Afternoons with Dal: Lessons in Horse Comfort and Marketing
“You’re going to love working here because this is the best company in the industry.”
That’s the first thing Professional’s Choice founder Dal Scott told me when he pulled me aside in January and the first thing that tipped me off that Dal would always have a firm opinion. It was my first day on the job as the company’s new marketing coordinator and like any fledgling employee I was feeling the pressure to make a favorable impression.
“We have high hopes for you” he continued, adding to my anxiety. “We like to throw people in the ocean here and see if they can swim. But don’t worry, I saw your resume. You’ll do fine.”
Dal then began to tell me the history of Professional’s Choice, though I later realized that this introductory story was only the tip of the iceberg. Now in his late seventies, Dal told me that he had been in the “horse comfort business” as he calls it, for the last 25 years. He told me how Professional’s Choice is a family company (his wife and daughter both work here to this day) and how he is proud that that through all of these years, Professional’s Choice is still as dedicated to improving the well being of horses as it was from day one when Dal ran the company out of his garage.
This trip down memory lane seemed affect him a bit emotionally had to pause for a moment.
He apologized and said “I’m taking some drugs that make me a little emotional sometimes.”
As a woman I’ve become all too familiar with unexplained emotional episodes so I sat and listened, undisturbed.
Dal went on to openly explain that he had been suffering from Parkinson’s for the last year.
“It’s not the Michael J Fox kind though” he said. “I don’t get tremors or anything like that, but it’s affected me in different ways.”
He told me in greater detail the toll that Parkinson’s had taken on him but how he tried to come into the office as much as he could regardless. I have since learned that Dal does not give much heed to the difficulties that his disease has imposed upon him regardless of their impact.
I spend most afternoons in his office discussing ad copy or product descriptions and these meetings have become the most educational and thought provoking aspects of my job, namely because it has taught me so much about having a passion for our products and the horses that use them. I have decided to share these moments with readers, both good and bad, because as Dal has taught me - “Professional’s Choice always puts the comfort of the horse first, and for that, we have nothing to hide.”