IT ´S TRUE AND IT´S RELEASED ! Such big honor for our small farm Tikitano in Czech Republic! Our yearling colt EBF POL SH Natural Born Leader from breeding Elevage de la Buise in France was unanimously chosen by AMHA for title page 2015 Official Calendar of the American miniature Horse Association. Big THANKS to Liz Cruber McMillan for amazing picture our Leader and Tom Leeggangers for incredible handle with our Leader for shoot!!! Beautiful frollar is from Amanda Breakell ( Minihorsesales Frollar ) from England. He is incredible horse and I look forward to him in showring next year !!!
You can read message from famous photographer Liz Cruber McMillan , which is author image, why it happened.
Some "history" about this simple image from a far-away place. About how it came to be, and what it says about it being chosen:
AMHA had asked for a variety of strong 2014 images from North America and Europe for them to consider for the 2015 Calendar Cover.
When we were on the final tour location, in the Czech Republic with Tikitano Farm. I wanted an image from this farm to complete my submissions - but I was at a total loss as to what "different shot" I could cook up to submit along with the others - AND, I had begun to have a over it when an idea came from Tom.
"T" suggested it could be REALLY nice to have a single elegant photo situated in this garden. A traditional image that (in it's simplicity) would communicate the true size (and conformational correctness) of a EUROPEAN BRED American Miniature Horse - In a scenic way with no addition of filters, no collages, nothing added. Just a simple picture that somehow let you see it was an exquisitely small and beautiful horse.
Creation and composition:
The horse (of Elevage de la Buise breeding) from Marcela's show string was exceptionally trained and happy to be photographed. We shot several poses with him ( both with and without the Frollar set of Amanda Breakell ) we liked the color and flair that the Frollar added, so we choose "with" Frollar. The tuft of grass in the foreground communicated (without interference to the photo ) the size of the horse for the viewers eye - I WAS inclined to select a similar image, without the grass, but the then it was not as "subliminally" evident the horse was so small. The lead was removed from the halter, the white "halo" added to soften the line between the image and the white paper, the photo was cropped and off it went with the other 2014 selections to AMHA.
After AMHA received the all the images, they requested from this image the horse and client information and told me the image was selected for the 2015 cover. In fact, I asked if they were 100% sure??? And, my answer was "Yes, we are sure and it was UNANIMOUSLY chosen by the staff..." WOW! COOL!
Honestly I was surprised. Over the last five years we have trended toward "artistic" images of pawing stallions with excess mane and tail, rearing shots, fighting shots, shots over the back and hooky head shots from low in the grass (myself included) and seemingly with the more smoke and computer generated fire and flames - the better.
Yes. Those images are strong images, and they do have their place in creating interest in the media market, and drawing curious clients to one's farm.
But Tom Leeggangers had the right idea in setting up this shot... And, without dissecting the "how or why" - it was confirmed to be the correct idea by becoming the choice of the editors.
It stands also as a media reminder that a COVER IMAGE (representing a breed) should OFTEN be more than collage of head and neck shots, or Supreme Champions hidden in their trophy cooler blankets, or placed into fake backgrounds with painted in smoke.
SOMETIMES it is nice to see stunning, balanced horse of striking color that is the epitome of the breed standard - standing on all four legs in all it's entirety.
This "traditional image" style is equally IMPORTANT for our breed publication archives. It is important that in 20 years we can open a breed calendar or magazine and see the evolution of where all we came from with breeding. Can you imagine in 25 years if future generations open a magazine from the past and there is nothing to see but shots of eyeballs, sunset silhouettes - and copious amounts of flying hair representing your blood stock...
I'm not saying we go back to using "standard trainer" shots, I am only saying we should not loose sight of the impact and importance they have in photo archives. I LOVE with a passion the fiery mystique of the artistic shots - as much ( or more ) than anyone. But we should take more care in how what we leave behind (optically) in media, for the future generations to judge this moment in OUR history with.
Some 25 years from now one thing is certain, future generations will be able to take in hand the 2015 AMHA Calendar, and see from the cover how advanced the AMHA horse being bred in Europe was, as this horse stands here - correct and proud, as it should stand, representing it's bred... The American Miniature Horse.
I am very proud with this selection, not only for Tikitano Farm and the Czech Republic, but PROUD for ALL OF EUROPE that this International image was chosen out of submissions from farms (both small and large, in size and in name ). Chosen... To represent the American Miniature Horse Association around the World for an entire year.
=)) This experience reminds me of back in 1998 when my first AMHA MHW Magazine editor, (Barbara Ashby) told me, "Liz, A cover image is representative of the BREED publication it is gracing... And it should do so fully and elegantly. ART belongs on the inside - to keep people reading!" I thought she was such an old bat for telling me that, and here I am almost 20 years later re-interating it!