Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mayberger Wins Horse Racing Photojournalist Of The Year For 2012

     Many great photos were entered in this year's Horse Racing Photojournalist's Photos of the Year, but there could only be one winner. By virtue of a win, a split win and placing a total of six images in the inaugural contest, Bob Mayberger has been named Horse Racing Photojournalist Of The Year For 2012.
     Mayberger's entry portfolio included images of Frankel's final win, Black Caviar winning at Ascot, horses training on the beach at Deauville and a lovely portrait of star jockey Rosie Napravnik. Congratulations to Mayberger on the win.
     Congratulations should also go out to Jay Moran for finishing in second place and Matt Wooley finishing in third place. Not only were their images favorites with the judges, their images received the lion's share of the votes in the preliminary voting.
     To that end, Marcie Heacox should also be congratulated. Her photo, Groom Hug, received the most fans in Round 1.
     Rounding out the Top 5 in the Horse Racing Photojournalist Of The Year For 2012 were Alex Evers with a fourth place finish and Adam Mooshian with a fifth place.

Bob Mayberger - 18.5 points
Jay Moran - 14.5 points
Matt Wooley - 13 points
Alex Evers - 11 points
Adam Mooshian - 9 points

      We would love your impressions on the contest. Moving forward, the plan is to have the images completely handled by judges to remove any hint of there being a "popularity contest" among the images. We will also have a fan voting side of things to allow for a fan favorite.  We are also hoping to increase our sponsorships next year to move to an automated entry system. This will ensure anonymity for the entrants among the judges. It ill also give us more latitude in placing a watermark/copyright on entries. The biggest complaint we have received so far is with regards to image protection. Next year, we will do a much better job in that regard.
     We hope you have enjoyed our inaugural edition of the Horse Racing Photojournalist's Photos of the Year.

To Round Things Out - I'll Have Another Wins

     The best part about the remote category is that it gives the photographer a chance to take viewers to some place they would ordinarily never get to go.  The top two images in this category were both from the Kentucky Derby and both featured I'll Have Another in some way.  The second place image is a dramatic capture by Matt Wooley as I'll Have Another stretches for the finish. The winner, by Alex Evers who placed two images in this category, gives a view of the frenetic fight to the clubhouse turn and the mayhem I'll Have Another endured in his fight to win the 2012 Kentucky Derby.

1st Place - Alex Evers

2nd Place - Matt Wooley, I'll Have Another Derby Win

3rd Place - Bob Mayberger, Wise Dan

4th Place - Alex Evers, Violence At Night

5th Place - Eric Kalet, Silver Heart Wins Original Gold

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Rachel And Rosie Tie For Best Portrait

     OK, so this might be the category we need to split next year because it is just too hard to judge humans versus horses. It is probably the reason we ended up with a tie. The judge's favored both of the top choices over the rest, and it is hard to argue with Bob Mayberger's portrait of Rosie Napravnik at the Fair Grounds or Matt Wooley's perfectly lit and composed portrait of the always stunning Rachel Alexandra. If there were a Human Portrait and a Horse Portrait category, each would be winner in their own right, That will be one of the modifications for next year.
     Rounding out the winner's were Mallory Haigh's great look at Calvin Borel and Take Charge Indy and Jon Siegel's portraits of Bodemeister and Union Rags, that order.

"Rosie" - 1st Place (tied), Bob Mayberger

"Rachel" - 1st Place (tied), Matt Wooley

"Calvin" - 3rd Place, Mallory Haigh

"Bodemeister" - 4th Place, Jon Siegel

"Union Rags" - 5th Place, Jon Siegel

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shack Being Shack Leads The Backside Category

      There were great views of life on the "backside" of the racetrack in this category, but for the judges, as with the voters, it came down to two photos. Once again Jay Moran and Adam Mooshian submitted different looks, this time at how wild and unpredictable working with horses can be. Moran's comical view of the loose horse still getting "Horse Crossing" privileges as he raced into the barn area at Belmont Park fell just slightly short and was awarded 2nd Place. Mooshian's image of the great Shackleford's airborne frolic was given the nod and took 1st Place.
     Cody Gregory's gritty view in black and white of the backside of a Canadian track took third place. While Lindsay Simon's early morning image of a horse about to join the fray for morning gallops garnered 4th place.

