Dos and Don’ts for our Cover Contest

I am fresh from reviewing all of the entries for the Hodges Badge Company 2011 Equestrian Catalog cover contest.   Thank you to everyone that submitted an entry! With next year in mind, I want to offer you a few tips on what works (and what doesn’t).  While the next deadline isn’t until October 2011, we will accept your submissions at any time during the year.

Here are the Don’ts:

  • Don’t submit another company’s ribbon or trophy.  The awards must be from Hodges.  No exceptions.
  • Don’t submit an out-of-focus award.  We need to be able to read the print.
  • Don’t try too hard to be cute. 
  • Don’t demonstrate unsafe riding.  Make sure your helmet fits, and don’t stand next to a horse while barefoot.
  • Don’t fail to consider your background composition- a porta-potty behind your horse, or telephone pole sprouting from the rider’s head etc.
  • Don’t cut off heads or feet!

And the Dos:

  • Do send photos of less frequently awarded items  such as trophies, medals and plaques. 
  • Send entries that are different- llama or donkey shows, driving, side saddle, vaulting, sledding rallies.  While I realize the majority of our customers ride English or Western, we need to represent all horse pursuits.
  • Feel free to send multiple photos.  If you send more than 10, please vary the composition, lighting, etc.
  • Follow the rules for your discipline – helmets on in the ring, keepers in place on your bridle, etc.
  • Respond when we call you! Every year at least one ‘winner’ fails to get back to us and we have to dig deeper for another photo.
  • Use a fill flash on sunny days – otherwise foreheads under helmets are too dark for us to use.

More than just a Blue Ribbon!

This essay was submited by Char Gordon of Island Lake, IL. Congratulations Char!

My first blue ribbon was the by-product of a wonderful friendship. It was awarded to me in May, 2008 at the MidStates Morgan Open showin Hampshire, IL. I received it for a Adult Open Walk Trot class.

I had recently had 2 back fusions, the second one to fix the failed first one, and my confidence on horses had seemingly been removed with my spinal surgeries. While I had been showing my horse in Halter classes, running in sand was nearly impossible for me as I also have a rod running through one of my leg bones. I was frustrated because I didn’t have the confidence to ride my horse in a class and could no longer participate in Halter classes without succumbing to a lot of pain.

My friend has a beautiful Morgan mare that she had been letting my daughter ride. She decided that I would ride her mare in an open class. I was terrified! She had me ride the mare a few times prior to the show and the mare was VERY patient with me. I decided it was a “go”…I would attempt to actually ride in a class!
Char Gordon with Estralita De Oro

Char Gordon with Estralita De Oro

The day came. My daughter warmed the mare up for me, The mare, Estralita De Oro, then patiently allowed me to steer her around the arena in our class. I felt my fear waning as nothing bad was happening to me and Lita just was so patient. Then I finally relaxed and enjoyed it! I lined up and got a 1st place.

While I was the only one in the class, that ribbon and trophy represents more to me than a win. If I had gotten no ribbon, it would still have been an huge win, as I, with the help of my friend, overcame an incredible fear when I rode in that class.  Getting a blue ribbon and a trophy on that day meant more than beating any competition; it symbolized overcoming fear and the value of a great friendship.

2009 Equestrian Cover Contest Winners


2009 Equestrian Catalog Cover
2009 Equestrian Catalog Cover

We are happy to announce the 2009 Equestrian Cover Contest winner: Julie Pollex!

The Equestrian Catalog went to press last week and it will be in your mailbox by the end of this week. What? You don’t get one?

Click here to request one >>

 and we will send it right off.

Can’t wait to see the winners in our catalog either? I don’t blame you. Click here to see the cover and the 10 honorable mentions>>

Fleecewood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Check out Fleecewood Mac – #8. Yes we know that technically she is a Suri Alpaca but she dons our Equestrian Easton Sash and we thought it was a great shot.

Congratulations to our winners! There were a lot of great entries this year.



2009 Equestrian Catalog Cover Contest

Call for Entries

It’s your last chance to get your photographs in for the 2009 Equestrian Catalog Cover Contest! Deadline is November 1, 2008.

2008 Winners

2008 Winners

To Enter, submit by mail a color photograph attached to an official entry form. The official rules are on the form. You can enter as many times as you’d like but each entry has to be accompanied by an entry form.

Check out these great awards:

  • Grand Prize – $2500 plus photograph appears on the cover of Hodge’s Badge Company’s 2009 Equestrian Awards Catalog.
  • Honorable Mention – $100 each

Check out ALL of last year’s Winners here!

Hurry! Entries must be postmarked on or before November 1, 2008!