Celebrating Equine Media as an AHP Finalist

Even after so many years in the equine media industry, I’m still humbled and flattered to be named as a Finalist for the American Horse Publications’ Equine Media Awards. I believe this is the fourth or fifth year I have been named a Finalist as an individual member, and it never gets old.

I entered four pieces this year, including a piece on training your barn dogs for Horse Illustrated, a piece on female professionals in the Western performance horse industry shattering the glass ceiling for Horse & Rider and an educational article on how to buy horses online with confidence for The American Quarter Horse Journal. All three pieces have a special place in my portfolio for many reasons.

The barn dog piece features my beloved Corgi, Dallas Mae, and my heart horse, Skip’s Satin Lark (“Lark”) in a photo shoot by my friend, Chelle Zellers. (Note: the photo below is with our other American Quarter Horse mare, ‘Quila.)

Corgi waiting patiently

From “Barn Dog Basics,” published by Horse Illustrated, photo by Chelle Zellers Photography.

The “Dirt Arenas, not Glass Ceilings” piece was a passion article that I pitched and did some heavy interviewing and research that I hope every female can stand up and say, “YES!” and know they can do anything in the equine industry, no matter the show level.

And the “Buy Now” piece features input from my friend, Chad Mendell, and tips that I hope to get to use when I start my horse search sometime soon.

Here’s a snippet of the press release from the AHP:

The announcement of award finalists ends the anticipation for 70 AHP members who have placed in the top five in one or more of the 63 classes in the 2019 AHP Equine Media Awards (EMA).

Held since 1974, the American Horse Publications (AHP) annual awards contest offers members an opportunity to be recognized for excellence in a variety of equine media categories. This year’s competition for material published in 2018 drew 711 entries from 119 members.

The Equine Media Awards, open to AHP members only, offer a Publishing Media Division for print or online publications and freelancers as well as a Business Division for equine-related businesses, nonprofit organizations, and colleges.

The next milestone on the road to EMA Gold is the announcement of the winners. Awards are placed first, second, third, or honorable mention based on the number of entries in the class. Every finalist is recognized for their achievement. The Equine Media Awards presentation will be held on Saturday evening, June 1, 2019, at the Hotel Albuquerque at Old Town during the AHP “High Desert Media Roundup” in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The results of the Equine Media Awards will be available after the awards presentation in June.

I have also been asked to be a panelist to present my tips for surviving event coverage, and I’m excited to present alongside friends and mentors Jennifer Paulson and Larri Jo Starkey, as well as fellow freelancers Diana DeRosa and Jenifer Bryant.

Also, big congratulations to my clients who have been named finalists for the AHP Equine Media Awards: Horse Illustrated, Horse & Rider, The American Quarter Horse Journal, NRHA Reiner and Quarter Horse News.

 

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Sandra Bentien: Alone at the Top

When I am able to cover events live, I love to hear everyone’s stories. It’s part of my job: to listen and share your story. I met Sandra Bentien at the NRHA Futurity a couple of years ago and fell in love with her stallion, Gotta Twist It Up. The pair ended up winning the Level 3 & 2 Non Pro Futurity Championships in 2016, then came back to win the Level 4 Non Pro Derby Championship in 2018.

It was my privilege to share her story in the January 2018 issue of Horse & Rider magazine. She tells me how she survived her first pony, a black Shetland named Thunder, and moved on to teach herself the intricacies of reining.

“Competitors all dream of winning on the big stage. For reiners, that’s often at the Jim Norick Arena in Oklahoma City during either the National Reining Horse Association Derby or Futurity. Riders and trainer fantasize about being crowned the NRHA Futurity Champion, the penultimate title. Breeders hope they’ve produced the next prospect to wear the roses. Owners dream of taking those roses home to their mantels. 

“Rarely are all four of those people–rider, trainer, breeder and owner–under one hat. But when you’re the ultimate do-it-yourself non-pro, the stars can align for that to occur, as they did for Sandra Bentien at the 2016 NRHA Futurity.”

Sandra Bentien NRHA Non Pro Derby Championalone-2

Read the whole article on Horse & Rider’s website: DIY Rider Alone at the Top

A little behind the scenes look when Sandra was named 2018 NRHA Level 4 Non Pro Derby Champion with her homebred, Gotta Twist It Up.

2018 NRHA Derby NP Champion

Catching up with Sandra Bentien right after she’s named 2018 NRHA Level 4 Derby Champion.