January /February 2017 Breyer Photo Show Contest - Results

Cold on the Range

By Michelle Masters

Cowboys, cowgirls, and all horse owners know that caring for a horse doesn't stop when the temperature drops and the snow falls. Many a horse lover has trudged through the snow to toss hay or blanket a horse, or endured frosty fingers to break through the ice in a water bucket. But the reward is a peaceful ride in the frozen wonderland of a snow-covered countryside, just a bundled-up rider and an adventurous, winter-coated horse. We were looking for pictures that represented the theme "Cold on the Range", and our readers sent in wonderful entries that gave the judge goose bumps, and not just because of the cold! Thanks to everyone for braving the cold and sending us your snowy entries! Luckily for us, all it takes is a dusting of snow to create a model-sized blizzard!


OVER 18:

1st place


Kayla L., ME


One of the things that makes this photo so great is the choice of models. Many of Breyer's horses are more suited for the show ring, but these two look right at home on the ranch. The focus is crisp and the shadows very subtle, which makes for a realistic scene. I would have liked to see a proper Western bridle, but since this is ranch work, anything goes. I might have also moved the bay horse so that he doesn't distract from the rider, but the horses in the background with distant trees definitely contribute to the realism of this photo.


2nd place


Deborah B., NY

This realistic entry shows that dedicated cowboys making sure their horses are safe, even if it means fixing a fence in the middle of the night. Night-time scenes are hard to do, but this one is well done with the dark woods and the light shining from the barn illuminating the snow and the scene. I like the workman-like tack and the scarf over the man's face - a small wrench or hammer in his hand would have been a great detail. The one thing that I would definitely change is that the horse is facing away from the man - I would have set this up so that the horse is facing the action, as if he's making sure the job gets done right!


3rd place


Rita T., CO

These two are really having to negotiate some serious snow! The background of this photo is fantastic and the lighting makes it very realistic. I love that the rider is bundled up against the cold, but I would have chosen a different horse for the one being led. Because his legs are white and the snow is deep, it's hard to see his legs, which is distracting even though the Indian Pony was an excellent choice.


4th place


Dayna S., OH


Another great use of the John Henry mold - he's just about my favorite because of his "I got this" attitude! And another rescued calf - a great representation of our theme of ranch work. I love the contrast of the dark horse on the snow, and attention to detail with the rider's coat and gloves and the lariat. I would like to be able to see the doll's face and maybe some tracks to show where the horse has cut through the snow, but the distant building and stand of trees really makes this look like a day's work on the ranch.


5th place


Sarah T., TN


Here we have an entry that could be a picture postcard. The composition is excellent with the horse, rider and foal looking at the camera and the background blurred so it doesn't take away from them. The snow that is falling is realistic and the dog is a nice addition. The depth of the snow is perfect, and the rider has on a heavy flannel coat, but that rope is a little long - don't want that baby to escape again!


6th place

Kaleigh B., GA


This is a simple scene that has a lot of things going for it. The walking models were well-chosen, the angle makes it look like a person at ground level took the photo. The flakes of falling snow indicate that a storm is on the way as this cowboy heads for home. I would like to see more of a proper hackamore and I can't quite see if the rider is holding the reins, but the halter and lead on the other horse are well-fitted, making this a realistic photo.



1st place


Avlynne W., AK

It is evident that the photographer really took time to set up this photo - the composition is excellent. The balance of light and dark is so good that the white horse - the "Snowman" model ) stands out against the snow. I love that the focus is on the horse and rider, with the horse's head turned so that we can see his face, and the horses in the background are blurred, along with the trees. It looks like two of the horses are investigating the visitor as he checks on the herd, but no one wants to disturb this peaceful scene.


2nd place


Adele C., WA

This entry really captures the hard work of the ranch horse in winter, as he has on protective equipment and looks ready for whatever is asked of him. I really like the realistic-looking blanket on the horse being led, and the rider has on a great winter coat, but where's his hat? It's too cold to leave your hat at home! I might have tried to focus this photo so the large tree and black thing in the background were blurry, but I like how this looks like a real trail on the ranch.