"Shack Being Shack" - 1st Place, Adam Mooshian

"Horse Crossing" - 2nd Place, Jay Moran

"Shed Row" - 3rd Place, Cody Gregory

"Nice View" - 4th Place,  Lindsay Simon

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Black Caviar Leads The Way In Racing Action Category

     There were some great photos in this category - some iconic, some artistic - but the image that took first place was from what many might argue was the best, and most controversial, race of the year.
     Seemingly clear for the lead in her Ascot debut, Black Caviar's jockey Luke Nolen misjudged the finish and eased off of the undefeated mare. With less than 100 yards remaining, Nolen caught the mistake and began to urge Black Caviar to the finish. Nolen managed to get Black Caviar up in time to keep the International sensation a perfect 22-for-22. Bob Mayberger's image of the pivotal stretch drive earned top prize.
     Alex Ever's image of I'll Have Another and Mathea Kelley's image of It's Tricky were a close second and third. Jay Moran scored another placed image showing the fracas during the turn for home and Mallory Haigh took fifth place with an iconic clubhouse turn photo of Churchill Downs.

Bob Mayberger, "Black Caviar" - First Place

Alex Evers, "I'll Have Another Out of the Shadows" - Second Place

Mathea Kelley, "It's Tricky Out of the Gate" - Third Place

Jay Moran, "Leader of the Pack" - Fourth Place

Mallory Haigh, "Run For The Roses" - Fifth Place

Thursday, March 21, 2013

When A Nice Catch Is Really A Nice Catch - Feature On Track Winners

    While the Feature On Track category had many entries that captured significant moments in the racing year, it was a simple photograph by Walter Kobbe of one of the most difficult jobs on the track that captured the judge's attention. Mr. Kobbe's "All In A Day's Work" gives a nice view of a NYRA outrider trying to rein in a loose horse - something that is infinitely more dangerous and difficult than it looks. The climactic moments of Royal Delta and Frankel were beautifully documented by Wendy Wooley and Bob Mayberger respectively, who placed second and fourth respectively, by the judge chose Kobbe's image as the winner.

All In A Day's Work - Walter Kobbe, First Place
Royal Delta Ladies Classic - Wendy Wooley, Second Place

Smiling After A Win - Cody Gregory, Third Place

Frankel Retires Unbeaten - Bob Mayberger, Fourth Place

Up Close And Personal - Mallory Haigh, Fifth Place


Monday, March 18, 2013

It's All In The Details - The Winners For The Details Category

     This is one of the more fun categories in this year's contest. Instead of some broad panorama that shows the entire racing experience, this category offered a chance for the photographers to focus on the little things. This category also marked one of the two categories where there was a tie. Enjoy these fun images focusing on the Details. And congratulations to co-winners Matt Wooley and Jay Moran, with two very different images.

Matt Wooley - Bridles (co-winner), First Place (above)
Jay Moran - Slop Plop (co-winner), First Place

Bob Mayberger - Fair Grounds Gates, Third Place

Eric Kalet - Gutierrez Autograph, Fourth Place

John Voorhees - Showing The Love For Z, Fifth Place


Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Winners Are In - Feature Off Track

     The Feature Off Track category was hotly contested and showed the variety of wonderful scenes around the race track, just off the racing surface. Whether it was Jay Moran's light-hearted "Holy Rollers" image of nuns at the track or Marcie Heacox's quiet moment of a groom hugging his horse in the paddock, this category got to the heart the Horse Racing Photojournalist's Photos of they Year was started.  In the end, the judges went with Candice Chavez's image of a horse just being a horse in the Keeneland paddock and "Paddock Jump" was crowned the winner.

 Jay Moran - Holy Rollers

Marcie Heacox - Groom Hug

Eric Kalet - Legends Swordplay

Bob Mayberger - Fair Grounds Handicapper


Saturday, March 16, 2013

First Category Announced - Scenic

     Before we get into the results, one announcement. One judge, Molly Riley, was unavailable to vote. That said, we still has Pat McDonogh and Ben Van Hook - a solid judging team.
     For the Scenic category, we have one of two double-placings by a photographer. The winner of the scenic category with his photo Morning Jog is veteran horse racing photojournalist Joe Diorio. Congratulation to Joe. Here are the five placing images in the category.

1. "Morning Jog" - Joe Diorio
2. "Keeneland" - Adam Mooshian
3. "Spa Sunrise" - Mathea Kelley
4. "Fall Sales Jog" - Joe Diorio
5. "Santa Anita Clouds" - Marcie Heacox

Monday, January 21, 2013

VOTING INSTRUCTIONS, still taking late entries

1. Click on the TAB for each category
2. Scroll through and find the image you like
3. Click VOTE
4. Enter your email
5. Go to your email and click the Confirm Vote link

1. One vote per person (per email address) per category
2. We want family and friends, kids and spouses to vote, but we need to ensure voting integrity. Three votes max per IP address (that are associated with different email addresses). This does not mean you get THREE VOTES.

