A Little History
What started out as a small business operating from a garage in Ballarat has turned into a world-renowned company called Persuader. Persuader designs and manufactures products for the horse racing industry. It started when champion jockey Brett Prebble and his business partner Mark Bourke were approached to design and manufacture whips.
There was an industry shortage at the time and this initiated the first steps in manufacturing whips for the racing industry. So new was the whip making process that the re-engineering of a whip-binding machine was required so manufacturing could re-commence.
After starting at Ballarat Persuader moved to its current address in East Keilor and now has five full time employees, all of whom come from a racing background and have a passion for the industry.
The East Keilor site was chosen due to its affordability, access via the freeway network to all parts of Melbourne and country areas. Persuader is also close to Melbourne airport and is convenient for customers to visit and provide an environment unhindered by the close proximity of residential developments and weekend access is available if required.
Persuader’s business has evolved rapidly since beginning in 2001 and Persuader has extended its product line to include other forms of essential riding gear such as saddles, girths, surcingle’s, breastplates, stirrups, saddle packing and goggles.
In 2005, Persuader purchased Queensland based F & V Marshland Saddlery (originally established in 1976) and now operates both companies under the Persuader brand, further cementing their A grade product line of race-day, track-work and jockey supplies.
Persuader now has 90% of the market for racing whips in Australia and caters for racing participants all over the world from Australia to New Zealand, Japan, Europe, Asia, America and South Africa. Local Australian jockeys such as Damien Oliver, Steven Arnold and Corey Brown along with high-profile international jockeys France’s Olivier Peslier, Ireland’s Johnny Murtagh, Hong Kong’s Douglas Whyte and fellow Australian exports Kerrin McEvoy and Darren Beadman are successfully using the newly handcrafted whips and Persuader products.
Sales have doubled over the last three years. The company’s sales have increased largely on the strength of the quality of the products, by word of mouth, through promotions and its recently updated” buy online” website. Not content to ‘rest on their laurels’, Brett and Mark have plans to supply products to the recreational horse riding industry, expand the range of products and to increase worldwide sales.