Date of Award


Document Type

Distinction Paper


Business, Accounting, & Economics


Yiyuan Liu, Ph.D.

First Committee Member

Yiyuan Liu, Ph.D.

Second Committee Member

Bruce Mandeville, J.D.

Third Committee Member

Steffanie Burk, Ph.D.


horses, advertising, social media, marketing

Subject Categories

Agribusiness | Animal Studies | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Marketing | Sales and Merchandising | Sports Studies


This study discovered general market conditions as well as buyer and seller behavior in the sporthorse market for the disciplines of Dressage, Show Jumping, and Eventing. The efficient sale of sporthorses in these disciplines is equally as important of a consideration as the marketing and advertising decisions for any other product such as automobiles or electronics. Equids differ from regular products in that they typically have markedly higher inventory costs associated with the maintenance of holding onto a live animal. Therefore, it is arguably more imperative for businesses to determine the quickest and most efficient means to sell them. This survey-based empirical study analyzed both sides to the market: buyers and sellers.

Among the information gathered from the sellers’ side were important considerations involving the advertising of sporthorses such as the channels utilized, information included in the ad, perceived success of each channel, as well as a general descriptive of the industry. The buyers’ side included information concerning their use of each channel, preferences for information included in the ads, purchasing habits, and general descriptive information. Both buyers and sellers were shown to have notable differences in demographics, preferences, and behaviors depending on riding discipline.

Overall market preferences for buyers included a strong preference for Facebook, horse advertising websites, and word of mouth advertising, as well as a strong preference for price and video inclusion in advertisements. A slight gap between buyer preferences and sellers’ behavior in most areas was perceived. Facebook and horse advertising websites were shown to be correlated to quicker turnaround times for sellers. The likelihood to include price was also shown to be a significant factor in regression and strongly correlated to quicker turnaround times for sellers.