2016 – as we saw it

We all love a good picture, and we certainly have some of the best photographers in the world supplying us with some real crackers!

Valegro (Image: Kit Houghton)

Over the past 12 months, we have been able to bring you beautiful, moving, exciting, funny and sometimes plain crazy images of the world’s best horses and riders, from some of the world’s best photographers.

As 2016 draws to a conclusion, it’s a good time to reflect on which images we have loved, and which you have loved. Some of them are near-perfect photographs, and some of them pictures that just capture a moment in time perfectly.

By far our most popular image of the year was the one of Nick Skelton’s groom Mark Beever with Big Star, ‘with something in his eye’ during the Olympic jumping medal ceremony. This photo was shared extensively from our Facebook page and was also given to the Skelton family, and was used at a presentation to Nick Skelton and Mark. Last count, well over 250,000 people had seen it.

Mark Beever and Big Star at the medal ceremony. Mark must have got a bit of sand in his eye (Image: Jane Thompson)

The awesome shots that Libby Law took of the New Zealand Olympic equestrian team at the announcement were not only great images, but very popular with you on social media.

2016 Rio Olympic Games team: (L-R) Julie Brougham (dressage) with the eventers; Jonathan Paget, Sir Mark Todd, Clarke Johnstone, Jonelle Price (Image: Libby Law)

Another from the Olympics which was very popular was the one of Sir Mark about to give Leonidas the biggest pat as they pulled up after a clear cross-country round.

Leonidas, Sir Mark Todd
Sir Mark Todd is delighted with Leonidas after his great round at Rio (Image: Jane Thompson)

You also obviously appreciated seeing the photo of Tim Price fronting up to the media after his very, very unlucky fall when Ringwood Skyboy slipped over between fences. Our riders are very popular with the equestrian media, they are always good for quotes, charming, and personable.

Tim still fronted up to the media to talk about what happened. (Image: Jane Thompson)

You all went crazy over the photo of Lucy Olphert jumping the last fence at Equidays to win the big class, a popular win and well deserved.

Lucy Olphert on Eve Saint Laurent, over the last fence to win the Hyundai Derby at Equidays (Image: Jane Thompson)

You also loved any post that featured Balmoral Sensation, with or without Clarke… just kidding Clarke, our followers loved pictures of you as well, but especially when ‘the Snowman’ was there too!

Clarke Johnstone and Balmoral Sensation (Image: Libby Law Photography)

We certainly have acquired a lot of images of both Clarke and Ritchie – more than enough for a gallery. So many, in fact, that we may have to do a separate post just featuring them.

Libby Law follows the horses all around the world and has taken some stunning pics this year. It’s hard to choose our favourites, but here’s a gallery of just a few she has taken each month since our website went live in March.

Of course a huge focus for us is on New Zealand equestrian events, and we have had many photographers contributing their images, whether it be eventing or endurance, pony club or A&P Shows. Barbara Thomson has been supplying fabulous images to NZ Horse & Pony magazine longer than any other photographer, and we loved the variety Barbara delivered this year, from hunting to driving and lots in between.

Barbara was also the photographer involved in providing a series of photos that you all just loved from Taupo Three-day Event. Amanda Pottinger won the three-star, but how about this sequence Barbara captured when it all nearly turned into a disaster!

Jan Sutherland from Take the Moment is another great New Zealand photographer who covers all sorts of equestrian events in all sorts of weather! We’ve put together just a few of our favourite pics from her camera.

We also had images contributed from readers; our photography competition from last summer was great, with so many wonderful shots sent in – over 400 – and thousands of people voting for their favourite. Ava and her pony Champaz featured in the winning photograph, submitted by Sophie Simson. Sophie won a gift basket from FG Reynolds Equestrian & AllinFlex, as well as an NZH&P magazine subscription. Here are a few more of the wonderful photos sent in for the competition.

We can’t run the competition in the same way this summer, as we are taking a bit of a break over the Christmas period. We do, however, invite you to send in your Horse Holiday photos to jane@horseandponymag.com (preferably just in low resolution at this point). When we are back from our holiday we will go through them all and feature our favourite ones on our website and Facebook page, and maybe some will make it into our monthly magazine! We’ve got prizes too, including a magazine subscription for our very favourite one submitted. If you are sending any photos, you must own the copyright to the image, so please don’t send us in photos of you taken by someone else unless they have given you permission. We want YOUR holiday snaps of you and your horse(s) having fun.

If you are at all confused about copyright and images, our article on this topic was very popular and widely shared. Here’s the link to the article if you need a refresher!

Happy snapping, everyone, and we look forward to bringing you some more fabulous photos next year!