INC. Magazine Ranks SmartPak the sixth fastest growing Private Consumer Products company in America

PLYMOUTH, MA ?For the first time in the 22 years since Inc. Magazine began publishing the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest growing private businesses, an equine business has been named to the list. SmartPak Equine was ranked the 106th fastest-growing private business in America, and was the sixth fastest growing consumer products company to make the list. With a growth rate of 868 percent in the last three years, SmartPak has achieved a recognition never before attained by a company in the equine industry. According to editors, the SmartPak business model is “half Expedia, half GNC"

Each year since 1983, Inc. has honored the fastest-growing private businesses in America with its Inc. 500 List. Past winners include Microsoft, Oracle, Timberland, Domino’s Pizza, and hosts of other companies that went on to revolutionize the industries in which they participate. To compile this year's list, the magazine contacted more than 500,000 businesses and pored over the financial statements of qualified applicants. New members of the list must have an operating history of at least four years and are ranked according to their average annual sales growth.

“The equine business is so competitive that to succeed you need to be different,?said Becky Minard, the company’s founder and principal inventor of SmartPak’s patented feeding system, which simplifies administration of equine supplements. “We don’t just sell great merchandise. We view our role as partnering with our clients to help them solve problems and get the maximum enjoyment from their horse.?Minard attributes SmartPak’s fast growth to the ultra high level of service they provide their clients. “We’ve hired the most talented, caring and committed team of professionals to lavish a Nordstrom-level of service on our customers while our efficiency allows us to also offer excellent prices.?BR>
“We take the long view of the customer relationship, and encourage our product specialists to take whatever time they need to go the extra mile for customers—even if that means referring them elsewhere,?added Paal Gisholt, the company’s CEO. “I can’t tell you how often our customers tell us ‘finally, a company that really gets it.’”

Looking toward the future and aiming to sustain this high level of growth, SmartPak plans on extending its products and services to include additional members of their customers?families. “Most of our customers own dogs, and we have been listening carefully to their needs over these last years,?said Gisholt. “We have some exciting ideas on how we can simplify dog ownership in the same way we have simplified the challenges of owning a horse.?SmartPak expects this new canine endeavor to surpass their equine market some day.

Just how big is the equine market? According to a 2005 study1 conducted by Deloitte Consulting, LLC for the American Horse Council, the horse industry in the United States contributes $39 billion in direct economic impact to the U.S. economy and supports 1.4 million jobs on a full-time basis. When indirect and induced spending are included, the industry’s economic impact reaches $102 billion. The study also estimates the horse population in this country has reached 9.2 million.

SmartPak Equine was founded by riders and horse owners who ride and show Dressage, Hunter/Jumper, Polo, Equitation, Eventing, Reining and have logged many miles trail riding. In addition to the SmartPak system, the company offers a broad line of horse health and rider items, dog supplies, and equine and canine pharmacy items sold through the company’s catalog and Web site. For more information about SmartPak, go to www.SmartPakEquine.com or call toll free at (800) 461-8898.

1. The study, titled “The Economic Impact of the Horse Industry in the United States,?released in June 2005 is the most comprehensive research document ever compiled on the American horse industry. Media can access a summary of the report at www.horsecouncil.org.

SmartPak Equine is a member of the National Animal Supplement Council certified to display the NASC Seal of Quality.

About SmartPak Equine
SmartPak Equine was founded in 1999 with the purpose of simplifying the administration of nutritional supplements and medications to horses. The patented SmartPak™ supplement feeding system has been adopted by thousands of barns and horse owners across the country, who value knowing that their supplements will be fed correctly. It has been embraced by riders from all disciplines and all levels, including seven Olympic medalists. In addition to the SmartPak supplement system, the company offers a broad line of horse health and rider items, dog supplies, and equine and canine pharmacy items sold through the company’s catalog and Web site. In 2006, SmartPak was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest growing private companies for the second straight year and is the only equine company ever named to the list. The company has also been honored with a Best Bosses award presented by Fortune Small Business and Winning Workplaces. SmartPak also operates a retail store in Natick, MA. For more information, visit www.SmartPak.com.