2017 IW Winners

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Powassan

Sable Giesler

Sable Giesler

Since the age of 12, equine eventing has been Sable Giesler’s passion. Now, at 22, it’s become the base for her online business.

Eventing Connect is an online forum offering coverage of the sport of eventing — an area of equestrian specialty combining the disciplines of dressage, cross-country, and show jumping.

Giesler launched the website from her home in Powassan in 2014, and since then has amassed a loyal and broad audience of fans: her website gets more than 7 million hits a year, and more than 75,000 people follow her Facebook page.

Family friend Sherry Carnevale believes Giesler’s tenacity as a horse rider has prepared her for the gruelling work involved in maintaining a busy and popular website with a global reach.

“The discipline and nerve that it takes to pilot a 1,200-pound animal over solid obstacles at breakneck speeds in the sport of eventing is a testament as to why she is also proving successful in her business, Eventing Connect,” writes Carnevale in her supporting letter.

At 16, Giesler won an individual silver medal, and a team bronze, during the North American Junior Young Rider Championships — the equivalent of a junior Olympics. Currently ranked as one of Canada’s top riders under 25, Giesler consistently finishes in the top three in her competitions.

She has now set her sights on the world stage. Her long-term goals include representing Canada at the 2018 World Equestrian Games in North Carolina, the 2019 PanAm Games in Peru, and the 2020 Olympics in Japan. But eventing is an expensive sport, and early on, she realized it would be a challenge to finance her journey to get there.

So, she translated her real-world passion into an online enterprise, poring over video tutorials in web design to teach herself the basics. Since then, she has secured agreements with advertisers from around the globe, and has recruited a cadre of knowledgeable writers to contribute content. The website earns Giesler enough to support herself and three parttime employees.

Balancing her web work with her training and competitions has resulted in a hectic daily schedule that begins at 5 a.m. with training for her horses. Midmorning she gets in a workout before sitting down at the computer at 1 p.m. to start work on the website. A typical day ends around 8 p.m.

“With her athletic ability on the back of a horse, her horsetraining skills, and her business savvy, Sable Giesler is demonstrating an entrepreneurial success way beyond her age and experience,” writes Tammy Morrison in her supporting letter.

“She is a great example for Northern Ontario young women, as she competes in a sport against men quite successfully and has turned her sport into a profitable business to support herself and employ others.”

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