Category Archives: Photo Contest

Merriewold Morgans International Morgan Horse Photo Contest

To all our Friends, Fellow Photographers and Morgan Lovers….
The Merriewold website is in the middle of a massive move and we are unable to host our annual Photo Contest in 2016.  The “gallery” software where all of our photos are stored and displayed is now defunct and we are moving to One Drive cloud based display and storage.
PLEASE keep taking those amazing photos and we will see you in 2017 for the 7th (almost) annual Morgan Horse Photo Contest!!!

2011 First Place Winner, Swish by Carol Dombrowsky          2010 First Place Winner, Spencer and Cassie by Pat Prouty

2015 First Place Winner, Rain Koko's Gigolo by Claudia Kunne          2012 First Place Winner, Gotcha by Michele Meijer

2014 First Place Winner, Come Fly With Me by Paola Anderson          2013 First Place Winner, Black Beautiful Baroque by Michele Meijer

The 6 First Place Winners 2010-2015

You can visit all the contest albums, BUT we are still in the process of adding back all the titles that were deleted  in the transfer….please be patient.
To go  to the new Merriewold Gallery  CLICK HERE




2015 MWM Photo Contest Finalists!

Merriewold MorgansMerriewold would like to express our thanks to everyone that participated in this year’s contest.  The event is always great fun for us and the number of entries grows every year!  We had 189 this year – up from 164 in 2014.  Participants were from 5 countries – USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and Sweden, and  31 states.

This year’s Judge, Susan Derr Drake, took the time to write a few comments for each of the top four winning images.
(click on images to enlarge)


Rain Koko's Gigolo
Rain Koko’s Gigolo

First Place:  Rain Koko’s Gigolo
by Claudia Kunne

“The photographic excellence of Rain Koko’s Gigolo also captures the Morgan horse’s classic characteristics of a compact, muscular but refined build with a long and well-muscled croup, laid back shoulders with a well-arched neck and expressive head. This photo was taken at that perfect moment in time when the stunning animated motion was stopped in focus and the horse seems to look right through you as the nostrils take in all that you are. The backlighting of the mane, tail and body give texture and shape to their inherent beauty. Wow!”

Colours of Australia
Colours of Australia

Second Place:  Colours of Australia
by Michele Meijer

“In stride with natural animation, in nature’s picturesque setting, with a rainbow of colors throughout, while capturing the bold beauty of the Morgan horse, puts this photo at the top of the list. You can feel their strength, elastic freedom and the essence of versatility to do anything for which the Morgan is famous.  Compositionally, the strong ‘Golden Ratio’ really works combined with the sharp focus of the subject. Stunning!”

Big Ridge Lippitt Robin
Big Ridge Lippitt Robin

Third Place:  Big Ridge Lippitt Robin by Alex Whitfield

“A wonderful quality of the Morgan horse is it’s ability to connect lovingly to people, as seen in this very powerful photo.  The horse emotionally and physically touches the heart center while the young one provides the space to soak up all that the horse has to offer. The knowing eye patiently waits for whatever may come next.  Perhaps this is the ultimate joy and why we engage with them.  Love!”

Man Meeting Morgans
Man Meeting Morgans

Fourth Place:  Man Meeting Morgans by Monica Hammond

“Compositionally our eyes softly and continuously move circularly within the photo as though spiraling to a deeper connection between the three with each round. Trust, curiosity and reaching out to engage with each other, so classic of the Morgan horse, exudes from all three. The man kneeling below eye level reflects the trust back to the horses, especially the one feeling safe enough to stay down. The black and white aspect enhances the serenity felt.  Aww…some!”

Honorable Mentions alphabetic order: (Hover for Title)
(click on image for Gallery view and photographer’s name)

“It was such an honor to view this year’s 189 beautiful photos.  Each and every photo has a unique quality gifting the observer.  Thank you to Merriewold for providing the opportunity to share such beautiful and heart touching moments of the Morgan horse for us all.”
~  Susan Derr Drake

MWMWe would also like to share some Tips from the Judge:

1.   Get a dust-proof, weather-proof, kick-proof camera case and keep your camera with you and shoot, shoot, shoot.

2.   When photographing horses that you want to reduce distortion because of  their large size;   you can take the photo from as far away as possible and  zoom in with the longest lens.  You can also photograph them from the ¾ to full side position rather than straight in front.  Or, you may want that unusual  artistic shot from the front or back with great distortion to emphasize a  particular trait.  Be creative and try many possibilities.

