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Horse Illustrated and Young Rider Magazines Recognized for Excellence in Equine Media at 2020 AHP Equine Media Awards

American Horse Publications 50th Anniversary and Awards
The American Horse Publications (AHP), an organization that promotes equine media excellence, celebrates its 50th Anniversary in 2020. AHP’s annual awards program started in 1970. Image Courtesy American Horse Publications.

Horse Illustrated and Young Rider magazines continue their winning ways in 2020 with multiple American Horse Publications (AHP) Equine Media Awards. The AHP Equine Media Awards are the premier awards within the equine media industry, and AHP has been honoring excellence in equine media since 1975. AHP’s 50th Anniversary Conference was supposed to be held in Lexington, Ky., this year, but due to the pandemic, it was cancelled, and the awards ceremony was held virtually on May 30.

“We are delighted to be recognized by AHP with a number of awards in 2020,” said Editor Holly Caccamise. “In the momentous 50th anniversary year of American Horse Publications, it was sad we couldn’t all be together in person, but the team at AHP did a wonderful job of making the virtual awards ceremony interactive and exciting.”

Shelley Paulson AHP Award Photo
Shelley Paulson’s photo published in the December 2019 issue of Horse Illustrated won an AHP Equine Media Award for first place in the Editorial Human-Animal Bond Photograph class. Photo by Shelley Paulson

The annual awards competition, which recognizes standards in journalistic integrity for informative and engaging content in a variety of media categories, has been in place since 1975. In addition to showcasing excellence in equine media, the awards also provide guidance for improvement to the membership through judges’ critiques.

“The staff of Horse Illustrated and Young Rider is proud to work with such great freelancers,” continued Caccamise. “It’s always difficult to narrow down which content to enter when high-quality story ideas and beautiful photography are the cornerstones of what Horse Illustrated and Young Rider are known for. We look forward to continuing these relationships that lead to mutual success in 2021.”

Horse Illustrated captured the following awards out of entries that were submitted by the publication:

  • 2nd place in Equine-Related Editorial Series for “Out of the Wild” by Shelley Paulson in the February and March 2019 issues of Horse Illustrated (out of 22 entries)
  • 3rd place in Service to the Consumer Single Article (circulation 10,000 and over) for “Eco-Friendly Horsekeeping” by Cynthia McFarland in the July 2019 issue of Horse Illustrated (out of 32 entries)
  • Honorable Mention in Editorial Event Coverage Single Article for “Equestrian Christmas Party” by Fran Jurga and published in the December 2019 issue of Horse Illustrated (out of 24 entries)

Freelance contributors received the following honors for their work published in Horse Illustrated and Young Rider.

  • 1st place in Editorial Human-Animal Bond Photograph for “Parting Shot” by Shelley Paulson in the December 2019 issue of Horse Illustrated (out of 11 entries) (see above)
  • 1st place in Editorial Illustration for “Ava and the No Good, Very Bad Oxer” by Jean Abernethy in the March/April 2019 issue of Young Rider (out of 7 entries)
  • 2nd place in Editorial Illustration for “A Ribbon for Yancy” by Jean Abernethy in the July/August 2019 issue of Young Rider (out of 7 entries)
  • Honorable Mention in Freelance Writer Equine-Related Journalism for “Three Horses, One Rider: 11 Ideas to Keep Multiple Horses Fit While Juggling Real Life” by Kara L. Stewart in the August 2019 issue of Horse Illustrated (out of 24 entries)

The 2020 American Horse Publications awards follow Horse Illustrated’s prestigious 2019 win for General Excellence Self-Supported Print Publication (circulation 15,000 and over). “Horse Illustrated vibrates with enthusiasm that is reflected in cover selection, design sensibility, talented selection of photographs and engaging writing,” commented the 2019 judges. “The design is obviously intended to enhance the messages in the articles rather than being design for design’s sake. There is a good balance of “how to” and “personality” pieces. The Editor’s columns are like a conversation with a friend, and the vet’s columns are informative and easy for lay people to understand. The writing in this magazine generally is well-crafted and benefits from skillful editing.”

See all awards won by Horse Illustrated and Young Rider magazines

The 2020 American Horse Publications Equine Media Awards competition for material published in 2019 was judged by 21 professionals and included 56 classes, 731 entries, and 111 contestants. The complete results are available online in the awards program (PDF format) and video (see below) of the winning entries at

About Our Publications 

Horse IllustratedYoung Rider, and are part of the EG Media stable.

  • Horse Illustrated is the magazine for people who are passionate about horses. Each issue offers advice on horse health and care, plus user-friendly training tips for both English and western riders and engaging lifestyle features for horse lovers. For more than 40 years, Horse Illustrated has been dedicated to making the most of life with horses and helping riders of all experience levels care for and enjoy their horses.
  • As the only magazine of its kind in the United States for and about horse-crazy tweens and teens, Young Rider supports the next generation of equestrians. For 25 years, Young Rider has educated horse-loving riders age 8-15 with a combination of English and western riding lessons, horse-care hints, and stories about real-life young riders, plus fun, interactive elements.

Sarah Evers Conrad, HI Digital Content Editor

Sarah Evers Conrad is the current Digital Content Editor for Horse Illustrated and Young Rider magazines. Her career includes time at The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care and the United States Equestrian Federation’s (USEF) Equestrian magazine, before she became USEF’s Director of E-Communications. She then spent time as a content manager/travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency before she opened her own business, All In Stride Marketing. Throughout her career, she has been published in equine publications such as Horse Illustrated, The Horse, Blood-Horse, Equestrian, Arabian Horse Life, USDF Connection, the American Quarter Horse Journal, Paint Horse Journal, Driving Digest, American Farrier’s Journal, Off-Track Thoroughbred, Stable Management, Equine Wellness, and Camp Business Magazine. She has also served as the editor for the Certified Horsemanship Association’s official publication, The Instructor magazine, and for multiple books. Conrad has a BA in Journalism from Western Kentucky University with a double major in Agriculture with an Equine Science emphasis. You can learn more about her at


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