Wilmington, Ohio – This week’s Wilmington Sunday Spotlight shines on Candy Lane Acres. The family operation out of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is home to professionals Chelsie Stair-Alter and Hayley Stair. Together, the dynamic sister duo run their successful business traveling the East Coast with horse show clients, while also running pony camps at their home base throughout the summer. We caught up with Chelsie Stair-Alter between hunter rings to learn more about Candy Lane!
WEC: Tell us more about your business.
My mom, Candy, actually started everything. As we were growing up, Hayley and I were both a part of it. I went to Lake Erie College and Hayley went to Cosmetology school and helped at the barn on the side and then she decided that she wanted to turn professional and do it as well. So, we both got together and started turning it into more of a show business starting with the schooling shows and we have really built up to where we are today. We are fortunate because we have a lot of horses that we own ourselves that we are able to lease out to our clients so that they have opportunities to show.
I always do my show schedule first around January or February. I always give us the day after a horse show off before a week of camp. I do the IEA team in our area, so those shows are always worked into the schedule as well.
WEC: What is a typical day in your life like at a busy horse show like this?
I get up to the rings really early in the morning to get us all in the order as spread out as I can. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t! We do have a person that works for us now who helps tremendously in the barn. We really appreciate that because we really need that help. The main thing is to get everyone going at a different time, so I can avoid holding up the ring! I had ten horses here this week, and I have 17 coming in August, but it always all works out!
Hayley and I split things up and we have our own separate clients, but when things get crazy at the horse show we always help each other out. My husband works out of town so on his off weeks, he comes and takes care of the baby during the shows, if not, my mom comes and takes care of our baby and Hayley and I teach!
WEC: How has WEC – Ohio played a role in your business and been beneficial for your clients?
It is so nice because I can bring kids that are coming for the cross rails or limit rider all the way up to the junior hunters. I think that is really nice for them. Everyone loves that all of the accommodations are so close because it makes it so much easier for us. If the weather is bad, we can always show inside, and I think that is huge! Everyone really loves coming here so we always have it on our schedule four to five times a year.
WEC: What is your favorite part about your job?
I really like to see the kids work hard at home and then coming to the show and everything paying off. I love to see how proud of themselves they are. Sometimes we have the young horses and seeing the progress with the young horses is always satisfying. My overall favorite part is to see my clients are their horses be successful. I originally wanted to be a teacher, but I realized that with my passion for horses, I needed to combine it and teach riding! I love the little ones and I love teaching the young kids too.