Entering Your First Photo Show
Getting ready to enter your first photo show can be a little bit hectic and confusing. After all, this is something new, and different! But it is going to be a whole lot of fun once you get started and see how the results look when you get them back!

The following is a list of things to do that will get you started.


Some of these items may vary a bit from show to show. It is very important to check these details in the show information.
Where do I find out about the shows?

Most shows are currently advertised via Online mailing list services such as Yahoo. Model horse showing clubs have monthly shows with set standard classlists, with nominal membership and entry fees.

A. Select the photos you would like to send to the show
  1. ____________________ For your Halter photo, go through the classlist and write down the numbers of any classes your model/photo qualifies for.
    For Example: a Buckskin Quarter Horse Gelding that is an Original Finish Breyer may be entered in the following types of classes:
    ---Quarter Horses
    ---OF Breyers>
    ---Buckskin Color
    ---OF Quarter Horse
    ---OF Gelding

    Each show is different, so you need to scan the classlist carefully.
    If your model is shown in the photo with a halter, in most cases you can also enter classes entitled Showmanship

  2. ____________________ List class numbers CONSECUTIVELY, in numerical order. Judges sort photos initially based on the first number, and as each class is judged, the photos from that class are sorted again, based on the next number and so forth. Writing numbers out of numerical sequence WILL cause your photo not to be entered, judged or placed in some or many classes!

  3. ____________________ Print legibly, dark enough and large enough to be easily read.

  4. ____________________Separate each class number from the next with a dash (-) or a comma (,). Avoid using slashes (/) as they can be confused for the number "1" and make it more difficult to pick out the class numbers if there are many listed on the back of your photo.
B. Performance Classes

  1. Be sure your photo qualifies for the class you enter! Read the rules to make certain. Sometimes a class may have a footnote attached to it in the rules.

  2. Some classes may require more than one photograph. Before you enter this type of class, be certain your model has all the types of required photos. Then double check to be CERTAIN that all related photos have the proper class number written in on the back, in sequential order with any other class numbers. If you are missing a photo from a class that requires more than one, your entry will be disqualified.

  3. It is frowned upon to enter more than one photo in a class where only one photo is required. A class such as "Western Pleasure" requires a single photo of a model in western tack, no props or obstacles required. It is considered in poor form to send several pictures of the same model for a class like this. You waste postage, the judge wastes time figuring it out it's the same horse, it messes up the class entry number counts, and no matter what, you still won't get more than one placing, and maybe not even that!

    If you think you HAVE to send two photos for one class, tape them securely together, label and number the backs of both photos AND fold them together so the class numbers are to the OUTSIDE.

  4. Example: A most simple example for filling in the class number is this:
    You have a photo of a model with appropriate tack and obstacle, shown running around a barrel, which makes the entry "Barrel Racing" of course. Simply locate the class for "Barrel Racing", or "Barrels" and write that number down.
    Sometimes a class like this won't be its own class, but may be combined with other similar classes, such as "Barrels/Poles". Check the rules to see if they allow you to enter one photo of each game, or if you are limited to one photo per horse (barrels OR poles.)

    Carefully go over the classlist and pick the best and most obvious class to enter each photo in, given the classlist offered.

C. Send Adequate Entry Fees
  1. Read the entry rules to see what type of payment is preferred.

  2. Some Shows charge By the Horse, or By the "Stable" If the fees are 25¢ per horse or $1.00 per stable (the stable means YOU, as the owner/exhibitor), figure accordingly to what you're going to enter.

  3. Some Shows Charge by the Photo If the fees are $1.00 for 1-25 photos entered, and $2.00 for 26-50 photos, pay according to the number of photos entered.

  4. Per Horse, Per Class Fees If the fees are per class, or per horse/per class, use a piece of scratch paper and list each model's name and then each number from the back of his photos. Write down each class number only ONCE (in case multiple photos were required for some classes). From there you can add up the necessary fees.
D. Check for Additional Required Enclosures

  1. EXTRA SASE--sometimes this (SASE=Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) is required when the judge plans on mailing results out separately from your photos. (Usually after your photos are mailed back to you.) Be certain your envelope is the proper size if specified, includes YOUR name and address on it and has the proper amount of postage requested either affixed to it or sent loose inside the envelope. Shows with many classes and lots of entrants can take many pages for results, so sometimes one stamp is not enough, and why an extra SASE may be required (the results won't fit with your photos in your return envelope!)

  2. Be aware of any extra postage charges you may need to pay should you win any special awards or prizes at the show.

E. Package up your photos
  1. Know How Many Photos You're Sending Count your photos and stack them up, so all the photobacks are facing the same direction. If you like, you can 'pre-sort' the photos by the first class number. Use a rubber band to keep the pix in a tight stack.

