Congratulations to Team #15  Purple

Christine Shenefield of Coin, IA

T-Shirt (her choice of color/style)

from The Central Midwest Race

(Judge's comments shown below for the winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)

Team 15: Purple (Christine Shenefield)
Brooklyn and I find some pretty amazing things on our riding adventures.  Hope to someday figure out the mystery behind this old abandoned bus in the woods.

DECEMBER WINNER:  This photographer happened on an old junk bus that adds an air of mystery to their ride.  This is the way to create a story with your photograph.  The viewer is given the challenge or should I say the opportunity of making their own story.  This is the beauty of photography or any type of art.  The artist allows the viewer to interpret the piece any way they want.

Team 120: Long Distance Rider (Connie Hoge)
 "Dusk falls over the valley"
Woke to 25 degrees & everything frozen again today
so riding will sure be weather dependent from here on out!
2nd Runner Up:  Weather can set the mood in a photograph and create an interesting image.  Don't wait for perfect weather to make to a perfect  photograph.

Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
 Taken from about 12,000 feet in Medicine Bow National Forest.

Team 17: Painted Arrow (Jessica Smith)
My mare eagerly waiting for my friend to get her horse ready for our snowy ride on an early December morning. Last and most memorable ride of 2014 for us.
What a crazy year...

1st Runner Up:  The photographer has done a nice job of showing texture by taking a close-up photograph of the horse.  This is a good example of looking at your subject from different angles and finding interesting ways to photograph it.

 Team 67: Mustang Dreams (Karen Cooper)
All great rides don't end up with great photos.  Sometimes
turning them into black and white gets you something to work with!
Happy riding!
Team 12: Range Rider (Mark Taylor)
Our last Distance Derby ride December 31, 2014 right at sunset.  "Goodbye 2014."

 Stay tuned for the final phases of the 2014 Distance Derby Photo Contest ...
Grand Prize Winner (from 12 monthly winners)
Second Place (from the 12 first runners up)
Third Place (from the 12 second runners up)
and the People's Choice Award.
Thank you for participating!!!



Congratulations to Team #97: Wild Horse

Amy Durga of Oakville, WA

$25 Gift Certificate to

(Judge's comments shown below for the winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)

Team 97: Wild Horse (Amy Durga)

This picture was taken while riding Kate, my Missouri Foxtrotter, at Wesport Washington Beach.  It was a perfect November afternoon spent playing in the waves, soaking in the sun, and riding with great friends.  The waving rider is also a fellow Distance Derby participant, Eileen Reilich, Team #28 - Eileen's Chance.

NOVEMBER WINNER:  The "selfie"  makes an interesting photograph.  We see the maker of the image along with fellow riders on  a large expanse of beach.  This is  a good example of composition and showing depth.  This image is a fun way to satisfy the criteria of the contest.  It shows some imagination and that trying new techniques yields some positive results.


Team 15: Purple (Christine Shenefield)

Winds of change. Riding Bling along the Tarkio River here in Coin, IA.

1st Runner Up:  This is something that every rider sees as they are riding their horse and is easily taken for granted.  This can be looked at as an exercise in texture.  Think of all the textures on the horse's body.  The smooth coat, the soft nose,  the flowing tail,  the leg muscles, and of course the tousled mane.  Close ups of any of these mentioned might make for an interesting photograph.
Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
Fall, glorious Fall!  I had a wild hair one Saturday and headed to Pawnee Lake for an overnighter.  Just me, the horse, and my dog.  The trees were beautiful.  I don’t think I remember a ride so pretty.  I got up early on Sunday morning and headed out.  This is a little peninsula that we rode out on.  The morning light was just glorious and the Fall reflections just perfect.  This is the picture I will look at to get me through the cold winters.  My favorite color is “Fall."

Team 23: Reuther (Sandy Reuther)
This is a picture I took this summer when I was riding near Calamus Reservoir in Nebraska. It was like riding in a whole different world because it was a forest tucked in the middle of the plains. I miss having trees around and this trail could let me imagine I was riding back in Michigan.