3.  Notice your foregrounds and backgrounds.  Move so that the background   does not distract from the subject (like a pole out of a head) or move so that  the background frames the subject (like trees on either side) or so that the  roads, fences or rivers lead to the subject.

4.  The eyes are the windows to the soul.  Make sure they are in the light and are in focus for a more expressive photo.

5.  Timing is everything.  The position of legs, ears, tail and head can make a  goodphoto great.

6.   Allow your feelings to guide you to the perfect place, composition, and timing of clicking the shutter.   When you press the button you feel ‘that’s it!’.   You  know it is the shot before you even look at it.   And be ok with shooting hundreds of photos to get the ‘one’.  Their contrast contributes to your richer appreciation of the ‘one’.   Have fun!
MWMTo view all the Photos from the 2015 Merriewold Morgans International Morgan Horse Photo Contest,   CLICK HERE

Another contest comes to an end,  congratulations not only to the winners but to everyone that participated!   Until next year,  keep those cameras out and clicking,  Happy Photo Shooting!

Diana Wold
Jackie Brittain



2015 Merriewold Morgans International Photo Contest

2015 Merriewold Morgans International Photo ContestGrab your cameras!   Search through your photos!  Join in the fun and win great prizes!  Merriewold Morgans is having our 6th Annual Photo Contest celebrating the Magnificent Morgan Horse.  Entry is FREE and will be judged by renowned Equestrian, Grand Prix Dressage competitor, author and artist,  Susan Derr Drake.

Work will be judged on the following criteria:
  • Effectiveness in conveying the beauty or unique character of the Morgan horse
  • Artistic creativity (Unique vision in perspective, action or feeling in the photograph.)
  • Natural theme (We are not looking for conformation shots.)

All entries will be displayed at the Merriewold Gallery.  Prizes will be awarded for the top three images. *You can view all the entries at the Photo Contest Album any time during the contest.


HERO GoPro camera

1st Place Prize is a HERO GoPro video and photo camera with helmet strap and 32gb chip valued at $160.

HERO makes it easy to capture and share your world. Featuring high-quality 1080p30 and 720p60 video, HERO captures the same immersive footage that’s made GoPro one of the best-selling cameras in the world. User-friendly modes include QuikCapture, which lets you power on the camera and start recording with the press of a single button, and Burst Photo, which captures fast-action sequences at up to 5 frames per second. Wearable, gear-mountable and integrated into a rugged housing1 that’s waterproof to 131’ (40m), HERO helps you capture photos and videos that make you look like just that: a HERO.

saddle bags

2nd Place Prize is trail gear insulated saddle bags in brown by Weaver valued at $60.

Weaver Trail Gear Saddle Bags are durably-constructed from 600D polyester with a weather-resistant polyurethane coating, these bags feature adjustable webbing straps for stability and nickel plated mounting grommets.  With ample room for storage, this design features two padded main compartments, one with an insulated insert perfect for food and drinks and one with additional interior pockets. Both main compartments feature a handy front pocket and flap secured with a quick-release buckle. Side pockets (one with a hook and loop closure and one with a waterproof zipper) keep small items like cell phones, cameras and keys close at hand.  Also features two mesh side pockets for easy access and cleanout as well as reflective piping for added visibility.



3rd Place Prize is a MEFOTO Walkabout monopod in purple valued at $50.

Monopods are surprisingly useful.  Seriously!  We know from experience that once you own a monopod, it’s something you just can’t live without.  Why?  Here are some examples: Say you’re on an outing where you need just a little lightweight stability, such as a wedding, sports event, or graduation; the MeFOTO WalkAbout Monopod is made for precisely that, walking about while taking photos or video without the hassle of setting up a tripod.  And if strolling is on your agenda, it converts to a walking stick!

How to Enter:

Submit via email, by September 1, 2015, 1-3 of your images in the format stated below in the rules.

