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What makes a simple photograph, an award-winning photograph? Intelligent Horsemanship Young Equestrian Photographer of the Year

Posted on Thursday, July 12, 2018 by Sasha Melia

Kelly Marks, equine behaviourist and founder of Intelligent Horsemanship, has launched a new exciting competition for young horse enthusiasts.  The Intelligent Horsemanship Young Equestrian Photographer of the Year competition is offering a substantial £500 top prize for the winning image.

If you are aged 16-25, love horses, enjoy photography and have a natural creative flair, this is your opportunity to show the world what you’ve got!  What image can you capture that will make a team of specialist Judges say – yes that’s the one? 


With an impressive judging panel of industry experts, including best-selling writer Kelly Marks, internationally renowned celebrity photographer Lucy Sewill, and equine portrait photographer Sophie Callahan, this could be the chance for young aspiring equestrian photographers to have their talents recognised and rewarded.


Kelly Marks has spent her professional life working with horses, firstly competitively in show jumping and racing, and now teaching and supporting equestrians from all backgrounds.   Author of three best-selling books and lead instructor for the Intelligent Horsemanship courses, her outstanding work is focused on helping horses and their humans get the most out of their relationships.


Kelly knows exactly how difficult it is to find an opportunity to show people what you can do. “Nothing is as rewarding as seeing young people succeed, which is why I am launching this competition.”


The winning photographer will have their photograph featured in the Winter Issue of the Intelligent Horsemanship magazine, receive a £500 cash prize, a canvas wall print of the image and the opportunity to see their work publicised to an extensive audience.


“I founded Intelligent Horsemanship as a learning resource for horse owners to access trusted practical help and support”, said Kelly Marks. “We combine equine psychology and proven techniques to teach a kind and effective way to train and enjoy our horses.   A big part of our membership ethos is to be as supportive as possible, which is how the idea of this competition to encourage and celebrate young talent evolved.”





Kelly Marks

Horse Lover, Author and Founder of Intelligent Horsemanship. A lifetime with horses has included field-work studying feral herds in Namibia. Kelly gained the trust of a feral Namib stallion, riding him out in the desert before setting him free again. The adventure was filmed as a documentary -“Whispering the Wild” (available on Vimeo). Kelly has won competitions and championships as a Lady Jockey, Showjumper and Trec Pro/Am rider at Royal Windsor.


Lucy Sewill
Established as a photographer of major British celebrities with work in the National Portrait Gallery, exhibited and published worldwide.  Her usual focus is on Rock stars, Celebrities, Royals and Politicians.  But she is also rooted in her love for horses, having owned and cared for them for 30 years.  She was an advanced Endurance competitor with her horse Nutcracker and competed with her in International FEI rides. She has branched into equine photography with her most personal of projects ‘Horses & Humans’ which was published as a book last year. It explores visually all that is possible in the horse/human relationship.


Sophie Callahan

‘Specialist UK equine portrait photographer and country lifestyle blogger’, Sophie Callahan has been a photographer for ten years and exclusively photographing horses for the past six years. A rider since she was just three years old, Sophie lives in Essex and travels the country creating beautiful images for humans who adore their horses, capturing the bond and connection they share with one another, on camera.’


Angela Hobbs

In a school essay entitled “What do you want to be when you grow up”, Angela wrote why she wanted to be a Judge, “I dreamt of standing in a courtroom, making passionate pleas, winning every case.”   It’s good to understand that things don’t always turn out the way we want them to – sometimes they work out better.   In 2017 she became a volunteer Judge for The Design Council, reviewing amazing business pitches from innovative start-ups and helping to decide which one had the qualities, strengths and impact to succeed.  Angela rode from an early age, but it was Kelly Marks who taught her to ride racehorses and trained her to cope with the challenges of a 14 day riding holiday across the Mongolian Steppes.


Ele Milwright

Intelligent Horsemanship’s own ‘PR dept’ and self-described enthusiastic amateur photographer, Ele takes many of the photos of Kelly Marks and Monty Roberts that appear in magazines and adverts, including IH Magazine.  Her favourite subjects to photograph are horses and dogs, and with 3 horses and 5 dogs at her South Wiltshire home she gets plenty of practice!




How to Enter the Intelligent Horsemanship Young Equestrian Photographer of the Year competition


To enter, email your image (as a jpeg attachment file, min 3MB) to


Please include your full name, address and date of birth.


Entries close midnight 15th September 2018.  Applicants must be aged between 16-25 at the time of the closing date.  Entries submitted must be entrant’s own work and not have appeared in other competitions or been published elsewhere.


Your photograph should be on an Equestrian theme and images may be portrait or landscape in composition. Files should be a minimum of 3MB in jpeg format. Each contestant may enter up to 3 images.  For more details and full terms & conditions go to


Good luck.

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