AHP Equine Media Awards Finalist 2021

Well, if this isn’t a good way to start the short holiday work week: I just found out that I have been named a Finalist for the 2021 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards, to be awarded in Fort Worth, Texas, this September.

Every year I’m named a finalist, I’m just in awe that I get to do this for a living. To be doing what I said I wanted to do as a teenager–work for equine magazines–and be awarded for it is such a reward. It doesn’t elude me that I’m very lucky…though, I will say that I have worked very hard, and continue to do so every day.

I started working as a freelancer fresh out of college about this time 16 years ago. I had graduated from Murray State University and Katie Timms, who was then the editor of the Quarter Horse News, asked me to cover my first reining futurity as a lead up to the NRHA Futurity. That was when I first learned about Andrea Fappani and fell in love with Big Chex to Cash. As a small-time reiner, to be covering such marquee events in the reining world was huge to me. I’m still very thankful to Katie for giving me that first step to my career.

I only entered a couple of articles for the awards from 2020, and I won’t really know which one is a finalist and in which category. However, both pieces were very important to me, almost “heart-type” pieces because I put a lot into them. One was the news feature for the Quarter Horse News about the Australian wildfires and drought and the perils that the Australian cutting community was facing. The other was a short feature piece in Horse Illustrated about how different things are when you invite a Miniature Horse into your Quarter Horse barn and the changes we had to make when we welcomed my daughter’s Mini, Gru, to the farm.

I’m also exited to congratulate my fellow freelance buddies and editors on being named finalists in the awards as well. I have a tight-knit community of freelance writers that I call friends and am comfortable bouncing things off each other and sharing ideas/concerns. And, of course the editors are the ones that put the polished touches on my articles, put their faith in me to submit articles for them and have become close to me as well.

Congratulations to my clients on being named finalists:

Below is the press release announcing the finalists for the awards. I’m counting down the days to Texas in September!!

American Horse Publications Announces Finalists in 2021 Equine Media Awards

Member enthusiasm and online submissions keep equine media strong as AHP celebrates excellence in Texas.

JUNE 1, 2021 – They start in January selecting their best work published in 2020. By the February deadline date, they have submitted their entries. All they can do now is wait.

The release of the finalists in the Equine Media Awards (EMA) ends the waiting period. Earning an award for excellence in equine media has been a goal of AHP members since 1976. Of the 98 participants who entered, 66 have moved forward to placing in the top five in one or more of the 56 classes in the 2021 AHP Equine Media Awards.

The pandemic cancelled the 2020 conference and members gathered on Facebook to watch a video of the announcement of the 2020 winners. This year, AHP moved its conference in Texas from May to September in order to hold an in-person event and awards presentations.

“Members love the awards ceremony where they are publicly recognized for their achievements and applauded by their peers at the annual conference,” says Chris Brune, Executive Director. “It was important for our association to give members a chance to be together on this special night.”

Changes to the workplace and budgets did not hinder the enthusiasm to enter the 2021 EMA competition. A total of 643 entries were submitted by 98 members, 33 Publishing Media members, 19 Media Professional members, and 14 Business members.

A landmark change to the 45-year-old contest was the implementation of an online submission and judging system in 2021. “This new system eliminated shipping packages for members, judges, and the association and saved time and money,” says Brune. “After the initial learning curve, both members and judges found the system easy and quick to navigate.”

The 2021 AHP Equine Media Awards presentations will be held on Saturday evening during the AHP Equine Media “Back in the Saddle” Conference in Irving, Texas on September 16-18, 2021.

Congratulations to the following AHP members who are Equine Media Award finalists for 2021:


Arabian Horse Times

Barrel Horse News


Canadian Horse Journal


Equestrian Vaulting Magazine



Eventing USA

Hoof Beats

Hoofcare Publishing

Horse and Rider

Horse Illustrated

Horse Network

Horse Radio Network

Keeneland Magazine

Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred

New Bridge Polo

NRHA Reiner

Off-Track Thoroughbred Magazine

Paint Horse Journal

Practical Horseman

Quarter Horse News

Sidelines Magazine

Sonoma County Horse Journal


The American Quarter Horse Journal

The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care

The Team Roping Journal

US Equestrian

USDF Connection

USHJA In Stride

Western Horseman


Megan Arszman

Abigail Boatwright

Jennifer Bryant

Julie Bryant

Jennifer Denison

Jessie Haas

Christina Keim

Douglas Lees

Elizabeth Kaye McCall

Kim F. Miller

Julianne Neal

Adrienne N. Neary

Shelley Paulson

Allison Rehnborg

Kelly Sanchez

Troy Anna Smith

Larri Jo Starkey

Kara L. Stewart

Suzanne Sylvester


Breyer Animal Creations

BUCKEYE Nutrition

Central Garden & Pet

Equine Network, LLC

Kentucky Equine Research

MARS Equestrian

National Reining Horse Association

SmartPak Equine LLC

Straight Arrow Products, Inc.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

The Humane Society of the United States

UK Ag Equine Programs

United States Hunter Jumper Association

US Equestrian Federation

For more information about becoming an AHP member and attending the 2021 Equine Media “Back in the Saddle” Conference, contact: Chris Brune at ahorsepubs@aol.com or visit www.americanhorsepubs.org.


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