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Horse & Hound has won its first Equestrian Social Media Award (ESMA) for the best use of YouTube in the UK and Ireland.

The award was announced at 2pm today (Monday 7 March) via the ESMA’s YouTube channel by awards’ co-founders Liam Killen and Rhea Freeman.

Horse & Hound’s ‘how to’ videos, rider interviews and behind the scenes action from top events such as Badminton and Burghley, attracted enough votes to beat second-placed Badminton Horse Trials, with the British Horse Society in third.

H&H’s website editor Carol Phillips says: “I’m delighted that the H&H team has won this award. We have lots of exciting new videos in the pipeline for 2011 so if you don’t currently subscribe to our YouTube channel visit www.youtube.com/horseandhoundtv and sign up now to make sure you don’t miss out.”

The best international YouTube channel was won by Parelli.

In the second of the 15 awards to be announced this week, Spillers Horse Feeds won the best use of Facebook for their campaign in which the company donated feed to Redwings Horse Sanctuary in return for every new Facebook fan it received.

Parelli picked up its second ESMA by winning the international award for the best use of Facebook.

The remaining awards will be announced as follows:

  • Tuesday: Best use of social media by a charity, Best use of Twitter
  • Wednesday: Best use of social media by a professional rider, Best use of social media by an amateur rider, Best use of social media by a feed company, Best use of social media by a magazine.
  • Thursday: Best use of social media by a brand, Best use of social media by an event/competition, Best use of social media by a talking animal.
  • Friday: Most informative social media platform, Best use of social media by a riding school, Best use of social media by a tack shop/saddlery, Best newcomer

Horse & Hound has also been shortlisted for ‘Best use of social media by a magazine’ and ‘Most informative social media platform’.

“Each episode contains videos from the winners,” says Liam Killen.  “The videos are amazing, some will make you laugh, some will make you well-up inside, but either way, we’re thrilled by the standard and can’t wait for the world to see them.”