One of the first things every new hobbyist needs to know about showing models, is how to fill out the photoback. Most exhibitors use the same basic format for the backs of their show photos. By adhering to the basic format, you ensure that the judge can locate all of the important information about your photo and your model quickly and efficiently.
1. Horse's Name---(as you wish it to appear on results) All caps or underline help identify the name to the judge.
2. Breed---the breed the model represents.
3. Gender---Stallion, Mare, Gelding, Colt, Filly, whichever is most appropriate for the model shown. The color of the model may also be listed here, as well as the pattern if it is a paint, pinto or appaloosa. (It is unnecessary to list normal face and leg markings)
4. Age---May be stated as Adult, Foal or Yearling, or by a year of foaling (1990 for example) or by the age in years (2 year old, or 3-y-o)
5. Make, Mold & Finish---
Additionally you may wish to note the material the model is made from such as ceramic or china. You may also wish to credit the name of the artist who did the work if it was someone other than yourself.
- the brand (make) of model
- the name or number of the mold; common abbreviations are acceptable.
- the finish is generally one of the following four types:
- Original Factory Finish (OF)
- Customized or Remade/Repainted (CM or RR)
- Original Sculpture (OS)
6. Photographer---usually this information is optional. It is courteous to give credit for photos you did not take yourself.
7. Sire & Dam---a model does not have to have "parents" to be exhibited. This information is optional. Some people place this info right under the model's name.
8. Event or Type of Class---Examples include "Halter", "Western Pleasure", "Trail", "Hunter over Fences", "Cutting", "Barrel Racing", "Dressage" etc..
9. Activity Description---a few classes require a bit of description of what the model is doing in reference to the event show. For example, Reining requires that you state the maneuver the horse is performing, and Dressage usually requires that you state the movement and level the entry best represents.
Many classes require little to no additional description as what is shown in the photo should be obvious. Western Pleasure, Cutting, and Barrel Racing are examples of this.
10. Tape Strip with Class Numbers---a piece of magic transparent tape will allow you to write the class numbers on it for a show, and then easily erase them and renumber the photos for another show many times over.
It is VERY important that you number all classes SEQUENTIALLY. Write down only the classes the photo is actually eligible for. If the photo can be entered in more than one class (very typical in Halter to enter the same photo in several classes such as for breed, color, gender, brand, etc.) put all the numbers down IN NUMERICAL ORDER.
If your numbers are out of order, your photo probably WILL miss some classes and therefore have no chance of placing. Proper numbering is the EXHIBITOR'S responsibility.
Write neatly and legibly. Keep all numbers separated by a comma, a dash or ample space. Avoid using slashes as they can cause numbers to be more difficult to pick out (especially if there are many class numbers listed.)
Be sure that the pencil marks are dark enough to be read.
This is ESSENTIAL on EVERY photo, so the judge can sort your photos out after the show. It also will help a photo get returned to you should it accidentally be sent back with someone else's photos.
Labels are the best way to go both for setting up the horse's basic information as well as your name and address. Keep in mind though, that labels DO add more weight to photos when you mail them to shows. If you prefer, you can hand write (or type) the information in, but be meticulous about it so that everything is clear and legible.
If you are using a computer to set up your labels, avoid extremely stylized or difficult to read fonts or lettering A little style is ok, but try to keep your photobacks neat and businesslike!
Speaking of "Style", by doing something unique with a little artwork on your labels, or special label colors and so forth, you can make it very easy for a judge to identify your photos and sort them out easily after the show. BE CONSISTENT! Use the same basic 'scheme' on the backs of ALL your photos...to make them uniquely recognizable as yours; your photobacks are, in effect, your 'signature'.
Keep in mind that the judge has the right to refuse your entry if you do not include the essential information! (Usually that means Name, Breed, Gender, Class numbers and your name/address at the very least!) If your class numbers are incorrect or out of numerical sequence, the judge is under no obligation to go back and rejudge the class.
You should know that photos are initially sorted by the FIRST class number listed. As each class is judged, the photos from that class are checked for the NEXT number, and placed in with the appropriate group of photos. If your numbers are out of order, your entry WILL miss classes!
You only have to do your photo backs once (except for class numbers) so take care to do them right the first time!
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