AHP Seminar Wrap-Up: Awards, Networking & Friendship

It was an awesome four days in Charleston, South Carolina! Not only is the city beautiful, but the experience of the American Horse Publications Seminar was spectacular. I learned a lot, met a lot of new people, rekindled old friendships, and did lots of networking.


The event was capped off with the annual awards, where I earned Honorable Mention for my article on Tammy Sronce and her recovery from a head injury in Western Shooting Horse MagazineRefilling the Glass.


I networked with editors from The Chronicle of the Horse, Horse Illustrated, Western Horseman, Paint Horse Journal, Equine Journal, and the Quarter Horse News–all great publications with huge followings. I also got to spend some time exploring the city, including taking in Charleston’s weekly farmers’ market that took place across the street from my hotel.



I have to thank the editors and fellow freelance writers that I met for their time and camaraderie, especially those who worked behind the scenes to put together the annual seminar. If you’re interested, at all, in equine media, I highly suggest joining the American Horse Publications (students, corporations, freelancers, websites, and publications are all invited to join). It’s like one giant family.


Writer buddies: Rachel Florman (Assistant Editor, Paint Horse Journal), Abigail Boatwright (Abigail Boatwright Communications), Kate Bradley (Kate Bradley Creative), Kelsey Pecsek, Features Editor, Quarter Horse News), and myself


AHP Seminar roomies! (Rachel Florman, Assistant Editor Paint Horse Journal)

AHP Seminar roomies! (Rachel Florman, Assistant Editor Paint Horse Journal)

First time entering an awards contest independently =  not too shabby.

First time entering an awards contest independently = not too shabby.


One last gorgeous scene from Charleston's boardwalk.

One last gorgeous scene from Charleston’s boardwalk.


On Charleston Time

Thursday I flew into South Carolina to attend the 2014 American Horse Publications Seminar in Charleston. It’s beautiful here! I’m somewhat familiar with the area because in 2012, my husband and I honeymooned on Pawley’s Island and visited Charleston for the day, but I’m so happy to have a chance to be able to spend more time here.

How can you not take a deep breath and relax with this scenery?

How can you not take a deep breath and relax with this scenery?

So far I’ve enjoyed dinner at Prohibition and lots of walking around downtown. I was able to be a guest at CrossFit Discovery Downtown Friday morning, where I did a drop-in workout and actually enjoyed being soaked with sweat even before the workout began (humidity is no joke here).

CrossFit Discovery

CrossFit Discovery

Sessions I’ve attended so far include “Tell Me A Story” and “Beyond Words” with Vanessa Gregory, a journalism professor and freelance writer, as well as “What’s a Platform, and How do I get one?” with Milt Toby and “The Art of Pitching” with a panel of magazine editors.

I’m looking forward to meeting and networking with many more equine publication editors and my fellow freelancers Saturday, as well as see the results from the awards, where I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I’ll hear my name!

Ironic that I find this place the day after my dad's 68th birthday!

Ironic that I find this place the day after my dad’s 68th birthday!

American Horse Publications Finalist!

Big news today!! I just received an email from the American Horse Publications that I have been named a Finalist for the 2013 awards!

Here’s the official press release:

The Wait is Over! American Horse Publications Names Finalists in 2014 Awards Competition

APRIL 21, 2014Sixty-four American Horse Publications members are named finalists in the 2014 AHP Annual Awards Contest for material published in and dated 2013. Over two-thirds of the 97 AHP members who submitted entries will receive 171 awards for placing first, second, third or honorable mention. This year’s contest included a total of 736 entries in over 50 classes. Held since 1974, the AHP Annual Awards Contest provides members with an opportunity to be recognized for excellence in equine publishing. Twenty-five professional judges placed the classes and provided critiques for all entries to encourage members to strive for journalism excellence.

The Valiant Human-Animal Bond Award will be presented to the author of the article that best reflects and promotes the special relationship between human and horse. The winner of the award will receive an engraved trophy presented by Adequan.

The Alltech A+ Equine Journalism Award will be presented to the author of the best article that focuses on increasing awareness and love of equestrian sport to mainstream readers. The award-winning author will receive an engraved award, a LIFEFORCE gift basket, and a free registration/travel certificate to the Alltech annual Animal Health and Nutrition Symposium in May, sponsored and presented by Alltech.

The Awards Presentation will be held on Saturday evening, June 21, 2014, at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, during the AHP “Gallop n’ Grits” Seminar. The entries of the finalists will be on display on Saturday to provide seminar attendees a chance to review them. Finalists will be notified of their entries that placed and requested to e-mail an image file of their entries for use in the awards presentation. Finalists are encouraged to attend the seminar and accept their awards in person. If a finalist is unable to attend the awards banquet, a representative may be designated to accept the award(s) on their behalf and must be willing to deliver all awards to the recipient.

The results of the Awards Contest will be available on the AHP web site after the awards presentation in June as a PowerPoint presentation and as a digital edition of the awards program provided by Publishers Press. First Place winners will be sent an AHP Award Winner logo to promote their achievement for the year 2013.

Congratulations to the following AHP members who are award finalists for 2014.

American Farriers Journal
America’s Horse
Barrel Horse News
Daily Racing Form
Dressage Today
Equestrian Quarterly
Equine Journal
Eventing USA
Holistic Horse
Hoof Beats
Horse & Rider
Horse & Style Magazine
Horse Illustrated
Keeneland Magazine
Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred
Midwest Horse Source
Miniature Horse World Magazine
Modern Arabian Horse
Paint Horse Journal
PATH Intl. Strides
Practical Horseman
Quarter Horse News
Ranch & Reata
Southern Racehorse
The American Quarter Horse Journal
The Blood-Horse
The Chronicle of the Horse
The Florida Horse
The Saratoga Special
The Whip
USHJA In Stride
Washington Thoroughbred
Western Horseman Magazine

Megan Arszman
Ryan Bell
Jennifer Bryant
Diana De Rosa
Amy Dragoo
Deb Eldredge, DVM
Tracy Gantz
Natalie DeFee Mendik
Kathryn Navarra
Dusty Perin
L.A. Pomeroy
Patti Schofler
Lisa Wysocky

Blood-Horse Publications
SmartPak Equine, LLC

Center for Equine Health


UK Ag Equine Program

For further information contact: Chris Brune, American Horse Publications, 49 Spinnaker Circle, South Daytona, FL 32119; (386) 760-7743 or AHorsePubs@aol.com. A schedule of events and information on attending the annual seminar or awards banquet in Charleston is available online at http://www.americanhorsepubs.org/programs/seminars/index.asp.


American Horse Publications is a non-profit professional association dedicated to promoting excellence in equine media and better understanding and communication within the equine publishing industry. For more information, please contact: Chris Brune, American Horse Publications at ahorsepubs@aol.com or 386-760-7743 or visit the AHP Web site at www.americanhorsepubs.org.

I entered the article on Tammy Sronce’s fight to coem back from her head injury in two different categories. (You can read it here: Pure Inspiration–Tammy Sronce and her Recovery)  However, I do not know if I am a finalist in both or just one of the categories.

This is my first time entering as an individual member, and I’m super excited! I have been named an AHP award winner once, winning as the Newsletter Editor for TheHorse.com’s Horse Health ENewsletter in 2009, which was a great experience. I’m hoping I can attend the AHP Seminar in Charleston, S.C., in June, but I might need some help raising the money to attend. 🙂

Big congratulations to some of my clients for being named finalists as well, including the Paint Horse Journal, The American Quarter Horse Journal, and America’s Horse!