ads, placed fliers in feed stores, posted on all the popular classified websites and developed numerous videos of the horses to mail to prospective buyers. After spending almost $3,000 in advertising, videos and postage, Erhardt figured there had to be an easier and cheaper way.

She started discussing with a friend in web development the possibility of making video available to prospective buyers online, and she wrote a business plan for an online classified site t