2024 Equestrian Awards Contest Winners

2024 Contest Winner - Michele Nunes

Photographed is 18-year-old Oldenburg mare “Roma” and her rider Halina Thole with their ribbons from the 2022 Great American USDF Regional Dressage Championships for the Intermediate 1 JR/YR Division at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, as well as the USEA Area VI Eventing Championships held at the Fresno County Horse Park. Halina’s family has had Roma since birth. Halina’s mother bred her beloved chestnut mare “Granita” in hopes that one day her daughter would take interest in riding, and she sure did! Halina and Roma have grown up to be successful at both FEI level dressage and eventing together. Halina nicknamed Roma “Tomato”! Thank you, Hodge Badge Company, for your beautiful ribbons and for having this contest. The prize money will be used for a photography horse trip which means a lot to me. Photographed by Michele Nunes.

2024 Honorable Mention - Amy Maksymiu

Photographed is "Terms on the Moon" and rider Lucy, showing off their English and Western class ribbons which earned them the High Point award at the Nova Quarter Horses Student Show in Mokena, Illinois. Lucy has been riding at Nova for 5 years, where she had the pleasure of learning from one of the most beloved show horses, "Terms on the Moon." His patient heart helped Lucy and many other riders find comfort and love for the sport and for showing. Lucy has capitalized on all that she has learned from him, and he will always have a special place in her heart. We plan to use the prize money toward a new show outfit for future shows. Photographed by Amy Maksymiu.


2024 Honorable Mention - Mary Fischer

Delaney Nelson and her lease horse, Ruby, (registered name- Shez Only a Zippo) have had an exciting year competing in a variety of events. The have competed in two phase events, dressage shows, and a horse trial. Ruby and Delaney both enjoy jumping, especially cross country jumping. Delaney had a great time competing with Ruby and her teammates from Bit By Bit Stable at Lendon Gray’s Dressage for Kids Festival in Saugerties, NY. This was the first time Delaney and Ruby had competed at such a large venue, and Delaney loved spending time with the horses, and making new friends. We are grateful for the beautiful ribbons made by Hodges Badge Company to help remind us of this super special experience. The prize money will, of course, be spent on something for Ruby. Photographed by Delany’s trainer Mary Fischer.

2024 Honorable Mention - Caroline Shipe

Photographed is 15-year-old thoroughbred “Judge Priest”, and owner/rider Caroline Shipe with year-end champion awards and ribbons for Working Hunter and Adult Equitation Over Fences from the Summerduck Run Farm horse show series. Teammates for the past 11 years they enjoy showing in the Take 2 Thoroughbred Division and in Working Hunters. They also enjoy hunter paces and cross country schooling. Thank you, Hodges, for helping memorialize a year of accomplishments. Priest says he sure hopes the prize money goes towards lots of Stud Muffins. Photographed by Keely Cooley.


2024 Honorable Mention - Gabriella Anzelc

Photographed is my 7-year-old Zangershide horse, known as 'Golden Hour Z' in the show ring and 'Soup' when we're back at the stable. This picture captures our first derby victory at Paso Robles Horse Park, captured by Grand Pix Photography. I brought Soup over from Europe, specifically Belgium, just over a year ago and have devoted countless hours to shaping him into an equitation and hunter horse. Over the past year, we've tackled numerous derbies, medal finals, 7-year-old divisions, Junior Hunter divisions, and equitation competitions. My heartfelt thanks go to Hodges Badge Company for helping us preserve these achievements. The prize money will be dedicated to pampering Soup, who deserves the best.

2024 Honorable Mention - Natalie Goodwin

Ashlin Goodwin and “Everdeen” are pictured with their Desert International Horse Park Circuit Champion ribbon and awards. These two were an amazing team in the jumpers, earning Champion 5 weeks and the classic wins multiple times.


2024 Honorable Mention - Janet Hannon

Photographed is Susan Becker of Golden CO with her unicorn horse Ricky for her Century ride. Susan and Ricky have a combined age of 100, which is recognized by The Dressage Foundation, and they are now a member of the Century club. She had since lost her wonderful boy so will really appreciate this tribute. The prize money will go to Susan so she can continue lessons with her current horse.

2024 Honorable Mention - Alma Molander

This year was Alma Molander and Shotinthefog’s first year competing in dressage, and they had great success in training level test two. They ended up year-end Champion in the class, also receiving High Point TIP. This photo was taken by Montana Zito, Shotinthefog’s owner and Alma’s trainer.


2024 Honorable Mention - Sarah Black

Bo has been an integral part of the IEA program at Reed Training and Sales at Stillmeadows for nearly 10 years and was the 2022-2023 Z3R11 Horse of the Year.

2024 Honorable Mention - Lexi Poteat

A heart horse is what everyone wants. Some are lucky to get one. I have one that has a heart on his forehead who is my heart horse. Denny wasn’t supposed to be much. He was dead last in his only race at Oaklawn. He came to me as a gift.

I hadn’t had a horse in over 15 years since my grey horse passed. If you saw the movie Something to Talk About then you have seen my grey horse. I was so scared to get Denny, so afraid it wouldn’t work.

Since getting him, we have won tricolors left and right. I have an entire room with just his ribbons. He has won Horse Of The Year multiple times with both Coastal Hunter Jumper and PHJA. At our first TIP championships we won the Chizzy Classic after just jumping our first two-foot course the day before. I got to do it in front of his breeders Bill and Mary McDowell who hadn’t seen him since he was a baby.


In 2020 he was the number 2 OTTB in the country. I was the number 1 adult amateur as well. In early 2022 our world came crashing down. A left lateral meniscus tear, a career ending injury. He would never jump again. Most would have given up on him and said goodbye, I just loved him too much.

I went to the barn every day and we took all the necessary steps to help him heal including, IRAP, laser, acupuncture and equiscope. I believed he would trot down center line that December. We had walked in the cold and hot and wet and walked imaginary Intro A and B in 110 degrees.

In December we trotted down center line surrounded by all our friends and his amazing vets. In Feb we showed again at the Coastal Flight and won the TIP high point. Such a proud mama. He just isn’t my horse he is my very best friend. He has come so far, and my favorite ribbons are my TIP ribbons. The money will be used for his treatments. Thank you for choosing our photo, it means more than you can ever imagine.


2024 Honorable Mention - Erin Connelly

Photographed is 5-year-old Gannen Connelly with his beloved German Riding Pony Nice n' Easy aka Boots. This dynamic due competed in the Shady Dell Stables show series leadline division and won Grand Champion. Sadly, Boots passed away a few months after this photo was taken. She was a true unicorn who took her first kid (Gannen's sister, Talia) from the walk/trot division to the rated circuit. She was as devoted to her family as they were to her. She was so immensely loved and missed by all who knew her.