The Equestrian Social Media Awards (ESMAs) are entering their fourth year by welcoming new headline sponsor Equine Online, a recently re-launched equestrian design and fashion site designed to inspire and celebrate creativity.
Since 2010 the ESMAs have been rewarding equestrians across the globe for bringing the global industry together via social media. The first three years saw thousands of horse people nominating and voting for their favourites with the number taking part growing year-on-year. The 2014 awards will continue to celebrate both local and international social media champions from across the globe.
ESMAs Director Liam Killen stated: “We’re delighted to have Equine Online  as headline sponsor for 2014. They started off sponsoring the category for Best Newcomer in 2013, and we’re thrilled to be developing our relationship. We have the same aim, to showcase equestrians thinking outside the box – Equine Online is a great match for us.”
Liam continued: “We are so thankful for the support from PagePlay (the easy way to have a website) during the first three years and look forward to continuing to work with them as our official technology partner.”
Caroline Constable from Equine Online said: “Equine Online was launched in 2002, back in the ‘old days’ before Facebook and Twitter had even been invented. Having set out in those early days to satisfy the needs of horse owners in the local area of Cheshire, UK, it’s been an exciting ride over the years to be able to harness the power and freedom provided by the internet to grow into a business that services a worldwide audience.”
Caroline continued: “Becoming the headline sponsor for the ESMAs is our way of celebrating the evolution of how the equestrian community interacts, whilst at the same time putting Equine Online firmly on the map as a global player.”
That's not all…
The ESMA team has a few tricks up their sleeves for 2014. The public will still decide who receives nominations, but those wishing to enter will be asked to pre-register, free of charge, from early November. Equestrians will then be able to nominate their favourites from lists of pre-registered entries.
There will be two prizes up for grabs in each category. The first will be the Judges’ Choice ESMA, decided by a panel of the global equestrian industry’s most talented marketers and media professionals; the second will be the People’s Choice ESMA, 100% decided by the public. Finalists will once again have to film short acceptance speech videos for the online award ceremony announcing the winners.
Liam’s excited by the additions: “Each year we try to shake things up a bit. The ESMAs were the first of their kind within the equestrian industry and we try every year to continue to innovate. We’re also very pleased to be welcoming the Fédération Equestre Internationale’s (FEI) Director of Corporate Communications, Richard Johnson to judge the winners of the regional categories to decide the overall winner of the World Award. Not only that, but we're introducing categories to showcase excellence beyond social media with the new Equestrian Digital Awards, supported by the Equestrian Creative Network. Categories will include best website, use of rich media and phone/tablet application.”
The FEI Solidarity campaign is supporting a special award in 2014, which is open to projects that are at the heart of the grass roots development of equestrian sport and welfare. Called the FEI Solidarity Social Good ESMA, the award is for those who have captured the interest and conversations of the development of the sport in a creative and inclusive manner. Local sports programmes, individual riders, coaches, online communities, educational projects, charities and welfare campaigns achieving this are all eligible.