Team 17: Painted Arrow (Jessica Smith)
(Drescription pending.)
Team 67: Mustang Dreams (Karen Cooper)
This was our first real trail ride of 2014.  I have been out of commission after a fall last year so we had a lot of silly self portraits to catch up on.  I sure do love this horse!
2nd Runner Up:  This was a fun and whimsical image.  Sometimes you just have to do something for the fun of it.  This perspective of a horse is always humorous.
Don' t be afraid to be a little silly once in awhile.
Team 33: Blitz (Brenda Trujillo)
"Taking a break" in the Big Piney River, Missouri. Snapped this photo of my friend Alan and his mule while we took a short rest and water break.
Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)
We were blessed with beautiful weather and abundant sunshine for our Indian Cave CTR. 

The deadline for December entries is January 5th at Midnight Pacific time.
Reminder:  December is the final month of the contest.



Congratulations to Team #55: Parys

Shari Parys of Gretna, NE


another $25 Scentsy Gift Certificate (Shari's choice)

(Judge's comments shown below for the winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)

Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)
Riding into the mist at Mark Twain National Forest
OCTOBER WINNER:  "A very nice photograph.  The photographer created an ethereal scene by photographing on a foggy day.  Different types of weather can offer different moods in photographs.  It is not always necessary to photograph on a bright sunny day even though they do produce some wonderful photographs.  Challenge yourself by trying to photograph in different types of weather.  Try a rainy day or a snow day as they can produce some unique images.  This is a unique image which made it stand out from the rest."

Team 125: Smokey Trails  (Amber King)
Riding Captain in the ditch by my house.

Team 33: Blitz (Brenda Trujillo)
"Fall is in the air..."
 Picture taken in the Mark Twain National Forest, MO.
2ND RUNNER UP:  "This was a nice background to this photograph.  A very scenic image that  makes you want to be the rider of that horse looking at the scenery for real.  A sense of place can make the viewer want to look at the photograph and enjoy it."

Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
This photo was not taken on a trail or an out of state ride, but it was taken out my back door.  I was riding Windy in the pasture down the hill from our place and looked back up at our home and the reflection was just about perfect.  The dogs had just put their paws in the water and started the ripple action.  No horse ears or other rider; John was just behind me on Fancy but I thought it was a pretty darn good shot from the back of a horse and probably one I will end up framing.

Team 17: Painted Arrow (Jessica Smith)
My mare, Arrow, waiting on me to turn my gps on, hop on,
and chase after the rest of the group since we were late
1ST RUNNER UP:  "A good photograph of this horse.  It is a beautiful animal in itself but the photographer made it more so by the angle at which it was photographed.  The low angle made the horse appear larger and therefore majestic.  Shooting against the sky produced an uncluttered background which allows all the attention to be focused on the subject.
Some thought went into this image."

Team 59: Alexander (Tammy Alexander)
Taken at Willow Creek. I took my mare for a friend to ride.
 The flowers were just too beautiful to pass up!

Team 4: MacKeogh (Terri MacKeogh)
Epic trail riding selfie with friends.


The deadline for November entries is December 5th at midnight Pacific time.


Congratulations to Team #55: Parys
Shari Parys of Gretna, NE
$25 Scentsy Gift Certificate
(Judge's comments shown below for the winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)

Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)
Beautiful dawn ride at the end of Cowgirl Weekend at Pomona Lake in Kansas.  We took one last ride and counted our many blessings before breaking camp.
SEPTEMBER WINNER:  "This is a unique way of photographing a trail ride.  I like this photograph very much.   This photographer  saw something happening and jumped on it.  This is how good photographs come about.  Don't be afraid to think outside the box."
Team 32: Rather Be Riding (Julia Mruz)
Bridge crossing at Brushy Creek State Park, Iowa

Team 17: Painted Arrow (Jessica Smith)
"Moon Watcher"
Riding the Arabian, Deuce, and the moon came out over the hill which lit everything in white.  Both this amazing white horse and the scenery made me feel like I was in a fairytale.

Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
This photo was taken while riding in Wyoming.  We did over 50 miles that weekend and I am sure our poodle did almost double the miles.  But she would come back from hunting and fall back in behind my husband or me.  I love the blends of browns and greens in this picture.  From the trees, grass, dog and horse.  It’s one I will print and keep.
2ND RUNNER UP:  "This photograph was also a nice quality image.  This photographer captured a relationship story."
Team 86: Get Lucky (Lisa Hayes)
Riding in the Teanaway out of Indian Camp, the scenery was even more beautiful with the vine Maples turning red early this year.

