When Stephenie Bjorkman decided to enter her horse's photo in Farnam's 2019 SuperMask® SuperModel contest, she had no idea how much the competition had grown.
"I follow Farnam online and saw the contest; I thought Maxwell would love this. I had a good picture of him and just thought I'd enter. I didn't realize how competitive it was," says Stephenie, an Arizona native and small business owner from the Scottsdale area.
“We were very pleased with the participation in the 2019 SuperMask® SuperModel Contest. We more than doubled the number of entries from last year. The word is spreading," notes Anna Brunetti, Digital Marketing Manager for Farnam. "Over 2,000 horse owners submitted photos from all over the country. The entries included many different breeds, colors, sizes, and ages, each image as unique as the next. It’s great seeing all these horses so loved by their owners.”
Every entry was carefully studied by contest officials and after much deliberation, the top ten entries were identified, and those ten images were then submitted to a diverse panel of judges to determine the winner.
"The SuperMask® SuperModel contest is a great way for Farnam fans to showcase the outstanding care they give their horses all year long. As we all know, it is continuous, quality care that keeps horses happy and healthy for the long haul, and it showed in the caliber of entries we received. Many of the contenders put in valuable time and lots of elbow grease to 'spit shine' their horses for this contest," notes Martha Lefebvre, Senior Marketing Manager for Farnam.
After Stephenie received notification that her horse was chosen as the winner, she was amazed at the abundance of prizes he'd won, an impressive fly control and grooming package worth $1,000 in Farnam products.
"I didn't realize I was going to get so much," she says. '"I've been in horses since I was six years old and have always used Farnam products. When I opened the prize box, I realized I used most of them already. But there were some products I'd never tried before, so that was cool."
Of course, another big part of the win was that Maxwell would have a professional photo session so his image can be used in upcoming advertisements for Farnam's ever-popular SuperMask® fly mask.
"I told Maxwell, 'you're going to be a model,' and he is a horse who wants to have his photo taken. He has a look about him," says Stephenie. "I've always loved spending time pampering and grooming him, so this is proof it's worth it."
"A well-cared for horse doesn't happen overnight. We appreciate that it takes hard work, total commitment and a lot of love," says Martha, adding that plans are in the works for the 2020 contest.
Stephenie has shared her life with horses ever since she was a young girl. Growing up, she team roped and was very involved in rodeo. Although reining and reined cow horse competition always appealed to her, she just didn't have the right horse. At least, not until recently.
Four years old at the time, Electric Java, was a rich sorrel Quarter Horse gelding with a striking blaze and a kind eye. He was talented, sound and personable. Although he'd only been shown once or twice at that time, the horse had a big stop and was impressive. It didn't take more than one ride for Stephenie to fall in love.
Electric Java goes by the barn name of "Maxwell" and the duo has been making their mark in the show world. "When you take him in the show pen, he wants you to be happy with him," says Stephenie.
Stephenie rides as a non-pro, so their accomplishments have taken time and she gives all the credit to her "consistently amazing" horse. Maxwell has a laid-back personality and nothing seems to faze this handsome gelding. His personality endears him to everyone who meets him. An accomplished competitor, he's definitely successful, but it's more than that.
"He's gentle with dogs, kids, and my minis; I have four miniature horses and he thinks he's one of them," laughs Stephenie. "If he could have a job of being groomed and photographed, that would be his job. He loves the attention. He's a pet, but he's not annoying, or at least not to me!"
"It took a long time to find one like him," she says happily. "I have owned enough horses to know he's a once-in-a-lifetime horse and a dream come true!”
To enter this year’s SuperMask SuperModel contest, visit www.farnam.com/SMSM2020 and submit your entry before the July 17, 2020 deadline. Only one entry allowed per person. Contest winner to be notified on or about August 21, 2020.
By Cynthia McFarland