The Horses in Need Documentary Project is an annual Equine Photographers Network project that all Professional and General members are invited to participate in.
The photographers that submitted documentaries found it was much more than just an assignment. The quest of most photographers is to capture beauty in their images. Typically equine beauty is portrayed in color, conditioning, tone, strength, movement, and in their connection with humans. In this assignment, that beauty was not always visible upon the first glance. They found beauty in places most people would avoid looking. They found beauty in places where it was difficult to find hope. The circumstances that brought each horse to a point of needing rescue varied. Whether it was hardship of their humans, neglect, abuse, greed or in some cases human mental illness, each animal had a story. These are stories born of sorrow, however many of these horses now have hope due to kind intervention.
The photographers that participated in this project help raise awareness of suffering and neglect. Their work help in the adoption effort and in some instances adopted animals themselves. They have made friends through the journey, both equine and human. Further, many photographers have committed to continue their efforts to give back.
The following is just a sample of the many submissions made for this project - take the time to read more!! You will be glad you did!!
Camelot Auction - Eight Months Later
by Sarah K. Andrews, New Jersey
Every Wednesday night, Camelot Auction runs its sale in Cranbury, NJ. The horses who are unsold and without a reserve price run the risk of being sold to the feedlot and being shipped to slaughter. In an effort to find homes for these horses, a network of equine rescue groups have created a system of cataloging, photographing, and disseminating information about these horses. The information is shared via Facebook, message boards, blogs, and word of mouth.
Helping Hearts Equine Rescue began the organized effort in November 2009, but has been working with the auction to pull horses in need long before then. In January 2010, Sarah Andrews began her work photographing horses at Camelot Auction. In February, she shared her initial experiences and observations via her blog. As an independent volunteer, she goes to Camelot every Thursday and photographs all horses who were unsold on auction night. She posts them online in order for the horses to be networked until the Saturday afternoon deadline. Since November 2009, not a single horse in this networking effort has shipped to slaughter from Camelot.