For Immediate Release

Equestrian Sports Promotions
Christine DeHerrera

Mary Cornelius Selected as the Winner of the Offield Farms Shoot to Win Photo Contest

Offield Farms is pleased to announce that Mary Cornelius has been selected as the winner of the second Shoot to Win Photo Contest at the Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Finals. Cornelius’ photo of Daniel Pinto, the winner of the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Grand Prix Freestyle B-Final, was determined to be the photo that best exemplified the excitement of dressage.

“All of the entries were great,” said Karin Reid Offield. “To pick a winner that satisfied the intent of the contest was our goal. The judging panel felt that the image of Daniel Pinto, in that moment in time was a perfect example of the criteria. We felt we had to have a horse, a rider and the crowd in the photograph. In the best sense, the photo exemplifies joy. The crowd’s enthusiasm and Daniel’s reaction are what happens when a rider wins a competition as important as the World Cup Finals. Few are fortunate enough to experience it in arenas such as the Thomas and Mack Center, the perfect setting for the World Cup Finals. Viva Las Vegas!”

For Offield it was the tremendous response to the 2005 contest won by Terri Miller that was the impetus to repeat the contest for the 2007 Rolex FEI World Cup Dressage Finals. She explains, “I am so happy about the contest’s popularity, and I am very excited to show some of the incredible photographs that were submitted.” Some of the other top entries can be seen at HYPERLINK "", as well as a showcase of the 2005 entries.

Winning photographer Mary Cornelius has been a lifelong dressage enthusiast. Prior to devoting herself full time to photography, she taught lessons, rode and competed in dressage. The opportunity to combine her love of dressage and her work behind the camera eventually led to a full-time career in photography.

About her winning entry Cornelius explains, “I wanted to show the crowd and how the rider related to the crowd. When I photograph horses, particularly dressage, I try to connect the viewer with the feeling of what was happening at that moment. The image that I entered in this contest was crafted with that emotional level in mind, so my first reaction [to winning] is to feel gratified that the image was appreciated for what it contained.”

Cornelius took an unusual tactic to capture the winning entry. Instead of following the other photographers inside the show ring for the awards ceremony and the victory gallop, she waited outside. “I had to make myself stay put,” she recalls.

Cornelius will receive $500 for her winning entry as well as $500 that will be donated to Forward Stride Center for Therapeutic Riding, a charity that Cornelius chose. “I am grateful to Offield Farms for offering such a fun contest and giving me an opportunity to share my winnings with Forward Stride,” she says. “I was able to see the therapeutic riding center in action for a few hours one day while out on a photo shoot. I was struck by learning about the important work that horses can do for the severely handicapped on a very deep level of their development.”

It’s this connection between horse and humans that has always inspired Offield. “I have been involved in many community projects that have involved horses over the years. It’s very exciting that our dressage photo contest not only highlights a wonderful photo, but is also helping others. We are very fortunate that these amazing animals allow us to share in their lives in a very profound way.”