Team 33: Blitz (Brenda Trujillo)
"Marvelous Missouri Ozarks"
Picture I had taken of my husband this past weekend in the Mark Twain National Forest.
1ST RUNNER UP:  "This is a nice quality image with good color and clarity.  This photographer tried something different with location.   In photographing the rider going through the water  a sense of motion was created with the ripples trailing behind." 


The deadline for October entries is November 5th at midnight Pacific time.




Congratulations to Team #120: Long Distance Rider
Connie Hoge of Arlington, WA
Velata Antibacterial Cutting Mat
(Connie chose this prize to use in her camper.)

(Judge's comments shown below for the winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)


Team 120: Long Distance Rider (Connie Hoge)

"Water Rider"
AUGUST - WINNER:  "This is a very creative way to show both the horse and rider in the same image.  Some thought went into this image and that is what sets this apart from the rest.  Thinking outside the box makes for interesting photographs.   Don't be afraid to step outside your comfort zone once in awhile and look at your subject from different perspectives.  This image is both simple and abstract all at the same time.  Well done!"



Team 32: Rather Be Riding (Julia Mruz)

Summer Cool Off



Team 33:  Blitz (Brenda Trujillo)

“Scouting for pioneers” at Rock Creek Station near Fairbury, NE

AUGUST 2ND RUNNER UP:  This image takes the viewer on a trip back to the past.  This is where you see what the horse was about back in the day.  The rider on the horse was a means of transportation and the wagon coming into view the same.   Pioneer America and rural America's needs were met thanks to the horse.  This image tells a story.



Team 70: Follow Your Dreams (Marvel Rahn)

"One of these things is not like the others,
One of these things just doesn't belong,
Can you tell which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish my song?"
Heading out to tack up and ride when the annual crop dusting started overhead.  I always feel like they're going to crash through the house at any moment.  The horses just think it's a very loud bird and don't react much.  I was thankful for the photo opportunity and saddled up to ride before the task was complete.



Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)

I have had some great rides this summer and taken pictures of some gorgeous county.  This one was taken along the Douglas Creek in the Medicine Bow National Forest near Pelton Creek Campground, Wyoming.  What catches my eye about this picture is that my dog, Pip, is right in step with Jules and Zeta as they cross the water and come out on the other side.



Team 17: Painted Arrow (Jessica Smith)

Watching the sunset behind beautifully lit storm clouds with my horse, couldn't ask for a better seat.



Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)

The trail beckons at the Happy Jack Endurance Ride in Wyoming.




Team 97: WildHorse (Amy Durga)

This picture was taken with Kate, my Missouri Foxtrotter. They were doing construction on one of our main riding areas and so we had to go check it out. 

AUGUST - 1ST RUNNER UP:  This rider found something completely out of the ordinary in this wooded environment and chose to incorporate in their photograph.  Again someone is thinking outside the box.  This giant culvert in the middle of the woods has a surrealistic feel to it and therefore creates interest for the viewer.



The deadline for September entries is October 5th at midnight Pacific time.




Congratulations to Team #17: Painted Arrow
Jessica Smith of Bellevue, NE
$25 gift certificate

 (Judge's comments shown below for the winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)

Team 17: Arrow (Jessica Smith)
Arrow discovered a lone little fawn out on our ride.  I felt special seeing her, like it was some secret shared to my horse and me.
JULY - WINNER:  This is a perfect example of being ready with the camera.  This rider was not just looking, but seeing.  There is a difference.  You need to take the time to look over a scene to find that perfect photograph.  This rider spotted the deer just ahead and was quick to react and make the photograph.  Timing and a keen eye made this an interesting image.

Team 82: Bugsy (Cyd Ross)
This view would be amazing any time, but from the back of my horse makes it spectacular!

Team 70: Follow Your Dreams (Marvel Rahn)
My granddaughter's first trail ride was a priceless experience.  Skyler's smile mirrored mine as we rode and later trotted together.
2ND RUNNER UP:  Again by including the little girl the rider has added a story telling note to the image.  The viewer is left to wonder who this girl is.   This could be the daughter, or granddaughter of the rider.  She could be a first time rider being taught some new skills.  This makes the viewer think and therefore creates an interest in the image.

Team 86: Get Lucky (Lisa Hayes)
Before a good ride, Lucky likes to start out the morning with a nice cup of black coffee.

Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
We were invited to ride at an equestrian community in Elkhorn.  There were almost 50 riders, many of them Derby riders.  It was interesting to ride in such a manicured neighborhood that was dedicated to keeping the horse a priority.  Was very blessed to ride there.  
1ST RUNNER UP:  Including the fellow riders in the scene made this an interesting photograph.  The scenery alone would have been pretty but including the people adds to the story telling quality of this image. 

Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)
Taking in the view from the bluffs of Indian Cave while keeping an ear on our friend down the trail.

Team 60: Montana Spots (Peggy Ann Strupp)
The western skies at sunrise explode with a pink rainbow!  Taken at the end of a short morning exercise ride in Crane, MT.  

 The deadline for August entries is September 5th at midnight Pacific time.

Congratulations to Team #97:  WildHorse
 Amy Durga of Oakville, WA

$25 gift certificate

 (Judge's comments shown below for winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)

Team 97: WildHorse (Amy Durga)
This picture was taken with my Missouri Foxtrotter mare, Kate.  I love this little bridge near my home.  It's a nice, peaceful little spot and especially beautiful in the evening light.
JUNE - WINNER:  Again this is a nice use of leading lines to take the viewer on a ride into the image.  The image will take us across the bridge and on down the road.  This allows the viewer to use their imagination to travel along with the rider to the location around the bend.

Team 120: Long Distance Rider (Connie Hoge)
Bella & Farah @ Nehalem Bay State Park, OR
These two mares have been Very Best Friends since the first time they met - both on one of their first trail rides.  Loved the closed eyes!
2ND RUNNER UP:  I realize that the rider is not actually riding in this photograph but the interaction between the horses is the photograph.  Animals  can show emotion just like a human.  This captured interaction is a good example of the photographer seeing something about to happen and being prepared to click the shutter at the precise time.  Timing is everything.

Team 23: Reuther (Sandy Reuther)
This is one of the many amazing views you get while riding in and near Calamus Reservoir State Recreation Area.

Team 86: Get Lucky (Lisa Hayes)
The Foxglove at Moss Lake is amazing in June.  Stalks over six feet tall line the path for miles.  We rode through the dark woods surrounded by brilliant stalks of Foxglove as tall as my head on horseback.  We took this photo on the move as Royal was getting eaten alive by mosquitos whenever we stopped.  Glad it turned out!
1ST RUNNER UP:  This rider found a very unique and interesting place to ride.  Sometimes a location is the most important part of a photographic image.  This location takes on an almost fantasy theme.  A beautiful trail of flowers through a dark forest.  All we are missing are elves and gnomes.
Team 17: Arrow (Jessica Smith)
Arrow and I enjoying a breathtaking ride out on the grassy hills.  I loved how dark our shadows were with the warm, bright sunlight.

Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)

Taking a break in front of the Shrine in Loma.

Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)

Catching a breeze on a warm ride through the hills of Waubonsie.

Team 90: Zebra (Skyler Rahn)

  I saddled Katie with just a little help.  I had fun and even trotted a little!
 The deadline for July entries is August 5th at midnight Pacific time.


Congratulations to Team 97:  WildHorse 
Amy Durga of Oakville, WA

Two-pack Cowgirl Drop Pierced Earrings (in black) by Grace Adele.

(Western-inspired boot, horseshoe, and star enamel charms and beads; silver-toned settings.)

(Judge's comments shown below for winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)
Team 97: Wildhorse (Amy Durga)
This picture was taken with my Standarbred Whiskey. The sky was so threatening and beautiful on our way home from a ride. We made it home before the first drop fell!
MAY - WINNER:  This is a very nice quality photograph with vivid colors and  clarity.  The composition is spot on with good leading lines taking you down the road and to the destination which is either the barn or the mountains.  I like the angle the photographer chose.

Team 10: Half Ased (Leigh Freeman)
Photo taken right before the Friday Before Mother's Day Ride on May 9th.
I was riding with my favorite riding buddy, Pat, her gaited horse Dee, and my QH Diesel.
I would title this picture, "The feeling in a touch".

Team 60: Montana Spots (Peggy Ann Strupp)
The dogs explode from the horse's ears! Taken at Seven Sisters State Recreation Area; Crane, MT.
1ST RUNNER UP:  This is an interesting photograph.  Timing can be everything.  The dogs running up ahead are caught by the photographer just as they are right above the horse's ears.  You can't plan a photograph like that.  You need to see things happening and be ready.

Team 17: Arrow (Jessica Smith)
Arrow rolled on me when we rode down to the park.
The kids playing there really enjoyed watching her!

Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
This picture was taken of DD rider Shari of Team 55 while we were out scouting trails for an upcoming competitive trail ride.  Her white Fox Trotter, Mica, is incredibly photogenic, and with the sun setting behind us it reflected perfectly off his white coat.  Although this picture was taken just a few weeks ago, you would be hard pressed to determine if it is Spring or Fall in Nebraska.  


Team 33: Blitz (Brenda Trujillo)
After a long cold winter it finally warmed up enough to take Dinky out for a drive.  He had quite a few extra pounds on him since the last time we harnessed up so we took a short drive along the creek. I really love seeing these two big trees every time we drive along this spot.
2ND RUNNER UP:  I just liked this for the location choice.  This was a pretty good quality photograph with good color.  Again, it was nice scenery.
 Team 70: Follow Your Dreams (Marvel Rahn)
Perfect weather for an evening ride at Willow Creek SRA near Pierce, NE.
It's good to see water in the lake.  Plenty of wildlife and few bugs!
Deadline for June entries is July 5th at midnight Pacific time


Congratulations to Team 120: Long Distance Rider 

Connie Hoge of Arlington, WA
April's Prize:  $25.00 gift card
(Judge's comments shown below for winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)
Team 120: Long Distance Rider (Connie Hoge)
Farah drinking from Pilchuck Creek, near Granite Falls, WA
APRIL - WINNER:  The color tones of this image compliment each other.  The vivid green in the pond really sets off the color of the horse and the sheen on the water to the left draws you into the image and the rich colors.
Team 7: Shoofly (Sheila Christiansen)
 We rode in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada today and spotted this snow flower when we stopped for lunch.  Oftentimes it pops up through the snow when Spring comes to the high elevations.  I'd never seen one before!  So many fun things to discover when you go exploring on horseback!

Team 25: The Saddlelites (Jennifer Fischer)
 I took this after the first nice 80-degree day we had.  After supper I took my horse for a five mile ride and when we got done the sun was setting.  It was a beautiful sunset. 
Team 76: Rocky Mountain High (Karen Burch)
Taken on our first trail ride where we trailered off property by ourselves.  On the Fairmount Vista trail in Boulder, CO with the Boulder Flatirons in the distance.
2ND RUNNER UP:  A nice image of a ride towards the mountains. 
Team 17: Arrow (Jessica Smith)
Riding my beloved paint mare, Arrow, bareback and took a picture of my engagement ring against her beautiful two-toned mane.
1ST RUNNER UP: Someone got engaged.  This was a nice way to show off the happy occasion.  This was a clever storytelling photograph.
Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
 I had some really great rides this past month.  This picture was taken in early April, obviously at sunset.  It was the evening before the trail clearing and my husband and I were doing some quick markings from horseback at Two Rivers State Park near Waterloo, NE.  We popped out on the river trail right as the sun was setting over the Platte River.  I had a few good shots to choose from but liked the way the sun reflected on the water in this picture and its rays were seen over the tree.  I was riding Windy, my good bay mare, when I took this photo with my iPhone.

Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)
Quiet evening at Two Rivers State Park.  First camping trip of the year with just me, my horse, my dog, and this sunset captured our relaxing night.  I took a deep breath and appreciated being able to enjoy such beautiful moments from the back of a horse.
Be sure to submit your May entry by midnight Pacific time on June 5th.


Congratulations to Team 13:  Taylor

Cheryl Taylor of Broken Bow, Nebraska

February's Prize:  Western Photo Frame from Drysdales

Judge's Note:  There were many good images in this group and it was hard to decide on a top three.  For whatever reason some images just jump out at you.
(Judge's comments shown below for winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)
Team 13: Taylor (Cheryl Taylor)
Welcome Spring 2014!  Mark and I celebrated the Spring Equinox by riding through the neighbor's pasture and admiring his newborn calves.  I loved the way the setting sun shot the light over this scene from the west.
MARCH - WINNER:  I enjoyed this photograph for its story telling quality.  The rider witnessing the rancher finding the first calf of the Spring.  This scene has been played out for many years but is rarely witnessed.  This is just a day to day occurrence for the rancher but a treat for the viewers.


Team 32: Rather Be Riding (Julie Mruz)
Puppies taking a break in the pond.  Festus watching the "pond monsters" carefully.  In the sixties, sun shining, and windy.

