Riding's MAY, 2008 COVER STORY!


California Riding Magazine • May, 2008

Classic Equine Equip., Inc.
Veteran stall and stable accessories firm
provides much more than meets the eye.

by Kim F. Miller

Most horsemen recognize Classic Equine Equip., Inc.’s beautiful stall systems and stable accessories immediately. Gorgeous hardwoods and elegant, powder coated galvanized steel grillwork are the familiar trademarks of this Fredericktown, MO firm. Their emphasis on beauty and durability is obvious. What is less obvious, but equally important to the company, is customer service.

Manny Vierra is a typical Classic Equine client in the way that he came across their offerings. “I’ve seen them at the Scottsdale Arabian Show for the last 10 years and I’ve always admired their product,” says the owner of Valley Oak Arabians in the Bay Area’s Brentwood. “I like the eye appeal of their product and the structural construction.”

When it came time to build a private stable for his champion purebred Arabians, choosing Classic Equine was a no-brainer. He went with the 4000 Series stalls filled with Brazilian hardwood and picked a black powder coating finish for the stall hardware and grill portions. The stalls fit perfectly in the Vierras’ drop-dead gorgeous European style barn, which features an Italian meseta stone walkway that leads to the high stone arches of an open-air foyer. Twenty-foot barn aisles and brass cap accents add to an interior rivaled in beauty only by its equine inhabitants. Along with 35 stalls, Manny bought various Classic Equine accessories including rubber matting for the stalls and waterers.

The beautiful stable, which is featured on the cover of this issue, was completed last October and Manny could not be more pleased. “Classic Equine was a really good company to work with,” he says. “It’s a very good follow-up company. They delivered the product in a timely fashion and they were very helpful with the installation of it in our barn. Their service was very good. I would and have recommended them.”

Manny’s experiences are echoed in the comments from many others who’ve chosen Classic Equine. “You’d be hard pressed to find a Classic Equine customer who has not had a great experience with our products and our service,” says Brad Sparr, the company’s regional sales manager for California, Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Washington. “We are constantly in touch with our customers.” That starts during the selection phases when Classic Equine designers help clients make their barn dreams into reality. Whether their clients are building a barn from scratch or refitting an existing stable, Classic Equine’s stall systems can be customized to fit any need and taste. That goes for functional details like door styles and window openings to an endless number of finishing touches.

Reputation For Dedication

The company’s staff has 100-plus years of collective experience helping clients design stable elements that work, last and look great. When that phase is completed and the components are created and shipped, Classic Equine’s next priority is ensuring smooth installation. Carefully engineered plans, three-dimensional colored renderings and fulltime phone support enable on-site contractors to get things right the first time, saving customers time, money and headaches.

“From the top management and through the entire staff, Classic Equine is really dedicated to their product,” observes Lauren Del Sarto, a principal in LTD Equestrian Ranches in Northern California’s Morgan Hill. Her company plays the role of project manager in the soup-to-nuts process of designing and building projects that range greatly in size and budgets.

Before the firm opened for business, Lauren and her associates researched the barn building market thoroughly to identify which products and services they would endorse. Coming from a non-equestrian “real world” business background, Lauren was interested in the quality of the product and the professionalism of the provider. “When we first started, we researched all the products out there and found Classic Equine to have the highest quality products and the best customer service.” On several bigger projects, Classic Equine staffers have visited the site to make sure the precise measurements are used and to ensure the best design for the space. “They really back us up on our work,” Lauren notes.

LTD Equestrian Ranches recommends Classic Equine for projects that fall on any end of the budget spectrum. “Even for our clients with a lower budget we recommend them because their product is competitively priced and what you get in the quality of the wood and the hardware make it a worthwhile investment.”

Fellow barn building designer and consultant Laurel Roberts concurs. Especially these days when the price of metal and other materials has closed the gap in cost between pre-fab barn kits and custom made offerings from Classic Equine. “It’s not that much more to go with Classic Equine,” notes Laurel. Resale value is an essential consideration when designing a barn. “Even though most clients say they are never going to move, I still want them to look at resale values down the road, even if it may be their children who are selling the property.”

Having used Classic Equine’s offerings in projects ranging from private stables to the extensive refurbishing of Stanford University’s historic Red Barn a few years ago, Laurel is confident the components will be around for many generations.

Laurel loves the fact that the wood options Classic Equine offers are produced through sustainable farming. For many years, hardwoods of this quality were harvested in the threatened South American Rain Forest. But Brad says Classic Equine founder Adam Busse was quick to jump on the environmental bandwagon many years ago when he switched to suppliers that harvest their wood in an environmentally sound manner.

“As a designer, I’d say that Classic Equine is probably the premiere company in customer service,” Laurel continues. “They have that wonderful Midwestern personality and they’re Johnny-on-the-spot.” She likes their typical 24-hour turnaround time for project quotes and their willingness to “jump through hoops to take care of their customers.”

More Than Stalls

Founded in 1991, Classic Equine Equip., Inc. built its reputation on stall systems and these units remain the company’s hallmark even as it has expanded to include many stable accessories. Standard stall systems are available in three styles. The 3000 Series includes self-supporting stalls, the 1000 Series is designed for post-frame buildings and the 4000 Series has a distinctly European style. Each of these can be altered to suit clients’ needs, and Classic Equine’s design team can create fully custom units for those with completely individual requirements and/or preferences.

Finishing touches abound. A variety of hay feeders, grain and bucket holders start a line that continues with single or multi-tiered saddle racks, hitching posts, blanket rails and chew guards. Like the stalls they are designed to look great with, all these accessories are made of the same all-welded steel construction. They are available in 11 standard powder coating colors, and custom hues are possible, too.

Rubber stall and barn aisle mats are a relatively new product that is attracting strong interest, Brad relays. The same is true for the Ultraciser, the free-flowing exercise system produced by Classic Equine subsidiary, Classic Performance Systems. Like their stalls, the exerciser is equal parts functionality, safety and visual appeal. The steel construction of the base and the arms that support the divider gates are built to stay straight under any circumstances.

Free-flowing conditioning units in general are an increasingly popular tool for training facilities of all sizes in the United States. In addition to its strength, the Ultracizer is unique for the virtually limitless ways in which it can be configured. Interior and exterior walls can be filled with wood or steel panels or left open. The Ultracizer’s size and capacity for horses is fully customizable, and its appearance can be matched perfectly to the stable and surrounding structures.

Thanks to their dedication to quality products, professionalism and customer service, Classic Equine Equip., Inc., has more than fulfilled the mission that inspired company founder Adam Busse 17 years ago: “To provide quality stall systems and barn equipment to meet the needs of the discriminating horse owner.”

For more information on Classic Equine Equip., Inc., visit www.classic-equine.com.