Six years ago, Landon Jones and Dawson Guhle got connected through the sport of horse racing. Now, they’re preparing to launch a platform that they hope can do the same for others.
In 2021, Jones and Guhle formed the idea for Agri/Gate Management, an app and web-based platform that could be used to simplify communication and streamline the flow of data in the racing industry. They envisioned that through their software, they could remove the barriers to entry for new participants through education, improve the traceability of horses on and off the track, and contribute to the sustainability of the industry for future generations.
Guhle has been involved in the sport for over a decade as a breeder based in Alberta. He met Jones, who was running a sales agency at the time, when Jones became interested in getting involved in racing.
Jones bought in on a horse campaigned by Guhle’s Lucky 13 Racing syndicate and was hooked from there. He soon became a partner on another Lucky 13 Racing horse named Maria’s Song (Marine Landing). When Maria’s Song made his debut on Canadian Derby Day and won going away, Jones brought over 50 people with him into the winner’s circle at Century Mile Racetrack.
“It looked like we had won the Super Bowl,” Guhle recalled with a laugh. “But I think that really sparked something for both of us in seeing how excited everyone was and the enjoyment of bringing people together to share that moment. Racing can bring those thrills that you can’t really experience anywhere else. It got the wheels turning of how we could bring more people in.”
As a newcomer to racing with a knack for business, Jones saw an opportunity in the sport and a need to bridge the gap between the traditional racing community and a new generation of industry participants. Through this train of thought, he and Guhle formed the idea for Agri/Gate Management.
“In my first few years in the industry, I saw a void as far as a lack of transparency and a lack of communication,” Jones said. “We wanted to build a platform that would streamline communication and billing, create a welcoming environment for newcomers, and re-engage the traditional participants.”
The software is now in its beta version and Agri/Gate is well on its way to launching in the app store in the next few months. Trainers will be able to communicate directly with their owners via the app by sending updates on their horses and organizing administrative records like licensing, billing notes and veterinary reports.
The app will be integrated with Equibase, allowing users to search any horse that is on Equibase and find basic data. Privacy settings will be in place so that only users associated with a specific horse as an owner or trainer persona will be able to see the information shared by the horse’s trainer.
Along with increased transparency with horses in training, another key initiative of Agri/Gate is to improve traceability when a horse is no longer on the racetrack. Once a horse is retired, a trainer can pass on the ability to share updates to the new person responsible for the horse. That new managerial persona can share updates within the app so that former stakeholders in the horse can track the horse into its second career.
“These types of things are becoming really important for the sustainability of the industry,” Guhle said. “People don’t just accept not having any idea of where a horse went anymore.”
“If we really look at the well-being of the animal and the traceability aspect of the software, I think that’s going to be the biggest benefit to the industry as a whole,” added Jones.
Education is another main goal of Agri/Gate. On the app, fans will be able to access informative videos and other educational content.
“Getting the fans on the platform is almost as important to us as the communication piece between trainer and owner,” Jones explained. “One of our key initiatives is converting fans to owners. Syndicates may be able to market on the platform to new potential owners. I think that’s going to really provide a new wave to the ownership side.”
Jones said they envision that users will be able to access the platform through some type of subscription model. While all the details are still being finalized, Jones and Guhle are firm in their vision for the platform as the date of Agri/Gate’s official launch approaches.
“We want to work with the industry to reduce the barrier of entry. We want to contribute to the sport with a software that is going to help the typical fan get engaged and learn about ownership.”
To learn more about Agri/Gate, click here to visit their website.
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