3rd place


Willow C., WA

If it doesn't snow where you live, you can always photoshop a snow scene! This is very well done and could be a calendar page for February, but I would like to see more going on - driving cattle home or leading a stray back to the corral. I do like the attention to detail with the snow on the rider and her coat, as well as the use of proper tack.

4th place


Sela G., AL

As this cowboy stops to enjoy the snowy peacefulness, we see a lovely background and soft lighting that makes this a realistic night-time scene. The moon is a little too big, but that is forgivable when a scene is this creative and includes the moonlit snow that highlights the horse and rider. I might also suggest that while the foal does create the idea of a working ranch horse (bring home a lost baby), he seems too large since he is in the foreground. I do like the tack on this little guy and he's turned just slightly so we see his face.


5th place


Eva O., MO

No matter the weather, a cow horse's work is never done! This is a realistic ranch scene with an authentic fence, and horse and dog working together to get those calves where they need to be. The calf facing the camera is a bit distracting, but definitely an attention-getter. The horse needs a breast collar for ranch work, but I like the angle of the photo with the snow visible on the hills in the background. Watch out for things like the grass in the foreground - little things like that can take away from the realism of an otherwise action-packed photo.

6th place


Nicole C., NC

This was a great idea that just needed a bit more time in the execution. I love the thought of a winter ride
around the lake, but the focus needed to be on the horse, not the lake. I would like to see more of the horse, and especially more of the rider. This looks like the start of a great scene!


Honorable Mention


Keely L., AL

While this is not a realistic snow scene, I took one look at the snowman with the lasso and had to keep this photo! There's no actual attempt at realistic-looking snow, but the glass trees are beautiful and I love the use of the Western Horse, who is majestic and a sentimental favorite, but not exactly a realistic ranch horse! Overall, a successful scene!



One (1) Big Chex to Cash (#1357; ERV $44.99) will be awarded to one (1) first place winner in each age category:

  • 17 years old and under
  • 18 years old and up

  By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by the following contest rules.

*Official Rules:

  1. This is a skill-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of the winner. Many will enter, but only one (1) will win in each age category.
  2. Contest is open to all legal U.S. residents of any age. Parental consent is required for entrants under age 18, if selected as a potential winner. Void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law.
  3. All entries must be original and entirely created by the entrant, and must not violate any applicable local, national, and/or international laws or regulations.
  4. Contest begins at 2:00pm EST on 12/15/16 and ends 1/15/2017 at 11:59pm EST. All entries must be received via email at [email protected] by 11:59pm EST, 1/15/17. No other method of entry will be accepted.
  5. To enter, email (or have your parent or legal guardian email, if age 17 or under) no more than one (1) digital photograph of your original Cold on the Range Breyer model photo scene to [email protected] All entries must be in digital form, JPEG format in 72 dpi (PFD, PSD, BMP, etc. will be rejected), no larger than 1MB in size. Image size no larger than 1500 dpi x 1500 dpi. Image must be attached to the email and not sent embedded/inline. Image must be named as follows: [YOUR LAST NAME].JanFeb.Photo.Show.jpg. Only emailed entries will be eligible.
  6. Only Breyer model horses and at least one Breyer figure should be used to create photo scene; other props and accessories are acceptable.
  7. Your entry must include the subject line "Cold on the Range" your digital photograph, name, age, mailing address, telephone number, and email address as well as a statement of parental consent if aged 17 or under. Entry and/or statement of parental consent must be submitted in English. Any entries missing the above requirements will be immediately disqualified.
  8. Limit one (1) entry per person and email address.
  9. Contact and shipping information collected will be used for the purposes of this contest only and will not be used for email marketing or other purposes.
  10. Entries will be judged by Michelle Masters. Each entry will be judged on equal parts creativity, composition, accuracy and adherence to the theme: Cold on the Range. Six (6) entries will be chosen and pinned in each age group for places first through sixth; the first place entry will become the potential winner, as determined by the judge in their sole discretion. The decisions of the judge will be final and binding in all respects.
  11. We will contact the potential winner by email on or about 2/5/2017. The selected potential winner must confirm receipt of email and verify valid contact and shipping information to Sponsor by email (email address will be provided to potential winner in notification email) within five (5) business days or he/she will forfeit the prize and an alternate potential winner will be selected.