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Stock Show Insider: Getting an early ride

Most of the children who attend the Fort Worth Stock Show will come in without a horse.

But some kids will leave with a great imitation.

For the fifth consecutive year, Austin resident Ron Sterling will sell his product, pony cycle toys, at the Stock Show’s Amon G. Carter Jr. Exhibit Hall. He is among more than 200 exhibitors who will open a booth on Friday when the Stock Show begins its 23-day run.

“Every child can relate, or at least we hope they can relate to having a pony,” Sterling said. “We are horse people who feel like it’s important that every child grows up being around a horse. It strikes a chord with them.”

Sterling said the pony cycles not only look like a horse; they also feel like one (as a child bounces up and down to force their ride to move forward).

“We spent quite a bit of time developing the frame so it moves like a horse,” Sterling said. “They can go wherever they want on it. They can turn the head to steer. It has rollerblade wheels so it will work indoors or outdoors. They can go wherever they want to on their horse.”

The pony cycle toys are low maintenance. No motors. No batteries. No electronics. The biggest challenge might be changing out the wheels every five years or so.

The horses will come in two sizes at the Fort Worth Stock Show. There’s a smaller model (for ages 1-4) for $249, and a larger model (ages 3 and up) for $299.

Sterling has operated a pony cycle toy business, called Pony Pal Stable (http://ponypalstable.com), for the past six years. He estimated he might sell about 250 pony cycles at the Stock Show.

“It’s phenomenal,” Sterling said, “Every year, our business grows more and more. We have great word of mouth from our customers. We get a lot of people coming back. Maybe they bought the small one when their child was really young. As their child has grown, they’re ready to move onto the bigger one.”

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