Team 120: Long Distance Rider (Connie Hoge)
Taken above Lake McMurray, Washington State.
Team 101: Shadow 'n' Takoda (Andrea Hurn)
 This photo was taken on Weyerhaeuser land just outside of Yelm, WA.  It was windy in the valley today.  It took me 20 minutes to get him to stand still enough to get this picture.   This is a logged section that we recently were able to access.  There is a lot of nothing out there but that in itself has its own beauty.

Team 43: Deanne (Deanne Slafter)
This picture was taken on the Mopac Trail near Springfield, NE.  We were just taking a resting break and it looked like the horses were chatting, probably trying to decide if it was time to turn around since we had already gone close to eight miles!
2ND RUNNER UP:  This trio looks like they are having a conversation amongst themselves.  I guess this image made me think of the individual personalities that some animals seem to have.

Team 25: The Saddlelites (Jennifer Fischer)
This is my horse Sabah and my dog Shilo with me, out getting miles north of where I live.  I like these big old trees this time of year because they are so stark after winter.  I wonder if they were here when the land was first settled.  I like to shoot black and white too.
Team 33:  Team Blitz (Brenda Trujillo)
After a long cold winter it finally warmed up enough to take Dinky out for a drive.  He had quite a few extra pounds on him since the last time we harnessed up so we took a short drive along the creek. I really love seeing these two big trees every time we drive along this spot.

Team 123: Commins (Beth Commins)
(No description available at this time.)

Team 17: Arrow (Jessica Smith)
Stormy Night (a.k.a. "Stormy"), our coming eight-year-old grey QH mare,
during a water break on a beautiful Nebraska day after we got
back from part of our ride and getting ready to head out on some trails.
1ST RUNNER UP:  You can't look at this and not laugh.  You could make up all sorts of one liners for this image.  This is called being at the right place at the right time which is a big part of making unique photographic images.  Being patient and waiting for something to happen will usually yield something special.
Team74: Crazy Legs (Diane Stevens)
This picture is of my Tevis horse, Titan, on a 24-mile training ride from Foresthill, CA down to the American River.
Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
I shot this photo in black and white to reflect the "ghost town" that is Loma, Nebraska.  The movie, "To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar," was shot in Loma in the early 90's, featuring Patrick Swayze.  I thought the sky was just about perfect for a black and white picture.  While the riders weren't my primary focus, they included several other Derby riders.

Team 55: Parys (Shari Parys)
Taking in the view at Branched Oak Lake. 

Be sure to submit your April entry by midnight Pacific time on May 5th.


Congratulations to Team 47:  Pinky and the Boys

Corie Nelson of Plattsmouth, NE

February's Prize:  Western Photo Frame from Drysdales

(Judge's comments shown below for winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)

Team 47: Pinky and the Boys (Corie Nelson)
Just me and my shadow on the never ending road.
FEBRUARY - WINNER:  I liked this photograph because the rider was included in the image within the shadow.  It was a nice angle to achieve the placement of the shadow.  Doing something like this creates more interest than just showing the back of a horse's head.
Team 23: Reuther (Sandy Reuther)
Gypsy and I snuck in a ride near our house in northwest Kansas.  We have miles of dirt roads and wheat stubble to ride through.  Had to stick to the roads because the fields are muddy due to snow melt.  It was a beautiful 50 degrees and very little wind! 

Team 54: Rolling Thunder (Natalie Herman)
Eowyn and I went and rode 78 miles at the Eastern Mojave Classic ride at the beginning of February.  This pic is very much how the week went ... wind, blue skies, mountains in the distance, and endless desert with rock, sand, cacti, Joshua trees, and the like.  Stark and lonely, but beautiful.
1ST RUNNER UP:  This photograph was lit well and had an interesting location but lacked that little bit of interest that the first place winner had with the incorporation of the shadow of the rider.

Team 51: Where's Waldo (Laura Snyder)
I took this photo today of Wally and I climbing up our own "Cougar Rock."  This was the first time we've been out on the trail since the big snow in Maryland and I'm thankful that the warm weekend melted the snow. 

Team 113: Wiley's Adventure (Laura Bond)
This is Wiley taking in the scenery above the hill top!
In McCleary, WA
Team 17: Arrow (Jessica Smith)
Arrow and I watching the rain come in on a
beautiful Nebraska evening while the sun is starting to set.
FEBRUARY - 2ND RUNNER UP:  This image had nice lighting but was not set apart by any particular point of interest.  Something needed to be added like a destination or something more to tell a story of where this rider and horse were going.


