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