EquestrianSingles.com celebrates its 5th Anniversary
It began as a simple idea to connect single people with a common love for horses and instantly turned into a one-of-a- kind, close-knit community now known word-wide. EquestrianSingles.com is the number one online community for horse owners around the world.
From the beginning, EquestrianSingles.com has always identified itself as much more than matchmaking. In addition to thousands of success stories and marriages, EquestrianSingles.com message board has become an emergency communication center to help to coordinate relief and rescue operations around the country. Last year, the community organized a relief effort to distribute thousands of bales of hay to those affected by the devastating hurricanes.
On September 2001, EquestrianSingles.com launched the first site of its kind, promoting the community aspect in addition to the singles site. After 5 years, the site remains a leader in the industry, garnering over 1.6 million hits a day, 11 million page views and 300,000+ unique visitors a month.
Featured on radio and television, and in prestigious publications such as Entrepreneur Magazine and The Austin Business Journal, EquestrianSingles.com continues to grow at the rate of 1000 + new members per month. The site’s online community caters to horse enthusiasts around the world for special events, recreational trail rides, friendships, or romance. Live Chat rooms bring individuals together that are involved with, or just love the world of horses.
The owners behind EquestrianSingles.com are two exceptional women with impressive backgrounds in both `music and television. Jan Mirkin and Marcia Zwilling were introduced by good friend, comedian Craig Shoemaker at one of his Austin shows. A year later, their mutual love of horses eventually brought them together again at a local stable, where they became friends and bought their first horses just days apart.
Marcia Zwilling began her career as a songwriter, co-writing “Once in a Lifetime,” recorded by both Patty Loveless and Bonnie Raitt. After moving into the television industry, she ran Steve Martin’s production company, 40 Share Productions, and developed a television series for George Burns. Five years later, she began a stint as Vice President of Current Programming for Lorimar Television, the producers of such hit shows like Dallas, Knots Landing and Full House.
One of the shows Zwilling supervised was Paradise, a western series starring Lee Horsley which instantly ignited her passion for horses again. Horsley was an avid horseman, and instantly recognized Marcia’s love of horses. He told the show’s wrangler to ‘get that girl a horse to ride’! Within 3 years, Zwilling moved to Texas, bought her first horse, and changed her life dramatically. And after one trail ride through the Texas Hill Country, there was no turning back.”
Today, Marcia Zwilling calls Austin home, and splits her time between EquestrianSingles.com, and working as a freelance writer in Austin and Los Angeles
Jan Mirkin moved to Texas from Washington, D.C. After graduating from the Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, TX, Mirkin relocated to Austin. She began working in the music business booking tours, managing bands including Ian Moore, and running an independent record label. Several years later, Mirkin started her own company, Mirkin Management, and successfully negotiated contracts with major record companies. In addition, Jan continued to secure talent, and toured with the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, ZZ Top, and various other artists. In 1998, ASCAP recruited her to represent the Texas ASCAP office to secure and build membership as a creative service. Jan recently phased out of artist management but remains very active in the music business as an independent consultant and the Texas representative for ASCAP. In addition to working in the music industry and running EquestrianSingles.com, Mirkin also serves on the board for both the Grammy’s and Austin Music Foundation.
“People who were once isolated and alone in rural communities, now have a sanctuary from their loneliness,” says Mirkin. Zwilling agrees. “We have created a real online‘community for the equestrian industry. Our members help others to recover from devastating horse accidents, and set up prayer circles for those in need. Parties and get togethers take place almost every weekend around the country. Instead of going to the neighborhood bar, members meet their friends every night in one of our chat rooms. I call it the ‘Cheers of the new Millennium,’ where everyone knows your ‘user name’.”
In 2003, Mirkin and Zwilling developed their second equestrian community, EquestrianFriends.com, which appeals to all horse enthusiasts, not just singles. EquestrianFriends.com has the same friendly, community-like atmosphere, where people interested in horses can chat, post a classifieds ad to tell others about their business or service, find riding buddies or roping partners, and continue to discover great places to ride.
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