     Please, when you link and publicize the contest, abstain from requesting that people vote for your photos. This should not be a popularity contest that is won by the photographer with the largest Facebook or Twitter following. We want the best images to win, period. Please just request that voters vote for the best images.

     We have allowed some extra time to let folks make it through the holiday weekend. The last time where we will accept entries is noon on January 22nd. After that, no more entries will be accepted. Either way, voting opened last night.

Thank you for supporting this contest....      

Sunday, January 20, 2013

VOTING IS OPEN; By Request Still Accepting Late Entries

OK, so we were hoping to be done accepting entries, but we received a couple requests. Here is the deal, we will accept late entries - you just don't get the benefit of having the full time to accumulate votes for your images.  The voting has officially started. We will give folks 24-48 hours to catch up and enter images since this is a holiday weekend. After that, entries will truly be closed. Either way, the voting has started.  Good luck all...

Eleven Hours To Go Until Entries Close and Voting Opens

Just so everyone knows...the votes that have been cast so far will be RESET at midnight. Voting will officially open at midnight. A reminder of the rules and the one HRPNA request...

1. One vote, per email address
2. Maximum of three votes per IP address. (This does not mean you get to vote three times, but if your husband, wife or child wants to vote, they can.)

     Please do not solicit votes for your specific image. There is nothing identifying in these photos to let a voter know who the photographer is. We want to keep it that way. The images will stand on their own merits. If you want folks to vote, you should, but only ask them to visit the webpage and VOTE. This should not be a popularity contest where the person with the best Facebook and Twitter following wins. The best images should be recognized. That is our humble request from our contestants.

GOOD LUCK. Voting open very soon...

Thank you,

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Entry Deadline Closing In; Some Voting Rules

     As the entry deadline of midnight on January 20th approaches, we wanted to remind everyone of the deadline and start looking at the voting process more in depth.
     For those who have already entered, take a look at your images in the categories. If your image was entered without a title, we tried to supply a descriptive title for you. For some images, we chose to go with a generic title. In either case, if you request a "title change" before the deadline, we will go back in and give your entry an appropriate title.
     Now for the voting. This is a one vote per email address, per category system. There is no repeat voting. Additionally, the system has been set up to prevent more than three votes from an IP address. Hey, if you have kids who have email addresses, we want them to be able to vote for your images. We are also trying to ensure the integrity of the voting process to keep folks who might want to help themselves along (cheat) by preventing that from happening.
     The last part of this is more of a request from the HRPNA.  This is a contest to determine the best photos for coverage of thoroughbred racing, not a popularity contest for photographers. Please, as you solicit votes, solicit votes for the best images, not just votes for your images. It is a subtle difference, but we want the best photos to win, not the photographer who has the most loyal Twitter and Facebook followers. Hopefully everyone else agrees.
     Good Luck,
     The HRPNA

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Call For Entries

The Horse Racing Photojournalists of North America present
The Inaugural Horse Racing Photojournalists’ Photos of the Year

