The Pursuit of Excellence Continues as AHP Honors the Equine Media Awards Winners

American Horse Publications proves its #EquineMediaStrong as the association recognizes it’s members for excellence at the 2019 AHP Equine Media Awards. The strength in AHP’s mission to promote excellence in equine media is exemplified by its annual awards contest. Held since 1974, the EMAs reward standards in journalistic integrity for informative and engaging content in a variety of media categories. Showcasing excellence in equine media as well as providing guidance for improvement are the two key elements of this member program.

The 2019 Equine Media Awards for material published in 2018 were presented on June 1, during the AHP Equine Media Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico, on May 30-June 1, 2019. This year’s awards competition was judged by 25 professionals and included 63 classes, 711 entries, and 119 contestants.  AHP members came from all over the United States and Canada to applaud their fellow members for their achievements in setting high standards in equine media.

“In today’s ever-changing media environment, we can be very proud of the caliber of communication that AHP media professionals are producing for the equine industry,” says Chris Brune, AHP Executive Director. “The publishing world has changed a great deal since the birth of American Horse Publications in 1970 to its upcoming 50th anniversary in 2020. While print publications represent a smaller percentage of the media force, many new media options have grown to keep up with technology. This provides equine enthusiasts with multiple opportunities to learn, enjoy, and cherish their bond with the horse.”

The General Excellence Award is a coveted honor for print publications. The entries are judged based on the effectiveness of editorial content and design, and how well the publication meets its mission. This year’s award recipients included:

  • Off-Track Thoroughbred in Association Publication circulation under 15,000;
  • US Equestrian in Association Publication circulation 15,000 and over;
  • Untacked in Self-Supported Publication circulation under 15,000;
  • Horse Illustrated in Self-Supported Publication circulation 15,000 and over.

All four General Excellence winners were eligible for the Overall Publication Award that is selected by a separate judge. The prestigious award was presented to US Equestrian published by the United States Equestrian Federation. “The editorial content is true to the theme of this publication from cover to cover with enlightening, educational and personal stories that speak to the interests of the Federation’s membership,” read the judge’s comment. “It is made clear in word and visual form throughout this magazine that the Federation’s backing and guidance aid veteran equestrians, pleasure riders, competitors, trainers or newcomers in experiencing the joy of their endeavors unfettered. The artistic design of US Equestrian magazine is skillfully professional, not to mention pleasantly reader friendly. US Equestrian is a testimony to its proud mission statement and a true winner.”

Judges frequently mention the competitiveness of the entries and the difficulty in selecting the top placers. Here are a few excerpts of the criteria that AHP judges valued the most.

“Clever wordsmithing and the creativity spent on the lead.”

“Great information, a fabulous lead and lots of great quotes and personal experiences integrated throughout.”

“Supporting sources made the article well-rounded and captivating, as did the powerful quotes.”

 “Vivid descriptions, excellent work nailing down details, use of lots of voices.”

 “When a photographer is in the right place at the right time with all his camera settings dialed to perfection, shots like this can happen.”

“This is a photograph that will etch itself into peoples’ minds.”

The results including judges critiques are listed in the 2019 Awards Program, available online in PDF format. The Awards Presentation that was shown in Albuquerque includes the images and videos from the winning entries and is available as a slide show. To view the program and slide show, visit

The Equine Media Awards contest offers two award divisions. The Publishing Media Division is for Publishing Media and Individual members and the Business Division is for Business, Nonprofit and College/University members.

Publishing Media members are equine-related print or online media that publish editorial content relative to news and information about the horse industry. Publishing Media members that achieved multiple honors in a variety of print and online categories included:

  • Western Horseman with 10 awards;
  • Quarter Horse News with 8 awards;
  • BloodHorse with 7 awards;
  • American Farriers Journal, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, Thoroughbred Daily News, and Paint Horse Journal with 6 awards each;
  • Chrome, The Chronicle of the Horse, and Sagebrush Rider with 5 awards each;
  • Arabian Horse Times, Canadian Horse Journal, Untacked, and US Equestrian with 4 awards each;
  • EQUUS, New York Horse, Sidelines Magazine, and The American Quarter Horse Journal, USDF Connection with 3 awards each;
  • America’s Horse, Arabian Horse Life, Barrel Horse News, Horse&Rider, Horse Illustrated, Hoofcare Publishing, The Team Roping Journal, and USHJA In Stride with 2 awards each.

