Last December, Steve van Zutphen, Core Platform CEO and founder, announced the development of a new app for skiers that Olympic medallist Jan Hudec demonstrated to his friends in the ski-racing world at the World Cup at Lake Louise.
Created by Core division pandaHAUS, its success caught the attention of other sports. Team member Daniel Lefebvre was asked if a similar type of app could connect people within the international show-jumping community.
This past March, pandaHAUS Equestrian app was launched at a show-jumping event in Wellington, Fla., that was downloaded by over 10,000 enthusiasts within the first three weeks.
It is being promoted by some of the world’s finest riders, including Eric Lamaze and Olympic champion Rodrigo Pessoa, and they are excited about the opportunity the app allows them to give back to the equestrian community.
People using pandaHAUS Equestrian can show their appreciation for their favourite stars by tapping on their photos/videos to record points. The accumulated points are then donated to young people in their sport.
Pessoa recently ran a contest to pick a winner at a show-jumping event and a young girl won a $5,000 saddle thanks to the rider’s points total.
Now Lefebvre and his team are upgrading it to also include horse lovers in dressage, polo and other events. And there are many other sports on the pandaHAUS radar.
Lefebvre has been calling on his sporting friends to discuss development of more apps.
After serving in the Canadian Airborne Regiment, he was coach of the Canadian Olympic biathlon team and went on to work for Own the Podium at the Vancouver Olympics before joining WinSport in Calgary, where he was a director and created the WinSport Academy.
His friendship with Hudec brought him to pandaHAUS, and it was while attending an event in Las Vegas he was asked, “Why not an app for rodeo?”
He needed a lead ambassador and after demonstrating how it could benefit his sport, Canadian bull riding champion Cody Snyder eagerly took on the task and is busy promoting pandaHAUS Rodeo with his friends during the Calgary Stampede.
Fifteen professionals on the rodeo circuit became ambassadors in its first week of trials, including famed rodeo clown Flint Rasmussen, and a number of country music singers have already posted their profiles.
It will be officially launched at a Professional Bull Riders event in Nashville next month, but already a former champion from Australia has declared he will be a strong promoter in his home country.
And Synder says the app was very well received by contestants and watchers at a recent bull-riding exhibition at Predator Ridge Golf Club.
The free app will connect many of the 19-million rodeo followers around the world, establishing a dedicated network for the cowboy culture. They will enjoy feeds from the professionals they follow and also a technical component in which competitors can be in touch with trainers, equipment providers, animal medicine, Cowboy Church, sports media, and even buy and sell stock or a horse — directed to only those interested in rodeo; although plans are to expand pandaHAUS Rodeo to cover all aspects of the western style of living.
Snyder is also very appreciative of the powerful app that allows users to zoom in on photos and videos and is most interested in the point system that will allow users to give back to their sport.
Lefebvre says pandaHAUS is creating a charitable fund to support athletes in need and kids who have financial difficulties to participate.
Skiing, equestrian and now rodeo — what’s the next sport to get its pandaHAUS app?
David Parker appears Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at email@example.com