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The PagePlay Equestrian Social Media Awards Nominations Are Open

New awards categories and expert panel of judges also announced for the 2013 ESMAs

MANCHESTER, England, Dec. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- It's almost that time of year again as equestrians across the globe prepare to battle it out for victory, and not in the fevered Christmas shopping at your local tack shop! The annual competition to win an Equestrian Social Media Award ("ESMA"), and the nominations for the 2013 installment are open until December 21, 2012.

Now in its third year, the ESMAs aims to connect the global equestrian community and reward those who enrich the online world for equestrians all over the world. This year builds on much previous success. The 2012 awards reached over 800,000 people. Previous winners include: William Fox Pitt, Burghley Horse Trials, Anky van Grunsven, Mark Todd, The Pure Feed Co. and World Horse Welfare.

Team ESMA asked voters and enthusiasts what they wanted from the awards in future. As a result, 2013 features several new categories, including:

  • Creative Equestrians: for creative professionals such as photographers, event organisers, marketing professionals and designers specialising in the equestrian sector who share their unique achievements and insights through social media.
  • FEI Solidarity ESMA: open to equestrian development projects that are at the heart of grass roots development of equestrian sport and welfare projects. This can be a local sports programme, individual rider/coach or an online community, educational project or welfare campaign that has captured the interest and conversations of the development of the sport in a creative and inclusive manner.

Additionally, due to a huge response from people worldwide, there are new regional award categories Scandinavia, Australia & New Zealand, and Benelux.

Winners of regional categories go on as candidates for the World Award. The FEI's Director of Corporate Communications, Richard Johnson, will again decide the winner in this prestigious award of awards which in 2012 was won by Equestrian Lifestyle, Mexico.

Said Johnson: "Being a judge of the World Award is certainly not an easy task, following the high standards from last year. I am looking forward to the shortlisting process, seeing the vast array of social media projects large and small from all corners of the world."

The ESMA expert panel of judges has also been announced.  Panelists for the 2013 ESMAs include:

  • Dallia M. Abdelmoniem, a Sudanese news and lifestyle journalist
  • Lauren Barber of G-Gee PR & Marketing
  • Mike Barnes of British Eventing
  • David Bolton, student in Events Management at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Vanessa Britton, equestrian journalist & author
  • Janet Fouts, social media coach & author
  • Rhea Freeman, co-creator of the ESMAs in 2010
  • Timothy Harfield, of Team Wallace Eventing
  • Pieter Hemels  is a partner of Hemels van der Hart B.V.
  • Richard Johnson, director of communications, FEI
  • Angelea Kelly Walkup, new media creator & USDF gold medalist
  • Kim Kirchoff, equikom
  • Haylie Martin, marketing manager for Chris Waller Racing
  • Bridget McKinney, writer & editor, Horse Times
  • Christoph Mechtler, Austrian National Equestrian Federation
  • Penelope Miller, senior manager of digital media for the America's Best Racing
  • Joe Morgan, digital marketing manager for the British Olympic Association
  • Philippe Noel, independent communications consultant
  • Mason Phelps, of Phelps Media Group, Inc.
  • Lauren Ryan, commercial manager for Equestrian Australia
  • Sarah Skerik, vice president of social media for PR Newswire
  • Vittoria Smania, equestrian marketing professional
  • Chris Stafford, international equestrian journalist, TV and radio broadcaster
  • Jon Stroud, editorial, commercial and advertising equestrian photographer
  • Jennifer Ward, president of Starting Gate Communications Inc
  • Jennifer Wood, of Jennifer Wood Media

How the ESMAs work:


When nominations open, the public will nominate their favourites in a range of categories. These include best use of social media by, for instance: a feed company, riding school or saddlery. The regional categories make the ESMAs a truly global affair.


The ten best are selected as the finalists for each category. These selections are made based on:

  • Strength of supporting statements made in nominations.
  • Degree to which they are active and engaging in their online efforts.
  • Adherence to the rules of the social media platforms they use.


Ten finalists in each category are announced mid January and are awarded a score, which is based 75% on the views of the Expert Panel and 25% on a public vote.

Award ceremony

Each finalist creates a 30 second acceptance speech video in which they can show off their creative side. The winners are announced early in March during an online award ceremony, which everyone can attend!

To find out more and see the full list of categories visit: or keep up-to-date on Facebook and Twitter @ESMAwards / #ESMA13

Images can be downloaded from:

SOURCE The Equestrian Social Media Awards

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