  2. Send All Your Photos In a Plastic Bag Get a plastic bag (sandwich or ziplock style is fine). Write your name, address and the number of photos you've enclosed on a label or piece of magic tape and stick it on the bag. This will help the judge have an accurate count to make sure all your pix are returned to you.

    Always send your pictures in a plastic bag to help prevent potential damage.

  3. Prepare Your Entry Fees Place your entry fee in the bag. If paying by coin, BE SURE TO TAPE DOWN ALL COINS SECURELY. Tape them to an index card.
    If you tape any coins to a card, then tape another card over the top of the coins so they are 'sandwiched' between the cards, they won't mar the surface of your photos (or show through the envelope)

  4. Include A Note to the ShowholderWrite a short cordial note to the judge regarding the name of the show you are entering and the date(example: "Here are my entries for your Happy Hoofer Model Horse Show, April 1-3. I hope you have a good turnout!"). Place this inside the baggie with the photos.

  5. Include Extra Stamps Include an extra loose stamp or two in he baggie, in case the results weigh a little more than expected, or you win a small prize that can be sent back with your photos. It is common practice that a judge will ONLY use these stamps when necessary, they will be returned to you if they are not needed.

F. Prepare your Return-Photo SASE

  1. Use a Good Sturdy Envelope Find a good, sturdy envelope that you want your photos RETURNED to you in. Most people will use manila envelopes, the sturdier the better. Make sure that there is going to be enough room in the envelope for all the photos you are sending PLUS extra space to account for the results. A standard 6x9 manila envelope is good for up to about 70 photos (separated into two equal groups and placed in the envelope side by side.)

    Don't put your photos in this envelope, just fold it in half so it will fit within your shipping envelope.

  2. Tape Up the Edges or Seams Taping the edges and seams of an envelope with packaging tape can help make it even sturdier. Apply the tape to all but the opening flap. Most judges will happily tape that flap shut for you when they return your photos.

  3. Address this envelope to yourself. You may wish to put the name of the show and the date in the lower left corner so you know which show it is from when it returns. (Not that you wouldn't know when you opened it, but....)
Some Tacky Things
It is considered rather tacky to expect that the judge will take the time to tape up all the edges and seams of your envelope. If you want it taped properly to suit you, you be sure to tape it before you send it.
Don't expect the judge to SALVAGE your shipping envelope and re-use it for the return trip. You don't know what the envelope looked like when it got there and it may NOT be salvageable. It also may be notably weakened in shipping and could burst in some lowly post office some place...not a nice ending for your beloved photos!
IF you want your original shipping envelope returned, tell it to the judge, but also send a RETURN ENVELOPE in good shape prepped for the showholder to use. If you want to reuse it after it comes back, that's up to you.
G. Prepare the Shipping Envelope
  1. Be Sure your Shipping Envelope is Large EnoughFind an envelope large enough to hold all your photos, your Return-Photo sase and anything else requested by the show holder (including another SASE for separate results if requested.)
  2. Address the envelope correctly to the judge/showholder. Don't forget to put your full return address in the upper left. The name of the show and the date in the lower left corner helps the judge identify it as a show entry.

  3. DON'T seal the envelope just yet!
H. Weigh your Package
A cheap postage scale (usually available for $10 or less from an office-supply store) will prove invaluable to you for showing. If you don't have a scale, then place everything in your envelope (Don't seal it!) and take it down to your post office to have them weigh it for you.

  1. Find out how much the entire package weighs, including photos, payment, sase's, everything. If you haven't already, take your RETURN-PHOTO envelope back out and affix that amount to the proper corner, and put it back in your envelope. If you have already included a couple of extra stamps somewhere in your package, you should be covered.

  2. Now is the time to double check everything:
    • all photos properly marked and labelled
    • proper fees and enclosures are in there
    • return SASE for your photos, extra stamp or two as "safety measure" loose in the return SASE or in the baggie with your photos, make sure your return envelope is addressed to YOURSELF and has basic return postage affixed
  3. Outer Mailing Envelope
    • Shipping Envelope correctly addressed to the judge/showholder
    • Complete return address to yourself in the upper left corner
    • Name of the show and the date in lower left corner
    • Shipping envelope filled with all the necessary items
    • Proper amount of postage affixed to the OUTSIDE (weigh it again to double-check!)
    • mail your entries!

I. Wait for the show date to go by
be patient and soon you'll get your photos back and the results to see how you have done!

Good Luck!

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