As we know there are no limits to the versatility and intelligence of the Thoroughbred. So, it is no surprise that they are a fan favorite in the digital world as well. The Tech Equestrian had a chance to find out more about an exciting new educational community-based app from founder and creator, Lauren Simmons.
Lauren has dedicated her talent to this wonderful breed by introducing a community app that features a diverse mix of news, opportunities, events and more making it an ideal one-stop digital resource for Thoroughbred owners, riders, and enthusiasts.
Lauren grew up riding in Maryland and started taking lessons at the age of six. “It was immediate; as soon as I started riding, I was hooked,” shared Lauren. Her ‘go to’ discipline is hunters and equitation and at the age of 12 she advanced from ponies to horses as her skills grew. “I have so many fond memories of my first horse Romeo who was an off the track Thoroughbred, and that pretty much started my passion for off the track thoroughbreds,” she said. At the moment Lauren does not have a horse but has experience owning several OTTB’s over the years and plans to be in the market soon for another one.
A Name to Remember
The OTTB Mafia app launched in June 2022. Asked about the name choice for the app, Lauren said she wanted to create a memorable and unique name for the app so that people would remember. “Mafia,” which literally means a group of people with similar interests or backgrounds, seemed to work since OTTB Mafia is a community-based app around the common interest of the Thoroughbred,” she explained.
In creating the app, Lauren specifically looked at featuring all things OTTB in one location. “I designed the app to make it easy for users to seek advice, participate in forums, find training tips, post OTTB related jobs/volunteer opportunities, see upcoming Thoroughbred specific shows and more,” she explained. Currently there are more than 200 users on the app. “My goal is to double that by the New Year and a long-term goal is to keep growing and expanding the users and information in the app,” she shared.
Given how versatile the breed is, there may be equestrians who ride in different disciplines, but they all have the common ground of owning or riding a Thoroughbred. “Even though it is geared towards the Thoroughbred, it is a welcoming space for equestrians of all disciplines,” said Lauren.
“I wanted to bridge the gap between disciplines and connect OTTB owners of all backgrounds.”
The app provides a platform which allows you to read the blog, share your activity on the wall, make a profile, connect with members, participate in forms and post in groups. “As we increase members and add more content, the opportunity to connect will be even greater,” Lauren pointed out. “I’m also planning on creating another tier of the app that includes access to more in-depth educational content, as well as giving back to the OTTB community,” she shared.
Experience the OTTB Mafia Brand on Etsy
Lauren features her prominent brand on a dedicated Etsy store page called OTTB Mafia. “Our most popular selling item is the black and white logo hat,” said Lauren. “We also have socks, t-shirts, and Thoroughbred stickers which make great gifts for the upcoming season.” If you are looking for OTTB merchandise, this is a great place to start to support the breed.
Tech Test Drive
“I encourage everyone, whether they own or ride a Thoroughbred to download the app for free along with following OTTB Mafia on Facebook and Instagram.” Her main channel of marketing is through social media, and she is planning to go to more horse shows to help spread the word including events in Aiken, South Carolina, and the Carolina Horse Park.
“As equestrians these are exciting times to ride and share your experiences with those near and far by leveraging technology. I think in five years we will see technology really take off in the equine industry and this includes an emphasis on using technology to help with safety precautions in the sport, as well as in veterinary diagnostics,” said Lauren.
OTTB Mafia Website: https://ottbmafia.com
Download the free OTTB Mafia App on Google Play & the Apple store