A friendly welcome greets you as you enter the track-side trailer filled to the brim with horse supplies. From natural supplements to first aid, with harnesses, boots, horse shoes, and wheels in between this on-the-go shop owner runs a bustling business that keeps his customers happy no matter where they may be. Not only do customers come to Ridgecrest Horse Supply, he goes to them and he sees a bright future ahead for his business.

Two years ago Dan Chamberlin traded in his 10 year career in corporate sales at LL Bean to get back to his family roots and what runs in his blood – horses. He purchased the on-track horse supply business that operates out of a trailer at Scarborough Downs. “My whole life has been with horses,” says Chamberlin, who grew up in Sanford riding at his father’s riding school in the 60s. The family had the first indoor arena in the state. It looked like a World War II kwanza hut, but it served the area well providing a riding program for Nason College in Springvale – rain or shine, all year long.

Father and son were well known in the competitive horse circles – riding hunt seat, stock seat, and saddle seat, eventually Dan became a horse judge. Interest in harness racing would come later when Dan’s father met Willis Pease – a noted harness race horse breeder, driver and trainer – of Moraka Stock Farm in Rochester, N.H. It was there that the senior Chamberlin began training standardbreds. The versatility of the breed impressed Chamberlin, who would later train and sell the Portland Police Department standerdbred horses for their first mounted police force.

Today,”converting standardbreds is vogue,” explains Chamberlin. The solidly built horses are intimidating in stature but gentle and calm in disposition – making them a choice breed for many riding disciplines. The University of Maine equine program uses exclusively donated standardbreds from the track for their equine program.

Because Dan gets around, both literally in his business and within the many horse disciplines, his business is well known. He follows the harness racing circuit, setting up shop on-site at each track from Scarborough to Bangor and at each of the fairs that feature harness racing. Whenever there’s live racing going on, Dan’s supply trailer is there and he’s open for business. Horsemen appreciate this service, and Dan appreciates their business.

Customer service is what it is all about. If a customer asks for a particular product, Dan will go out of his way to get it. These days, Dan has noticed that as purses have increased, trainers and horseowners have had more money to invest in their horses. And they’re turning to holistic natural supplements that improve their natural health and performance.

“Ten years ago only a handful of people considered purchasing electrolytes,” said Chamberlin. Today, more and more horse owners have been buying these natural pre-race vitamins and minerals. Additionally, Chamberlin has noticed an increase in sales of Succeed; a digestive aid for mares. In the lean years of harness racing, people didn’t have the financial resources to invest in their horses. As the cash register rings, Dan learns of customers buying broodmares to breed. More babies, and healthier horses, means increased business for Dan. His business is on a roll, and so is the industry, as far as he can see.

Dan Chamberlin ridgecrest horse supplyDan Chamberlin checking out customerUMaine Drill team

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