A “magnificent” headshot of a miniature donkey has won the National Equine Forum’s photography competition.

Claire Evans Watkin’s photograph of her miniature donkey Ziggy will feature on the programme cover for the 31st National Equine Forum, which takes place on 2 March, 2023.

A total of 40 budding equine photographers from around the world submitted 47 images, ranging from creative black and white silhouette shots to “earthy evocative images”. Entries were received from Brazil, Canada, America and Norway as well as from the UK.

“We received some beautiful photographs and it was a big challenge for the committee to produce a shortlist and then choose the winner,” said NEF Convener Georgina Crossman. “We were lucky to have some professional support from NEF’s official photographer Craig Payne who identified Ziggy as the outstanding winner.”

“I absolutely love this entry,” said Craig. “It is bright and colourful and the clouds give intrigue which contrasts nicely with the donkey’s big ears and the unusually shaped tree in the distance. The photo has been taken from slightly beneath the donkey and this helps to silhouette it and avoid too much of the grassland, and the fact the donkey is looking down the camera could be said to drive home the point that the Forum is for all equines. This is a key point as we haven’t featured a donkey on the cover before.”

Claire, who is from Ceredigion in Wales, said she was excited to be crowned winner.

“I have a real passion for photography and Ziggy is a great model,” she said. “I can’t wait to see him on the cover of the 2023 programme.”

The National Equine Forum is an annual event bringing together representatives from all areas of the equestrian industry, including government, sport, veterinary science and welfare. It has been running for 30 years and is organised by a committee of appointed volunteers.

Lead image of winning photograph by Claire Evans Watkin

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