By Jan Westmark
There’s no doubt that putting together a monthly magazine is a daunting experience. But each year, our December issue makes me forget all about the hard work and lets me enjoy this most festive time of year.
If you think I’m talking about the holidays, then think again. I’m talking about our annual Hot Horsemen issue! I had a lot of help getting the issue together — other photographers as well as riders and horse owners and even my 17-year-old niece, Trinity, who volunteered to travel to farms and shows with me to shoot hundreds of photos. It seems working with Hot Horsemen isn’t such a bad gig.
Liliane Stransky, founder of the Step by Step Foundation, rounded up four Hot Horsemen for me to photograph and I took a fun group photo of them on the carousel at the Tryon International Equestrian Center. When my Sidelines staff saw the photo, they said it looked like I had robbed the cradle. I don’t think they were referring to how young the Hot Horsemen are, but instead how old I am. I have a funny staff.
Photographing Josh Dolan was a treat because he had several of his miniature horses at the show in Tryon and I was able to meet Peeps — his mini with the pink mane who has a big following on Instagram. One of the best things about talking to each Hot Horseman was learning more about them. I learned that Josh can do a handstand on top of a fence (I saw it with my own eyes) and that some of the guys — whom I won’t mention by name — described themselves as “unfortunately” single.
After interviewing each of the Hot Horsemen, I sent my jumble of notes to my writer-intern Britney Anderson and she somehow turned them into the descriptions that appear on the photos. I joked with Britney that after this experience, she could probably get a job writing for People Magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive issue, but instead, one of our Hot Horsemen inquired about hiring her to write about his sale horses.
While putting together the Hot Horsemen section is a tough job, someone has to do it and I’ll go on record and say I’m glad it was me. I made a lot of new friends in the process, and it doesn’t hurt that they are all HOT!
|Photos by Jan Westmark