After weeks of deliberation, much gnashing of teeth, wringing of hands (mostly mine), and a dozen or so e-mails and discussions between myself and professional equine photographers Cheryl Smythe and James Hudyma, we finally have a winner for our Best Babies Foal Contest.
In fact, given the sheer volume of photos we received, it took some time to narrow the choices down. Eventually, a number of congruities in preference emerged and the three of us were able to come to definitive conclusions.
And finally, we settled on one submission.
A fantastic winner.
A perfect winner. . .
. . . the owner of which will take home the grand prize of a Greenhawk foal package.
That\’s not what we\’re profiling today.
Sorry, Beth. (Beth is our office manager, and she has been dying to know who the winner is. . . we\’re going to make her wait just a little bit longer. Around here, we like pranks like this.)
In fact, we\’re going to roll this out over another two months! Heck, why not?
Today, I\’m going to give you Cheryl Smythe\’s top choices. Next Monday we\’ll profile James\’ choices. And, in the Championship print edition of Western Horse Review, set to hit newsstands in mid-November, we\’ll showcase the contest winner.
Both Cheryl and James took the liberty of creating a number of categories to fit some of the photos. Here, without further ado, are Cheryl\’s special category picks as well as her reserve champion choice.
Cheryl chose this great photographic catch as a Best Action shot.
Cheryl created a Special Bond category for this shot, calling it, “a really special image,” showing how “special a little foal can be. I like the connection here, and the trust between the two of them.”
Not a one of us could argue with her choice for Cutest Baby.
Her choice for Foals and Friends was equally adorable.
There was this photo . . .
And this one. . .
And this, another adorable study into the mutual wonderment of foal and human . . .
She felt this one too, was special. And placed these four into a Special Recognition category.
Cheryl chose one reserve champion, for the 2010 Best Babies Photo Contest. This beauty. She felt the lighting is incredible and the expression wonderful. Photographer Nicky will receive a copy of Josh Lyon’s excellent guide, Foal Handling, the Lyons Way. Congrats!
Thanks again for everyone who contributed and congratulations to those whose photos were chosen. Honestly, so many photos were fantastic and we could have dreamt up categories all day to fit each.
Remember, next Monday, we\’ll profile James top picks, so stay tuned.