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.

Andrea Fappani – Getting the Most From Your Horse

(From the January 2017 Reiner Magazine)

Andrea Fappani Spooky WhizThe surprise wasn’t really that Andrea Fappani had won the Lucas Oil NRHA Level 4 Open Futurity, but the surprise was what horse he won it on, and how he did it.

Spooky Whiz joined the Fappani training barn at the end of his 2-year-old year after Fappani purchased him through agent Eduardo Salgado for Rancho Oso Rio, an NRHA Million Dollar Owner. While the dark bay gelding was a bit on the small size, Fappnie could tell, even at an early age, that he had exactly the mind he was looking for.

“What I liked was his mind,” recalls Fappani. “As a 2 year old he was very mature, and you could tell he took different things that he wasn’t used to and handled them well. That’s what I’m looking for when I train young horses.”

WorldChamp07-Open

Learn more about how Fappani got the most out of Spooky Whiz, and why he chose to break tradition and ride in romal reins: Trainer Talk: Getting the Most From Your Horse

Keeping Up with the Johnsons

One of my favorite things to do is write profiles on the people of the horse industry. I love to tell their stories, and to share with the world something that maybe nobody else knew. When I am assigned a story about a subject whom you think everyone knows everything about, I see it as a challenge to dig a little deeper…

Bob and Karen Johnson of Burns, Tenn., are those kind of people–their personalities are so big that everyone wants to be their friend. They met at a horse show, and now they spend their time together at horse shows all across the country, showing their American Quarter Horses in ranch riding and halter.

This story earned an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Livestock Publications Council awards in the Feature/Human Interest, Association category for the American Quarter Horse Journal. Continue to read more to learn about this awesome couple.

Bob and Karen Johnson feature in American Quarter Horse Journal

Read more: Keeping up with the Johnsons

On the Hunt – Equine Media Descend on Maryland

As I’m writing this, I realize that I have not been the best in updating my own website, and for that I’m embarrassed. However, maybe that’s a good sign to show that I’ve been so busy with projects and work and promoting others that I don’t have the time to promote myself? Yeah. Let’s go with that.

This weekend I’ve flown East to Hunt Valley, Maryland, for the annual American Horse Publications Media Seminar. It’ll be a weekend of learning, networking, inspiring and (hopefully) being inspired. The weekend starts with a tour of Maryland’s horse country, including fox hunting grounds and Sagamore Farm. It’ll culminate with the annual Equine Media Awards.

This year, I am a finalist in at least one category that I know of. I entered a few different stories, and one that I wrote for the Quarter Horse News was named a finalist in its category. It was a fun article looking into the history and the use of the romal rein, spurred by the use of them by 2016 NRHA Futurity Champion Andrea Fappani.

QHN041517_BraidedInTradition[1]

You can read it here: Braided in Tradition

I’ll be sure to take photos and chronicle the weekend, in hopes that it kicks me back into updating things and sharing more of my work with you. To say life has been a whirlwind is putting it mildly.

The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses

While I lived in Lexington, I had the privilege of getting to work with leaders in the equine health industry in many facets. I’ve always enjoyed talking with Stuart Muir, resident farrier at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. Stuart is a wealth of information when it comes to the horse’s hoof, so when he knows of a podiatry topic horse owners need to learn about, he and I work together to get that information out there.

One such example is this article I wrote for the NRHA Reiner: “The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses.”

GH-Joe Schmidt

Why is balance so important? In order to alleviate the amount of stress and pressure on the horse’s front legs during movement, it’s imperative that the front legs breakover with as little force as possible. “We need to get the horse moving very efficiently,” says Stuart. “To do that, we work a lot at balancing the hoof with trimming and shoeing. It’s very important, especially in reining, to make sure that the front end is balanced.”

You can read the rest of the article: The Importance of Balance in Reining Horses

Trailer Shopping? Be Ready to Hit the Road

Summertime means road trips, and for a lot of horse people, that means taking your horses with you–whether it’s for a horse show circuit or a long weekend of trail riding. And, if you’re looking to purchase a new ride for your horses, it’s a lot more than just choosing gooseneck or bumper pull.

In the May 2017 issue of the American Quarter Horse Journal, I did the research so you can answer this question yourself: Are you looking at the right horse trailer?

 

EverythingTrailers

Read more: Hit The Road