Apha

That Pepi Shine

Helping horses shine bright is a family affair for the Wackers, makers of the iconic Pepi Coat Conditioner.

By Abigail Boatwright

Few products are more intertwined with the horse show experience like Pepi Coat Conditioner. One whiff of the aerosol shine spray’s signature fresh cherry scent, and you’re transported to the in-gate of a horse show, where exhibitors conjure hazy clouds of the sweet-smelling enhancer to bring out the luster in their horses’ coats. Peek into the grooming bucket of almost any top competitor, and you’re certain to find the iconic white can with its orange type and stock horse logo, ready to add instant sheen to wow judges and fans.

Pepi was developed by horse people, for horse people. The Wacker family, creators of Pepi Coat Conditioner and the World Champion Grooming Products brand, is deeply intertwined in the horse-show world themselves. Co-owner Shawn Wacker is a second-generation halter breeder; his wife, Shannon, and their daughter Paige are dedicated equestriennes, devoted to their Paint Horses and all-around competition. And the entire family is committed to helping every horse shine—literally.

The Making of Pepi

Growing up in Minnesota, Shawn’s sister Rogalyn begged for a horse to show in 4-H; their father, Roger, went all in on her passion, buying a stallion and several mares. They started raising halter horses in the 1960s.

“It developed into an entire family undertaking, with all of us baling hay, feeding, cleaning and partaking in chores,” Shawn said. “Eventually, each year Rogalyn would show a yearling stallion, my sister Julie would show a yearling filly, and I would show a yearling gelding at Minnesota Quarter Horse shows.”

Roger enjoyed prepping his halter horses, but found existing grooming products left a lot to be desired. He wanted a product that would not only make his horses’ coats shine, but also be good for their coats.

“The products we used before Pepi actually damaged and dried out the hair,” Shawn said. “And the smell was so bad. They wanted something that smelled better, was made with natural ingredients and added oils for the horses’ coats.”

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This is an excerpt from the full article—get the whole story in the Fall 2022 Chrome magazine, which is sent to all current APHA members. Not a member? Join or renew at apha.com/join.

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