The publications that earned one or more first place awards cover a broad spectrum of the horse industry. American Farriers Journal, The American Quarter Horse Journal, Arabian Horse Times, Barrel Horse News, BloodHorse, Canadian Horse Journal, Chrome, The Chronicle of the Horse, EquiManagement, Equine Journal, EQUUS, Horse&Rider, Horse Illustrated, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred, New York Horse, Off-Track Thoroughbred, Paint Horse Journal, Practical Horseman, Quarter Horse News, Sagebrush Rider, Sidelines Magazine, The Team Roping Journal, Thoroughbred Daily News, Untacked, USHJA In Stride, US Equestrian, and Western Horseman. 

Other Publishing Media members that earned EMA honors were: East Coast Equestrian, Harness Racing Update, The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care, Horse Radio Network, New Bridge Polo, NRHA Reiner, and The Ranch Horse Journal.

In recent years, membership in AHP has seen a significant increase from equine media professionals and freelancers. These individuals include writers, photographers, designers, visual media and multimedia professionals.

Twenty-two AHP Individual members received top honors for material they entered in the competition. Among the multiple award winners were: Abigail Boatwright, Kate Bradley Byars, Elise Gaston Chand, Douglas Lees, and Bianca McCarty.

Individual members that received first place awards were: Abigail Boatwright, Kate Bradley Byars, Elise Gaston Chand, Bianca McCarty, Heidi Nyland Melocco, Shelley Paulson, Candace Carrabus Rice, Kelly Sanchez, and Kara Stewart.

Other Individual members who earned an EMA honor included Megan Arszman, Melinda Brown, Jennifer Bryant, Diana De Rosa, Amber Hodge, Katie Navarra, Allison Armstrong Rehnborg, Patti Schofler, L. A. Sokolowski, Catie Staszak, Jenn Trickey, and Heather Wallace.

In addition to staff-written material, Publishing Media members often submit entries written by their contributors who are AHP Individual members. Contributors whose material won or placed in the EMAs included Megan Arszman, Kate Bradley Byars, Sarah Evers Conrad, Jaime Johnson, Katie Navarra, Allison Armstrong Rehnborg, Kelly Sanchez, Tobi Lopez Taylor, and Jenn Trickey.

The AHP Equine Media Awards offers the Business Division for its members that are equine-related businesses, nonprofit organizations or associations, and colleges/universities. Multiple award winners that entered their work from 2018 included:

  • SmartPak with 7 awards;
  • Signal Theory (formerly Sullivan, Higdon & Sink) with 5 awards;
  • Central Garden & Pet, AIM Equine Network, and NRHA, with 3 awards each;
  • The Humane Society of the United States and WaterShed Animal Fund with 2 awards each.

Earning first place awards in the Business division were AIM Equine Network, Central Garden & Pet, Grand Slam Social, Kentucky Equine Research, Signal Theory, SmartPak, and WaterShed Animal Fund.

AHP congratulates its members who achieved excellence in equine media and encourages all members to strive for equine media excellence and keep #EquineMediaStrong. Rules for the 2020 Equine Media Awards for material published in 2019 will be available to members in early January. 


American Horse Publications has united equine-related publishing media, businesses, professionals, colleges, and students for 50 years. The non-profit professional membership association promotes excellence in equine media and encourages relationships and communication within the horse industry. For more information, visit

For further information on the AHP Equine Media Awards or member benefits, contact: Chris Brune, American Horse Publications, or visit the AHP web site at


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