Submit to: (


  1. Amateurs only. (‘amateur’ means you do not get paid for your work.)
  2. Morgan horses only. (Horses can be at liberty or under saddle.)
  3. Photography only. No “graphics”, logos or Photoshop-type entries allowed. Minor adjustments such as light/contrast, cropping, etc., is allowed using your favorite graphics/image program.
  4. You may enter up to 3 images.  (Previous years 1st-3rd winning entries can not be resubmitted and are not eligible to win again.)
  5. Entries must be received by September 1, 2015.
  6. Email digital files only. No snailmail entries.
  7. Entries must be .jpg at 72 dpi and a minimum of 600w x 400h pixels and a  maximum of 1200w x 600h pixels.
  8. Your full name, Country (if from the USA also include your state) and the photo title must be included in email. Name your file with title of your photo. I.e., attachment file example: myprettymorgan.jpg


  • May thru September 1, 2015: Entries received.
  • During the month of September: Judging.
  • October 2015: Winners announced in the Fall Newsletter issue. *Sign up for our Newsletter here!


  1. Subscription to our Newsletter is not required to enter.
  2. Merriewold Morgans, it’s partners or sponsors are not responsible for any copyright infringement concerning the entries submitted by you and posted on the website.
  3. Email submittal of your entries warrants and guarantees that you are the original creator and owner of each entry image.
  4. No monetary award will be afforded in lieu of prizes.
  5. By submitting your entry, you acknowledge and give consent for the display of said images on the website indefinitely and without monetary consideration. Consent also applies to any winning images that “may” be used in advertising campaigns; media promoting or reporting on the contest for this, or coming years.


Susan Derr DrakeSusan Derr Drake – Grand Prix Dressage Rider and Coach, Photo Journalist, Artist and Author.

Born in the Year of the Horse, Susan has devoted her life to all things Horse.  She has trained in all disciplines and styles of riding with many breeds - including, competing in 116 different Dressage Grand Prixs and training others to achieve that level of excellence.  She has studied alternative horse healing and she promotes that which is the highest good for the horse.

As a photojournalist, she worked for Horse Action News for years and had the cover story and photo of the Dressage World Championships for the California Horse Trader.  For many years she was a horse show photographer and videographer.

As a fine artist years ago, she won many awards for her oil paintings. Susan is looking forward to returning to that media to share the beauty of horses in oils.

Reflections, Equus and UsSusan has written a book called, Reflections, Equus and Us, which tells of a magical journey touching on man’s relationship with the horse.   You can learn more about it here:



Merriewold Morgans     Merriewold Morgans

Samy's Camera     Samy’s Camera

Farm Supply Company     Farm Supply Company

deCastro Studios     deCastro Studios

Equestrian Healing ServiceEquestrian Healing Service

Riding AidsRiding Aids



Meet the 2014 Photo Contest Finalists

This  article appeared in the MWM news blog,  But I totally overlooked posting the results as well….
So finally here are the 2014 Contest results!!!

Meet the Finalists of the 2014 Merriewold Morgans
International Morgan Horse Photo Contest

Paola Anderson won first place with her photo, Come Fly With Me.

Come Fly With Me“The boy is my 11 year old son Max. He shares my love of horses and is usually out with the herd playing and snuggling the horses.  He is also great at desensitizing duty as he is a typical loud boy and likes to shoot nerf bullets in the horses general area.   In that photo Max was just playing freely and having fun.  The foal is a May 1 2014 stud colt by my stallion Marana Artistry and out of my mare DM Correll.  He is registered (CMHA ) as Silver Mist Namaste and called Aremis. He is a very tall and stunning buckskin and will be a future sire for our farm. 

I have been raising Morgans for just a few short year,s but was born with
my love of horses. I was raised around mainly QH’s and Tennessee Walkers, but always wanted a Morgan.  I had seen them around and had admired their beauty and grace.  In 2009, I fell in love with and purchased Marana Artistry - who was my first Morgan and have since been fortunate enough to breed and purchase many more Morgan horses.  I love all horses, but to me Morgans are kind of a fairy tale horse with their flowing manes and tails, and yet – they are so versatile and easy to keep. I guess they satisfy the inner child in me who just wants to be with them, as well as, the adult in me who is more ambitious.  They are a well-rounded breed.  What is not to love. 