1.    ABOUT THE CONTEST: The Horse Racing Photojournalists of North America presents its inaugural Photos of the Year. The HRPNA was formed to provide a united voice for the work and concerns of photojournalists covering thoroughbred racing in North America. The Eclipse Awards will always be the most cherished prize in horse racing photography. This contest was started to shine a light on the work many photojournalists do in horse racing coverage.  There are so many wonderful images out there and, hopefully, this venue will let the public, individuals in the horse industry and the photojournalists themselves see the great work done by their cohorts this year and for years to come. All entered images will be visible to the public during the open voting process.
2.    WHO IS ELIGIBLE and WHAT DOES IT COST: Any photojournalist who covered racing with a media credential and/or had a photo published on a news venue that regularly covers horse racing is eligible to enter. In this inaugural year, the contest will be free. We hope to award bigger prizes in future years. (***NOTE - Amateur may email the contest organizers for permission to enter. We will be accepting a limited number of entries from avid amateurs who regularly photograph racing and make great images, but, for certain reasons, may not be able to utilize a "professional" status at this time**)
3.    HOW TO ENTER: The contest is free. Each contestant may enter up to 10 images total. Please email your images (no larger than 1mb each, but keep in mind you own image security, 72dpi images are recommended) to HORSERACINGPJS@GMAIL.COM. Please also include your name, email address and telephone number. For the purpose of the contest, images will have no identifying mark displayed, but you can insert as much identifying information as you want in the EXIF/Metadata. Please itemize each image you are entering and let us know the category in which the image is entered. Each image may only be entered in one category. No entries will be accepted AFTER JANUARY 19, 2013.
4.    THE IMAGES: Images must have been made in the 2012 calendar year. Only minimal corrections are allowed to images. Cropping, toning and sharpening are allowed, but within reason. Any image that is altered will result in the photographer having ALL SUBMITTED IMAGES disqualified from the contest. No composites, selecting sharpening, selective desharpening or anything or the like will be accepted. The only exception is the SCENIC category, where HDR images will be accepted, but please put an HDR Image watermark on the lower right hand corner of the displayed image so judges and voters know they are viewing an HDR image. (This is the only circumstance where anything is allowed to be displayed on an entered image)
a.    Racing Action – Any image that shows horse racing action with a handheld camera. Please make sure there is an accurate caption entered – this information might assist in the final judging.
b.    Racing Action / Remote – Any racing photo that shows horse racing action that was taken with a “remote” camera setup.
c.     Feature / On Track – Any photo that shows the people, the venues and the events that make racing great. Images will be from on the racing surface during a race day.
d.    Feature / Off Track – Any photo that shows the people, the venues and the events that make racing great. Images will be from off the racing surface, but physically at the track, during a race day.
e.     Scenic – Any horse racing related image not fitting the above categories that shows the grandeur of the sport.
f.      Details – Images that look at the finer details of horse racing, whether it is a jockeys hands on the reins or a reflection in the eyes of a horse, the finer details of racing that take a closer look.
g.    The Backside / Behind The Scene– Any image that shows the unseen side of horse racing. Photos not taken on the racing surface, but more back in the barn area, at a training track or at other training venues. This could be on the "backside" at the track or behind the scenes as the sales or at farms.
h.    Portrait/Personality – Any image that shows people and/or horses together and gives you an insight into the person, or the horse, or both, in the image.

6.    VOTING and JUDGING: Voting will be conducted through a secure Polldaddy site. Voting will be open to any individual with an email address. One vote per email address, no repeat voting. Once the voting is completed on February 10, 2012, the Top 5 from each category will be forwarded to a judge/judges who have no vested interest in the process for placement. Finishing in the Top 5 will guarantee a placement, but the judges will have the final word on the order of finish. While the fan voting will be considered, the judge(s) will have the final say. Additionally, each judge will have ONE “Judge’s Choice”, if they choose, and may pull any photo from the general entries into the Round of Five judging.
7.    PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR: Based on the final placement of images by the judges, points will be awarded for each category placement. ( 1st place gets 5 pts, 2nd place gets 4 pts,…down to 5th place gets 1 pt.)  The photographer who earns the most points will be named HORSE RACING PHOTOJOURNALIST OF THE YEAR.
8.    PRIZES: Since this is the inaugural year of the competition, we will issue prizes sparingly. That said, thanks to the generosity of our sponsor, OCD Pellets, we will be awarding First Place Ribbons or Plaques to the winner of each category and a handsome trophy to the individual named Horse Racing Photojournalist of the Year.
9.    THE FINE PRINT: Horse Racing PJ’s claims no right to your entries. By entering, you are only granting the contest the right to display your images during the contest period and, if you win, afterwards on the website. Additionally, you are granting the right to distribute any winning photo to an editorial outlet for the purpose of publicizing the contest. Your images cannot be used in any commercial manner without your written consent. The photographer retains the copyright to all submitted images.
10.                  ODD and ENDS: The photographers who run Horse Racing PJs are working photographers who plan to enter this contest. To ensure the validity of the voting process, the supervisory membership will all have access to the Polldaddy site to ensure the integrity of the voting process. Additionally, we are working to ensure the judges, while, while respected professionals, have no connection to the images or the photographers in the final judging process. If, during the voting process, an image is present, and the judge has a connection to the image or photographer, they will recuse themselves from the voting.  Judges and contest organizers reserve the right to re-classify an image if it has been entered in the wrong category. Neither the contest, nor any individual associated with it, can be held responsible for the misuse of images submitted by persons not related to the contest.

For further information about the contest, please email or visit us on Facebook at the Horse Racing Photojournalists of North America fan page.