The plight of Australian ranchers and horsemen suffering through one of the worst years in recent record history was a story that needed to be told in the United States. When Megan Arszman saw social media posts from a college friend who was now living and training cutting horses with her husband in Australia, their struggles shocked her.
“I saw Kendal (Kern Simon) post about having to have water shipped in for the horses… I had to make sure I read that right,” recalls Arszman. “I can’t imagine having to worry about where I can find water not only for my family but for our horses and cattle. I knew the entire country was suffering from a debilitating drought and parts were battling wildfires, but I never understood the magnitude of how this affected people, their animals and the livelihoods of all.”
The Quarter Horse News agreed it was a story that needed to be told. The article, titled “Survival Downunder” was published in the March 1, 2020 issue, went on to earn Arszman the top award for Freelance Writer Equine-Related Journalism Article at the 2020 American Horse Publications seminar, held this past September in Irving, Texas.
“I’ve always said everyone has a story to share, you just have to dig to find it, but the stories from Australia was an easy one to tell, and one that I felt was necessary to share,” says the writer. Arszman has been active within equine media and journalism since she graduated from Murray State University in 2005.
This win was actually her second of the evening. Her feature for the June 2020 issue of the NRHA Reiner, “The Breeding Game: To Show or Sell?” won for Association Publication Service to the Consumer Single Article earlier in the evening.
“I have been in the trenches of this industry, as an intern, editorial assistant, newsletter editor, photo editor and freelance writer for so many years. Being honored not just once but twice in an evening amongst my mentors and peers is an overwhelming feeling that I’m profoundly thankful for,” says Arszman.
“If it weren’t for my editors, Jennifer Paulson and Kelsey Pescek, neither of these stories would have come to fruition, and for that I am grateful. I have had the opportunity to write for so many wonderful editors, speak with inspiring sources and work with such passionate people, it is what drives me to continue in this business,” she says. “I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has put their trust in me to deliver an article, share their story or promote their passion.
“Thank you to everyone who approached me with congratulations,” she continues. “The equine media industry is small, but we are resilient and I know we will continue to work together to help promote our beloved animal and the humans in their world.”