first published in the August 2022 Equiery
Once again, The Equiery received over 200 entries for our Annual Photo Contest! This year’s entries came from 70 different photographers representing six different states. The majority of our entries were from amateur photographers. We also received entries from nine different professional photographers and six juniors. This year the Portraits and Farm Life categories had the most entries with 60 in each. Equestrian Sports was the next most popular category followed by Black & White and then Maryland Foals.
The selection committee of judges narrowed the entries down little by little until winners of each category and the overall Grand Champion were selected. We thank everyone who entered this year and hope our readers enjoy the following pages of images. All entries will be posted at https://www.facebook.com/TheEquiery throughout the month of August.
2022 Grand Champion, Top Professional Photographer & Portraits Runner Up
This year’s Grand Champion photo comes from professional photographer Kim Harmon of Frederick. Harmon has been a category winner in previous years but this year, the selection committee felt her image “We Love Twinkie” was the best of the best and declared it the overall winner! The image is of Lucca Kerns of Urbana with her pony Twinkie at The Pony Place in Mt. Airy.
The selection committee loved the soft colors and natural light as well as the impeccably turned-out pony and young rider. The overall composition lends the image well to being the perfect cover with plenty of room for the necessities of our masthead and teasers while keeping the focal point on the pony and rider.
Our Grand Champion photo was also the runner up in the Portraits category. Judges found “We Love Twinkie” by Kim Harmon (Frederick) a charming photo with great natural light. Judges also liked the faded background which keeps the viewers’ eyes on the focal point of pony and child.
2022 Reserve Champion, Top Junior Photographer & Black and White Winner
Brandon Miller of Frederick once again submitted several lovely photos making him the Top Junior Photographer for the second year in a row. This year his entry “In Shadows” for the Black & White category captured the attention of the selection committee. Judges felt the image has a subtle haunting effect that captures the viewers’ attention. Closer study shows the crisp details of the horse and its tack, as well as the richness of the black and white hues, make it an overall stunning photograph.
Brandon Miller’s (Frederick) photo “In Shadows” was the clear winner of the Black & White category for all the same reasons it is the overall reserve champion photo. Soft light, crisp details and overall composition make this a fantastic photograph.
Top Amateur Photographer & Equestrian Sports Winner
This photo by Lauren Nation of Lisbon entitled “Shelby & Romeo” consistently received several votes throughout the selection process. Combining this image with several others she sent in that made the top 10 in various categories makes Nation our Amateur Photographer winner.
Equestrian sports here in Maryland are as diverse as the breeds owned and competed by Marylanders. Just when you thought you had heard of all these sports… Mounted Archery pops out as the latest equestrian craze! Lauren Nation of Libson captured the nature of the sport with its fast pace and demand for accuracy perfectly with her photo “Shelby & Romeo.” The image is of Shelby Piovoso with her adopted horse Romeo participating in a Mounted Archery demonstration. The rider is laser focused on the target and the horse is just as steady as possible making a great moment captured in a photo!
MHC Members’ Top Pick
This year Maryland Horse Council members chose “Heavenly Hack” by junior photographer Audrey Hopkins of Laytonsville as their top photo. Hopkins snapped this photo while hacking Quick Silver at Waredaca on June 11, 2022.
MHC Members’ Runner Up
The runner up was Jessica Young’s image “The Equestrian Mindset.” Young, who is from Bel Air, took this photo of her daughter Adelynn Young riding Livin Large FLF at Thornridge Manor on September 18, 2021.
MHC Members’ Honorable Mention
Tammie Monaco’s image from the 2021 Maryland State Fair entitled “Eleven Best Days” received an honorable mention nod from MHC members this year. The photo shows horses galloping at Timonium’s track with the fair rides as a unique backdrop.
Equestrian Sports Runner Up
“In the Dust” by Destini Benson of Saylorsburg, PA, was also a cover contender. Benson captured the sliding stop moment of Marylander Bill Ebberts and his AHQA mare Gemma perfectly with the image showing the horse and rider in focus as well as the flying arena sand. The photo was taken at a clinic earlier this year in Dillsburg, PA.
Horse Farm Life Winner
Allison Oyler of Hughesville submitted the photo “Feeding Time,” which the judges felt best represented the Farm Life category. The image is of Thistle Dew Dressage Equestrian facility (Calvert County) owner and head trainer Elizabeth Schneider making the rounds at feeding time on June 29, 2022. The black and white image is also crisp and clear with a nice amount of depth.
Maryland Foals Winner
Last year’s Grand Champion winner Charles Toler sent in the photo “Stilts” which became the winner of the Foals category by a unanimous vote. The perspective of the image is fabulous, capturing the “all legs” part of a foal’s early life. Combine that with a gorgeous background and you have a winning image! The Maryland-bred foal pictured is Sebastian A (Kjento x Jamaica), a Warmblood at Select Breeders in Chesapeake City.
Maryland Foals Runner Up
“New Sights” by Allison Oyler (Hughesville) is the runner up Foals photo. The crisp black and white image, taken at Thistle Dew Dressage Equestrian in Calvert County, also captures a common moment in a foal’s life… when exploration and curiosity begin!
Bridgette Daugherty (WV) won the Portraits category with her image “Barn Buddies.” The photo was taken on June 4, 2022 at Keep Stables in Woodbine and depicts Kathy Erisman’s horses Rader and Trapper. This photo is a text book classic representation of an equine portrait! Daugherty submitted the Grand Champion photograph in 2020.
Black and White Runner Up
Bridgette Daugherty (WV) earned another nod to her photography skills with the image “Watchful Eyes” of Cridder Halle and Reno at Double C Farm in Clarksburg on April 30, 2022. The image is classically composed with details only a black and white image could truly reveal.