The Horse, Win Media Awards

The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care and staff garnered seven media honors in the American Horse Publications annual awards program, held Saturday, June 22, at the organization’s annual seminar in Colorado Springs.

Additionally, the judges awarded honors to several other Blood-Horse Publications products during the award presentations. A full list of awards received is included below. The awards recognized work completed in and dated 2012 for both print and online categories.

A total of 104 AHP members entered a total of 758 entries for this year’s awards, and 177 awards were presented to the finalists for first, second, third place, or honorable mention. Sixty-three members were finalists.

Among The Horse magazine’s entries, Doug Thal, DVM, Dipl. ABVP, won first place in the Personal Single Column, Circulation Over 20,000 (Print) category, with the article “The Value of a Diagnosis,” which appeared in the October 2012 issue.  The contest judges said Thal eloquently and coherently made his case, noting “the importance of an informed and correct diagnosis is the basis of proper treatment.”

Also in print, The Horse won third place in the Equine-Related Editorial Series class for the magazine’s “Creepy Crawlies” articles, which Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc, authored. Judges noted the three pieces, which focused on various threats in horses’ environments, were very educational.

Visually, The Horse magazine picked up honorable mention in the Editorial Action Photograph (Print or Online) for Merri Melde’s July 2012 issue photo of an endurance horse scaling a steep bank. “The thing that set this photo apart from a class that had many good photos is the considerable effort this photographer made to capture the photo,” the judges wrote. “The terrain is hilly and rough; it must have been quite a hike to get here. Good illustration for story about endurance riding.”

In the Illustration (Print or Online) category, judges honored Robin Peterson, DVM, with second place for her “Osteoarthritis Development” imagery, describing it as a “very nice anatomical drawing of the horse, especially the translucent areas where the rib cage and other bones are shown—not an easy trick to carry out. Giving extra emphasis to the cartilage is also a neat trick. This is a very good example of a medical illustration.” The illustration was featured in the October 2012 issue. also held its own in the multimedia categories, collecting second place Online Equine-Related Editorial Multimedia Series for the Ask The Vet Live Series, running monthly in 2012. “Impressive, getting vets to talk for an hour,” noted the judges. “Samplings indicate that each of these hourlong audio files is packed with information.”

In the Online Equine-Related Blog category, ran first and second. Freelancer Jennifer Bryant’s “London 2012 Olympics: Equestrian Coverage” blog, which was active June-September 2012, won first place because of “its excellent breadcrumb navigational system, good location of the About section, its star rating system, and chance to see several articles at a glance,” noted the judges. “Links within the articles gave readers opportunities to learn more about various subjects. Articles were pertinent, interesting, and a good length for blog readers.

News Editor Erica Larson captured second in this category with her “Older Horses: Better With Age” blog, which judges said had a “good visual hierarchy of text.” Additionally, “social networking gives chance to have articles reposted in many places and RSS feeds. Articles are concise with links to other articles to keep the size of individual blog entries down. Viewer can see a large variety of articles on the home page of the blog.”

American Horse Publications (AHP) is a non-profit association for the equine publishing media industry. Its members include equine-related print publications, digital media, professionals, students, organizations, and businesses. Held since 1974, the AHP Annual Awards Contest provides members with an opportunity to be recognized for excellence in equine media as well as professional critiques for improvement.

Blood-Horse Publications' 2012 AHP Award Winners

General Excellence

  • Self-Supported Publication Circulation 15,000 and Over (15 entries): Honorable Mention: Keeneland Magazine; Jacqueline Duke, Editor; Marla Bickel, Publisher; Katie Taylor, Art Director.

First Place

  • Equine-Related Specialty or Custom Publication (Print, 14 entries): Breeders’ Cup Commemorative Magazine; Jacqueline Duke, Editor; Katie Taylor, Art Director; October 2012.
  • Personal Single Column Circulation Over 20,000 (Print, 18 entries): The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care, Douglas Thal, DVM; DVM, Dipl. ABVP; Alexandra Beckstett, Associate Managing Editor; Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief; October 2012.
  • Online Equine-Related Blog (8 entries): Jennifer Bryant, Freelance Writer, “London 2012 Olympics: Equestrian Coverage,” published on; June through September 2012. 

Second Place

  • Online News Reporting Single Article (7 entries):, “Was Hearing a Self-Inflicted Black Eye?” by Tom LaMarra, April 30, 2012. 
  • Online Multimedia (6 entries):, “Breeder’s Cup,” Ron Mitchell, Online Managing Editor; Tom LaMarra, News Editor; Eric Mitchell, Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief; Leslie Neilson, Digital Media Director; Anne Eberhardt, Visuals Director; Alex Cutadean, Video Production; Digital Media Group: Megan Arszman, Kimberly Reeves, Adam Spradling, Christine Wittmer; Videographers/Interviewers: Ron Mitchell, Tom LaMarra, Eric Mitchell, Evan Hammonds, Steve Haskin, Lenny Shulman, Esther Marr, Claire Novak, Alex Cutadean, Adam Spradling, Anne Eberhardt. September to November 2012. 
  • Online Equine-Related Video or DVD (8 entries):, “Three Chimneys Stallions Exercise,” Alex Cutadean, Director/ Videographer; Evan Hammonds, Producer; Anne Eberhardt, Videographer, May 17, 2012.
  • Equine-Related Website:; Ron Mitchell, Online Managing Editor; Tom LaMarra, News Editor; Leslie Neilson, Digital Media Director; Eric Mitchell, Editorial Director and Editor-in-Chief.
  • Illustration (Print or Online, 11 entries): The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care, “Osteoarthritis Development,” by Robin Peterson, DVM, Illustrator, October 2012.
  • Freelance Writer Equine-Related Journalism (Print or Online): Tracy Gantz, Freelance Writer, "Meadow Stable's Other Horse," published in Kentucky Derby magazine, 2012.
  • Online Equine-Related Editorial Multimedia Series (4 entries):, “Ask The Vet Live,” Michelle N. Anderson, Digital Editor; Erica Larson, News Editor; Alexandra Beckstett, Associate Managing Editor; Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief; Megan Arszman, Web Producer; Alex Cutadean, Video Production; January through December 2012. 
  • Online Equine-Related Blog (8 entries):, “Old Horses: Better With Age,” by Erica Larson, News Editor; Michelle N. Anderson, Digital Editor; April through December 2012. 

Third Place

  • Equine-Related Editorial Series (Print, 14 entries): The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care, “Creepy Crawlies,” by By Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc; Alexandra Beckstett, Associate Managing Editor; Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief; June, July, August 2012

Honorable Mention

  • Personality Profile Single Article Circulation Over 20,000 (Print, 18 entries): The Blood-Horse, “A Need for Speed,” by Lenny Shulman, June 9, 2012.
  • Publication Staff Single Advertisement (Print, 18 entries): The Blood-Horse, “Union Rags,” by Brian Turner, Graphic Artist, June 16, 2012.
  • Editorial Action Photograph (Print or Online, 22 entries): The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care, “Trail and Endurance,” by Merri Melde, Photographer, July 2012.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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