The Rusty Horseshoe Ranch has won D-Link Systems Inc.’s Extreme SMB Networking Makeover contest – and it’s netted a grand prize of $10,000 in networking gear.

“I’m very stoked,” said Chris Pettican, owner of the Rusty Horseshoe Ranch, in a phone interview Friday. “I’m pretty excited, that’s awesome.”

(Image: The Rusty Horseshoe Ranch). Ranch owners Keitrina and Chris Pettican.
(Image: The Rusty Horseshoe Ranch). Ranch owners Keitrina and Chris Pettican.

Based in Parkland, Alta., the Rusty Horseshoe Ranch provides a boarding facility for horses. It spans about 75 acres of hills and forest, and it’s chiefly run by Chris Pettican and his wife, Keitrina.

The ranch was the third finalist in a contest that saw about 125 different small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) enter, vying for the chance to improve their wireless connections. The other two finalists were Angus GeoSolutions Inc., based in Ontario, and Kalaway Bay Resort Ltd., which is in B.C. Over the course of the contest, D-Link and IT received about 125 entries.

“We chose Rusty Horseshoe Ranch because we liked the fact that we could help them solve two concerns with one well designed solution,” said D-Link’s director of marketing, Pete Marino, in an email Friday. He organized the contest, along with IT, to promote D-Link’s SMB offerings and to get some insight on the challenges SMBs face in setting up their networking.

“We have a very strong track record in solving issues for multi-site environments like school districts, and they have similar challenges in that they have multiple buildings over a wide area that they want to keep connected … And it’s always a nice bonus to be able to help people out,” he added.

“We are happy to give them the opportunity to upgrade to a business class wireless and IP surveillance solution that will ultimately help their business succeed and thrive.”

As part of the prize, D-Link will be outfitting the Rusty Horseshoe Ranch with a business virtual private network router, access points, switches, and Internet Protocol (IP) surveillance cameras with D-Link’s D-ViewCam management software, Marino said.

For Pettican, the $10,000 win spells a chance for him to upgrade his wireless connection. It’d be great to be able to offer his customers the chance to stream music or movies, he said in an interview earlier this month.

As a systems analyst, he also plans to take advantage of his new cameras and install them around the barns on the ranch, giving his customers peace of mind about their horses’ safety and well-being.

“I have to admit, when I first put in an entry, I thought that’d be the last I’d hear of it,” he said. “I’m very excited to be working with D-Link.”

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