Barnbridge is the brainchild of Erik Jerneld and Janou Hendrix. Both entrepreneurs are involved with organizing horse and or foal auctions and they’ve joined forces to make the world of equestrian auctions more easily accessible and transparent. We asked them how it all began, what initiated their joint venture and how they hope the platform will develop.
How and when did the idea form to start an auction platform?
“That was in September of 2020”, Erik starts the story of how it all began. “As a member of the Swedish Select Horse Sales I was working on the auction, since the organization had just decided to hold an online only version due to Covid. It was not easy to get an overview of which auctions were being held during the same period and I thought it would be a good idea to gather the auctions on one platform. To get a better overview and to help auctions reach more potential clients.” This is the moment when Erik reached out to Janou.
“I’ve known Janou for a very long time and I believed her extensive knowledge of the equestrian world, regarding sport, auctions and marketing would be very useful.” Janou was very interested in joining forces. “I had been thinking of something similar for a while. Since I was always wondering which auctions were happening at what time I believed it would be a great addition to the current online equestrian market
How did the idea develop and when did the idea become a reality?
“We started straight away by making rough drafts of how we would like the platform to function, and which features we would like to offer to visitors and members. We were also inspired by renowned auction houses that sell art and luxury goods. In that auction world there are similar platforms in place”, Janou continues. “When we had our vision more or less drafted on paper, we reached out to a web developer to help us build and design the platform. This was early 2021.
In September of 2021 the website was fully tested and ready to be launched to the public. You can imagine it was quite exciting for us to see how the platform would be received and which auctions would be willing to join as a partner. We launched the website during the FEI/WBFSH World Championships for Young Horses in Lanaken and one of the first auctions that signed up was the Zangersheide Quality Auction. We were definitely off to a great start.”
Barnbridge distinguishes itself by having all the individual lots of each auction to browse, can you tell us the benefits of that and the options?
“We thought Barnbridge should not only give viewers an instant overview of when all the listed auctions are taking place, but we firmly believed it was also necessary to have all the individual lots on the platform. Being able to see when you can buy a horse, foal, broodmare, or embryo has much more value when you can see the details”, Erik explains.
“The benefits of seeing each individual lot of an auction collection gives the viewer more information about what is on offer. Potential buyers and interested parties can easily search and find the kind of horse they are interested in. By using filters, they can find lots by a specific age, sire, discipline etc. After finding one or more horses that meet viewers criteria, they can easily click on the button of the specific auction the lot is being sold by, which provides the opportunity to make a bid straight away.”
“If viewers do not find a horse that meets their interest right away, they can set alerts to get notified when a new horse that matches their criteria is added to the platform. For example, say you are looking for a young jumper, foal or an embryo, sired by Cornet Obolensky. Then all you have to do is add this to your personal preferences and you will be notified by email if such a lot comes up for auction. “The search and alert features are also useful tools for stallion owners. If they want to stay informed or follow the offspring of a particular stallion, they can set alerts for its descendants and get notified when they are added to the platform”, Janou says. “This allows you to stay on top of the auction world.”
What are the other special member features that you created and what can they be used for?
“Alerts can also be set to receive notifications about new auctions that are added to the platform. Whether you are interested in jumping, eventing or dressage auctions with collections consisting of youngsters, ridden horses, foals, broodmares or embryo’s, you can set a filter for everything and never miss another auction.
One of the other special features is our archive. All the lots that are sold are saved in our database. That means that members can browse and see which horses have been sold, since the start of our platform that is. If agreed upon by our partner auction, we also provide the prices of the sold lots in this database. This provides members with the option to easily find prices of sold horses from past auctions or to compare prices between horses that match their filters.”
What is the goal you are working towards?
“The goal is that Barnbridge becomes the go-to platform for the equestrian auction world. One platform – one overview for all the equestrian auctions and lots. We hope Barnbridge will continue to grow and will keep assisting partner auctions to reach more potential clients and help buyers with finding their dream horse.”
What about development of the site, are there any new features being developed at the moment?
From January 2022 we will offer selected banner spots on the platform to give companies the possibility to market themselves to the Barnbridge community. We will also offer a ‘stories’ section with in-depth interviews and articles from the equestrian auction world. And of course, we continuously keep developing the platform to improve the experience for its users.”