2009 Spirit of the Horse Photo Contest Winners


    Thanks to Troxel Performance Headgear for sponsoring the 2009 Horse Illustrated Spirit of the Horse photo contest!

    1st place received a Universal Helmet Tote and choice of Troxel helmet.
    2nd place received a Troxel Sierra Helmet
    3rd place received a Troxel Spirit Helmet

    Download and install a free wallpaper featuring the winning entries for your computer desktop. To save, right-click the link and choose “Save Target As…”

    1st Place
    Seth Shaffer,
    2nd Place
    Erin Getchell,
    North Carolina
    3rd Place
    Lisa Hermes,
    Spirit of the Horse 1st Place
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    Spirit of the Horse 2nd Place
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    Spirit of the Horse 3rd Place
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    Spirit of the Horse Screensaver
    Click here to download the photos above as a Windows XP screensaver. Unzip and run the .exe file to install.

    Click here for more free desktop wallpaper and screensavers.


    1. I’m sorry but I can’t beleave that your first place horse pic was that to be quite honest that is not a very good photo!!! I know that you should have better photo’s than that. I think this photo sucks.

    2. I think the second one should have gotten 1st. The first one should have gotten 3rd. The third place should have gotten, Those are better than the ones I was going to send in.

    3. I like the second one best.The first one is not that great, it should have gotten third. The second one should have gotten first, and the third one should have gotten second.

    4. I agree the second one should have been first. I don’t even like the other two. Some of the honourable mentions are much better. What is it with silhouettes?

    5. Theese pics are really good. No, the first one is not “all blury” but the second one is like heaven is shining right down on that little foal. The third one shows the unconditional love between girls and horses.

    6. It’s sad to see to negative comments left by others. Photography entails alot of factors, more than most people realize. I am sure each entrant tried different photography styles. Instead of being negative, try to be encouraging to the entrants. You will feel better about yourself as well.

    7. The technique that was used on the 1st place photo is called panning. There is going to be a certain amount of blur in the photo. It takes a good deal of practice to get the right combination of blur and sharpness for the photo to look good. This photo has the right combination. Instead of diriding the photo we should congratulate him.

    8. One shows the great freedom and movement that horses embody
      Two shows how blessed we are to have horses on earth
      Three shows how wonderful to share a sunset with your best friend

    9. I am not a photographer, but I think it is a big shame that people will tear down people just because of there art. It is a talent, and apparently these people are extremely good at it. It is a shame that you would write these horrible things. I entered a photo, and I am not tearing people up because my photo did’nt make it. These are all very good photos, and they are all beautiful examples of the beauty of the horse.

    10. I am extremely disappointed in your 1st place choice. This photo has been modified via photo shop and lacks the expertise shown by many of the other photographer that submitted unedited, un-retouched photos. Anyone can depict motion using photoshop, this is not a photograph but a collage using a background and then super imposing the figure of a running horse. This is the photographic equivalent to using steroids. Unacceptable

    11. To David and Anna of Texas:
      Get off your high horse! I have seen photos photo-shopped as you have described, but this is not it.
      If you knew anything about photography, you would be able to create this scene in-camera using a tripod and panning with the horse, blurring the background and the fast moving legs.
      Besides, the contest did not define any rules regarding photo manipulation, so enjoy what people have done and stop your whining and belly-aching. All 3 main winners have produced superb images and have deservedly won their prizes.

    12. Hugh
      Download the 1280×1024 size wallpaper of the winning photo look closely. And if you knew anything about photography, you would know that panning will give the impression of motion it will also freeze the target. Now look closely at the legs especially the front, note the angle of the left front leg. This rearward angle is the actual position, by using a cloning technique they have inserted an image of the leg straight down using a 25 30 % opacity. I am not belly-aching, just pointing out “This is not a real photograph” It does not exist it was created via computer. So it is my opinion and I do believe I am still allowed to express my opinion at least in the US, this phot should not have won. Just as you have the right to express your opinion I express mine.

    13. I like 2nd and 3rd place photos better that 1st place photo. Ist place is to blurry, doesn’t capture the essence of the horse very well. There are may beautiiful runner’s up pictures too. Well done photographers.

    14. Hi, there i was just looking at your email with the new horse calenders and the photos of the 3 winners in the horse contest. I must say that the calender is great and the winners photos look fantastic. Congratulations to you and the winners, i always look forward to receive your emails as there is so much to read about. Thanks.

    15. i disagree with Sara col-ville. i think that because this contest was for SPIRIT OF THE WEST the blurred, dirty horse captured the wild and mysterious look that is possessed by wild mustang/horses. i have 3rd place pic as my screen saver. by the way. if you get a chance stop by and visit beyonce, my horse. we have been running, racing more like it for horse of the day (HOTD) and it is our time o break through so please vote for my supple bodied level headed mare beyonce.

    16. I like the third pic best of all i think that that pic should have won! who did the Judging? who ever it was didn’t do their job very well

    17. I love all of them, but the third one is my favorite by far! It’s my wallpaper and whenever I look at it, it reminds me of me and my horse!

    18. Every one of the winning pictures is beautiful, but pertaining to the third one, I think it received third place because the true spirit of the horse doesn’t have a human in it.

    19. very good photo shots i LOVE! them but if they were more free and like let go of the saddle i would be happy to i just wish that all the horses
      in the world would be let free thaty would make me happy but any way, good photo shots but put some human in there.kilee ia, sioux city


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