Dark Horse Media Biz develops comprehensive marketing, public relations, and communications programs for equestrian businesses, organizations and athletes.
Patti Schofler, partner
Patti’s career has expanded from the corporate world to the aisles of the barn as a publicist, freelance journalist, published author, event organizer and nonprofit fund development professional.
She is a graduate, with distinction, of the USDF “L” judges education program which opened opportunities to judge many schooling shows each year. In addition, she has successfully competed in dressage through Fourth Level.
Her communications career began when she joined the Chicago Tribune as a newspaper reporter after graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a degree in modern European history and political science. Later she joined United Airlines as a publicist in corporate communications. As a freelance writer her articles have appeared in mainstream publications including the San Francisco Chronicle, National Motorist Magazine, San Jose Mercury News and others.
Captivated by the horse world, Patti turned her writing and promotion experience and skills to:
- Write for most of the major equestrian publications including Dressage Today, USDF Connection, Warmbloods Today, Chronicle of the Horse (recipient of their Journalism Award for Best Feature of the Year), Modern Arabian Horse, Practical Horseman and many more.
- Author the Lyons Press hardcover, 300-page book, “Flight Without Wings: The Arabian Horse and the Show World”.
- Serve as a publicist for equestrian and non-equestrian companies and nonprofit organizations.
- Manage special events including breed shows with more than 500 horses; dressage shows both open and breed-specific; symposiums involving such prominent equestrians as Jane Savoie, Dr. Deb Bennett and Charles de Kunffy; and bike races with nearly 700 riders.
In California’s beautiful Sonoma County, the land of wine and horses, Patti lives in the darling town of Petaluma in a Victorian where her backyard is filled with vegetables. She has competed in dressage up to Fourth Level with her very handsome and charming Dutch Warmblood Novio, recently retired, and looks forward to new equine and other adventures.
Nan Meek, partner
From managing national magazines to marketing multi-million dollar product lines, Nan’s experience covers the corporate board room to the tack room.
After studying agricultural business management at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, her career began with managing Horse Lover’s National Magazine, and expanded into communications and marketing positions at the Shaklee Corporation. Her sales and marketing experience spread to a variety of fields including gourmet food, gift music, and specialty publishing.
As owner and manager of a large public boarding and training facility for dressage horses and jumpers, and later as manager of a private sporthorse farm, Nan organized and managed clinics, shows, and special events; hired and supervised staff; and planned and managed facility design and expansion.
Nan particularly enjoys the development of new markets, applying her analytical skills and marketplace instincts to bring existing products to new markets, and innovative new products to established markets. In her corporate career, she turned an unpopular product line with million dollar losses into a popular and highly profitable position on the company’s balance sheet. For her dressage association, she developed online communications solutions that sharply decreased expenses and increased member participation.
A lifelong horse owner, Nan lives on the scenic San Mateo County coast where dressage courts and riding trails feature Pacific Ocean views. She competed in dressage to the Prix St. Georges level with her late beloved Lipizzan Maestoso II Athena II-1, clinics regularly with her handsome Spanish warmblood Helio Jerez 2000 and admits that the horse gene is permanently embedded in her DNA.