I love to ride.  Mainly English pleasure and jumping, but I am moving into other areas now and spent the winter learning to start colts.  I am currently starting some of our youngsters.  I am always learning and loving it all.  I also enjoy art and photography and I am certainly no expert, but I love to take photos and the Morgans are my favorite subject. Children and horses also seem to naturally go together.  It reminds me of why I love them and how it is just to be as free with them as a child is.  It helps me to keep things in perspective.  I love photos that make me feel something and tell a story to me.

My Morgans are the loves of my life.  My passion.  It’s a labor of love, but I would not trade it for anything.  I am very lucky to share my life with such amazing horses and I like to share them with others as I feel that’s what they are for.  Taking photos allows me to share my horses through my eyes.   Maybe someone else can be inspired or fall in love with a Morgan the way I did.” ~ Paola

Vali Suddarth won Second place with her photo, New Kid on the Block.

New Kid on the BlockVali lives in Missouri and owns Missouri Morgans. Pictured in the photo is one of her stallions a rare gaited gray, Bacon Silver Miracle.

Vali is a carded IJA Gaited Horse Judge and business owner.  Jim, her husband, is a retired Insurance agent for Missouri Farm Bureau and the current President of the Gaited Morgan Horse Organization/Morgan Single-footing Horse Association.

They have 5 children and 9 grandchildren. Jim and Vali are raising registered gaited Morgan horses from concentrated lines for gait within the Morgan breed. They are avid riders and spend a lot of fun time in the saddle.

Tina DeLullo won 3rd Place with her photo, Peekaboo.

PeekabooTina lives in Massachusetts, and here is what she says about her Morgan, Enzo:

“Enzo is registered as Blueandwhite Cadence.  He is 11 and is doing well at training level dressage here on the New England circuit.  In fact, he’s won championships at all three of the shows he entered this past season, and we’re planning to show at first level next year.

During the show season, he is trained by Dottie Brittingham-Foreman of Independence Stable, and the rest of the year he’s my trail riding buddy.

He’s got tons of charisma, and I could just watch him at work or play all day. I’m honored and blessed to have him in my life.” ~ Tina.

Corrie MacMurchy won 4th Place with her photo, I Love My Ball.  I Love My BallShe lives in Alberta, Canada and owns Tangowood Morgans.

“In this picture is my 2007 Morgan stallion, Tangowood’s Wings Of War (Pure Country OK Correll x Buckhorn Besty).  “Indy”, when he was a 3 year old.  Indy had just come off of 8 months of stall rest because he had severed 75% of his hind tendon.  I wanted to provide him with some mental stimulation, not knowing how much he would love his ball.  All the broodmares ran away from me, when I was carrying the ball, but when Indy seen me, he ran towards me.  I had to throw the ball at him and get out of the way, which was kind of hard with all the snow.  Sad to say but the ball did not last long.  Indy popped it the next day.  He was so sad…he kept pawing the flat ball and rolling on it.  I guess the Stacy Westfall balls are not made for Alberta winters, lol.

I have been raising Morgans for 25 plus years.  I bought an old broodmare Ayesha Rockwood and bred her to Ramuls Justin and then that was the start of it all.  I still have the mare from that cross.  All my mares have Ramuls Justin in them and then crossed back with the Triple S/ Model bloodlines have proven to be an incredible cross.  These horses can work a cow, jump a hunter course, compete in English/ Western pleasure or just take you down a trail.

Both my daughters and I are very active in showing and riding our Morgans.  I just love it when someone comes up and says “Is that a Morgan?  Wow! “.  I usually have one or two babies a year for sale.   It seems lately it is all palomino fillies, since that is all Indy has produced to date… 6 fillies.. All palominos.  Thank you Merriewold Morgans for having this contest.” ~ Corrie MacMurchy

To view all the photos from Merriewold Morgan’s 5th Annual International Morgan Horse Photo Contest

It has been a wonderful contest. We love seeing all the gorgeous Morgans from around the world!
So, until next year, keep those cameras handy!