Nominations closed for the 2013 ESMAs

It’s that time of year again as equestrians across the globe prepare to battle it out for victory. Not in the fevered Christmas shopping at your local tack shop! This is the annual competition to win an ESMA, and the nominations for the 2013 installment are about to open.

That the equestrian world is incredibly active on social media was especially evident during the London Olympics. A number of horse and rider name combinations trended on Twitter both in their home countries and globally during the events.

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 a brand new category:

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.

An ever-increasing number of grass roots movements make great use of social media, so 2013 also sees the introduction of an award to recognise their efforts:

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.

Due to a huge response from people in various regions there are new regional categories. These are: 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.”

How the ESMAs work:


When nominations open (10-21 December) 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 ESMA 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 see the full list of categories visit: the 2013 ESMA categories page or keep up-to-date on Facebook and Twitter