Congratulations to Team 25:  The Saddelites

Jennifer Fischer of Beresford, SD

January's Prize:  $25.00 gift card

(Judge's comments shown below for winner and 1st and 2nd runners up.)


Team 25: The Saddlelites (Jennifer Fischer)

This photo was taken on a cold South Dakota January day.
I was on my Arabian gelding, Sabah, and my German Shepherd, Shilo,
 was along with us as we meandered through the fields.
JANUARY - WINNER:    This is a very interesting photograph.  I like the composition of this image with the central subject being the horse and then the eye goes to the dog and then to the vast landscape and back to the horse again.  The eye is never allowed to leave the image.  There is great motion in the wind-blown mane of the horse creating action within the image.  You can almost feel the wind blowing across the field.  The lighting is very appropriate.
Team 120: Long Distance Rider (Connie Hoge)
Tolt Pipeline Trail - West from the Duvall, WA (State) area.
We were getting ready to leave, between two forests of tall trees, so it was COLD.  Suddenly at sunset the sun went between the tops of the mountains & the bottom of the cloud cover and lit up the tops of the trees in GOLD!  It was an incredible moment ... I told Lynn that's why two 60 something ladies spend all their time in the saddle :-)
Team 1: Vasa (Tammy Vasa)
This photo was taken as we rode today along the Oak Creek Trail near Valparaiso, Nebraska.  To me, it is a typical January in Nebraska shot.  The horses you see were grazing in the cornfield next to the trail.  When they saw us trotting by, they joined in by trotting along side us, a fence line apart.  The storm clouds rolling in over the brown fields bring some color to the day.  You can see a water tower along the horizon, too. 
When we slowed to look closer at these horses, they appeared to be young.  Maybe 3 or 4 year olds.  The one that looks white was actually a palomino paint.  The appaloosa was the one who was most smitten with us; turning to face us many times.  The sorrel was not as keen about coming along for the ride but hated to be left alone.
Team 23: Reuther (Sandy Reuther)
The picture was taken by me on Gypsy's back.
It is of a lone tree on the edge of a field near my house.
Team 17: Arrow (Jessica Smith)
"New Places" - I took this on our first trip out to Walnut Creek's horse trails which was quite an adventure! She was so interested in all of the people camping out on the ice of the lake and fishing. Despite being freezing cold and windy it was a good experience for the both of us.

Team 60: Montana Spots (Peggy Ann Strupp)
Sunset on our hay field, Crane, MT taken as I finished my ride around the hay field.  
 JANUARY - 1ST RUNNER UP: This was also a very well composed image.  The tree to the left  starts by keeping your eye from wandering off the image and starts you following the dirt road into the rest of the photograph.  This is very good use of leading lines which create a story in this image.  Where is this road going to lead us?  This makes for an interesting photograph.  The round bales also create points of interest in the distance.  The image was well exposed with rich colors and very nice tree silhouttes against the sunset.
Team 52: Where's Waldo (Laura Snyder)
A very cold ride through freshly fallen snow. It's always been my dream to go trail riding with my dog and my horse. Now that I own my own horse, I've been trying to train my dog to be used to horses and to come when I call him off leash. This was the first time bringing him on the trail with me, and both of my guys were perfect. It was really cold out, but I was so happy I didn't notice!
Team74: Crazy Legs (Diane Stevens)
This picture was taken while on a conditioning ride on the Western States Tevis trail. We rode just over 23 miles this day and stopped at the half way mark along side the American River for a drink. The lovely horse in the photo is my 11 year old Arabian gelding, Titan. He has a 100% completion record on the 100-mile Tevis Cup race. We will be going for our 4th completion this year.
Life is good!
Team 82: Bugsy (Cyd Ross)
Enjoying a quiet moment before heading out.
Team 33:  Team Blitz (Brenda Trujillo)
"Evening Drive"
JANUARY - 2ND RUNNER UP:  This image is a very good use of the rule of thirds.  By putting the subject in the lower right of the photograph it draws the viewer's eye across the image to that corner and keeps the eye from continuing off of the photograph.  The road again is taking us somewhere which creates interest or a story.
Team 43: - Deanne (Deanne Slafter)
I was riding my horse, Sonny.