Heels Down Media hosted their inaugural U25 Equestrian Creativity Awards, featuring the categories of blogging, video production, art and design, entrepreneur, and photography. The U25 Equestrian Creativity Awards is an international competition for inspiring individuals to recognize the creative talent of young equestrians. Dozens of entries came in for each category, with 10 finalists having their work submitted to three judges, including Laine Ashker, Noel Asmar, Dom and Jimmie Schramm, Elisa Wallace and Timothy Harfield, Justine Griffin, Amy Dragoo, and many others. Winners of each category receive a full page featuring their work in an issue of Heels Down Magazine, social media promotion, an opportunity to contribute to Heels Down Media, and a portfolio free for a year on the Equestrian Creative Network.
Sara Ladley of Hunt Club, Karis of The Horse Next Door, Andree-Anne Brunet, Madison Claire Chalfant, and Silvia Arias were named the winner by their combined scores from the expert panel of judges and the popular vote, hosted by Heels Down Magazine. Each winner submitted an expertly made entry including a brief biography and an expertly portrayed portfolio.
Silvia Arias, winner of the blogging category, is the creator of Elles à Cheval, an equestrian blog from Spain with diverse content and great design. From personal horse stories to tip lists and equestrian lifestyle blogs, there’s everything for everyone. You may have to use Google Translate to read it but no matter your location, the blog posts are relevant and interesting.
Sara Ladley, winner of the entrepreneur category, is a recent college graduate, amateur equestrian, and the Owner and Designer of Hunt Club. What started as a passion for graphic design and a fledgling business, has grown into much more. Hunt Club is a boutique equestrian brand dedicated to outfitting riders and adventure-seekers. Founded in 2014 in a college dorm room, Hunt Club has become a well-known label among young equestrians. Hunt Club style channels the clean, bold and playful aesthetic of outdoorsy lifestyle brands and reimagines it with a distinct equestrian twist. Created for riders looking for more than just cliche, cookie cutter “horsey” apparel, Hunt Club designs are inspired by everything from coffee culture and fashion flat-lays to vintage motifs and hand drawn typography.
Karis, winner of the video production category, is the manager of the YouTube channel dubbed The Horse Next Doo, named in memory of her first horse. Karis is young equestrian who combines her love of horses and creating fun and educational videos for others to enjoy. As Karis rides both english and western, her channel offers diversity and and is relatable to riders all over the world.
Andree-Anne Brunet, winner of the photography category, is a self-taught photographer who has developed two photography businesses, one focusing on portraits and the other as a horse show photographer. In addition to managing two businesses, Andree-Anne is also a student pursuing her degree in business.
Madison Claire Chalfant, winner of the art & design category, is an avid equestrian and artist, who brings the elements of patience and timing into her visual art. Her work has been exhibited in the National Soaring Museum, Arnot Art Museum, as well as other venues. She has also had her work published in Life on the Finger Lakes Magazine. Madison is attending Cornell University, where she will continue to develop and expand her passion for the art and equine worlds.
The U25 Equestrian Creativity Awards attracted hundreds of equestrians from around the world, and will continue to encourage young equestrians to pursue their passions.