Instructions for Hosts

Show Themes

There are no limitations on the type of show you can hold. It can be a collectibility show, an all-performance show, a standard “breed” show, an all-workmanship show, all-stock breed show, all-plastic show, a cattle-and-bunny show, or even a “best photo” competition. There is only one limitation: If you want to include the “quality of the photo” in your judging criteria, or hold “best photo” classes, you can do so only in a “best photo”-themed show that has “Best Photo” in the show name and in the "Show Type" description in your show packet.

We are imposing this one rule because we want to try to replicate the live show experience whenever possible and encourage participation generally. We do not want to force entrants to invest significant time or money in order to participate, so shows cannot employ criteria that requires entrants to purchase photo tents, photo lights, footing and backgrounds in order to be competitive. In other words, entrants should not be required to do more than put the horse on a table and take a photo, unless the show is specifically identified as a “Best Photo” show.

Charging Fees for Shows

A host can charge fees for hosting a show, and we can make the show available only to paid entrants. In return, we would request that you help us pay the hosting cost of this site. Please send a PM to elizabeth and we will give you an estimate.

Scheduling Your Show

Gallery Limitations. The Gallery can only reasonably support a couple of shows at a time. Although we could do fifty at once in terms of power, the entrants will get confused if we do too many at once. Why? When they go to enter shows, they see a drop-down menu that lists all accessible categories in the Gallery. That will include every class in every show. With 100+ upload areas, mistakes in uploading will be made. Because we can only reasonably host a couple of shows at a time, we've developed a very organized system for scheduling shows.

Calendar Resource. Check the group calendar to see the shows that have already been scheduled. If you see a hole where there are no shows underway or only one show scheduled, and if those dates work for you, go to the scheduling thread and let us know that you'd like that set of dates. Make sure we confirm that we're good on those dates too. If so, you can put your show's dates in the calendar.

Calendar Range Setting. When you enter your show dates, you will want to specifically ensure that you enter your dates as a "Ranged or Recurring Event"
Ranged or Recurring Event example
. That will save you from having to enter a separate event for each day of the show. You should first enter a range of dates when entries will be accepted, immediately followed by a set of dates when judging will take place. Do not leave any holes between "entries accepted" and "judging dates" as this will just confuse other calendar users.

Calendar Time Zone. We have not figured out the time zone settings for this feature yet. We would suggest that for now, you use a time zone that is consistent with your own time zone rather than opting for "ignore time zone..." and set all entry closure dates for what would be the middle of the night, so entrants have a little wiggle room.

Timing. It is a good idea to give your entrants at least a week to enter, starting with a Sunday and ending with a Saturday, so you catch every day of the week in the time frame, and accommodate the universe of schedules out there. A division of 30 classes should not take a judge more than 3-4 hours to judge, if you are just factoring in actual judging time. However, while the judge is judging, s/he will be finding photos that have been entered incorrectly, and you will be moving those photos for the judge. Accordingly, it would be best to leave you and your judges a couple of days for that process.

Preparing Your Show Packet

Coordinate Judges. Before you make any announcements about the show, line up your judges and confirm that you have judges who are available to do the show during the dates that you have selected. Make sure that your judges have registered to use the site.

Packet Contents. The Administrators will give you a special account for the show that will allow you to start a thread in the Show Announcements forum. Depending on your account's settings, you may only be able to start a thread in that forum and edit your first post in that thread using this special account, and subsequent posts and replies will have to come from your regular account. That is to prevent non-hosts from cluttering up that forum with non-show related material. Your show packet will be the first post in your Show Announcements thread, and that first post will be pre-formatted to include this info:

  • Show Name: A unique name that distinguishes your show from others.
  • Show Type: Examples would include "all-workmanship," "breed halter," "Best Photo."
  • Entries open: The date/time that entrants can start to upload photos.
  • Entries close: The date/time that entrants can no longer upload photos.
  • Judging begins: The date/time that stewarding and judging begin.
  • Judging ends: The date/time that entrants should expect judging to conclude.
  • Host: Your full name, username, and email address go here.
  • Judging Criteria: Identify the criteria judges will use, e.g., anatomy (33%) biomechanics (33%), conformation/color (33%)
  • Judges: List your judge's full names and usernames here.
  • Divisions: List all of your divisions, any abbreviations for these divisions that you will use, and the assigned judges.
  • Title field should include: Tell your entrants what information you and your judges will need in the title field of their photos in order to steward the class, as that is the only field visible when you are looking at the thumbnail view
    Sample Class Appearance
    of the class. Keep in mind that the total information in that field should not exceed 35-40 characters. For breed halter, we'd suggest breed and gender. For collectibility, make model RR/SR/OOAK Run No. (for plastic, the "make" will likely be obvious from the image and thus unnecessary and that may be true of "model" as well except with Factory CMs). For workmanship, perhaps you will want the color. For performance, identifying the event will likely be enough.
  • Rules: It is recommended that you give some guidance on where entrants can situate horses, such as "Spanish Mustangs should go in the Spanish Class." If you don't want to spend a lot of time doing that, you can always direct breed halter entrants to the NAMHSA Breed List that we've uploaded or include a link to your last live show website list of rules.
  • Classes: List all of your classes and championships here. All classes and champs must have the division/subdivision abbreviation used as a prefix, so the class name tells you that it is for example "AR Morgan Stallion," and not just "Morgan Stallion." Only the class name will be visible to entrants in results, so they need complete info in the class name itself. Be very consistent with your class names; do not use "AR" for the prefix of one Artist Resin class, and "A-R" for another. Note that we have a sample very generous halter classlist here. We also have a sample simple performance classlist here. Feel free to use these or adapt it as you please.

Miscellaneous. Double-check to make sure that the dates you have listed in your packet match the dates in the calendar. Make sure your judges know where your show announcement thread is located. You will be surprised at how many of them, like regular live show judges, will not read it until the day of the show.

Setting Up Your Show in the Gallery

Timing. You will need to have your show set up in the Gallery before the date when entries open. It will take about an hour for you to set up an average-sized show, your first time. After that, it will likely take less. Considering a live show takes hundreds of hours of work, it's a reasonable time investment, right?

Show Category. The Administrators will set up a category in the gallery for your show. It will appear as a link on the front page of the gallery (also known as "ezGallery") to all users. As noted above, the Administrators will also give you a separate login for you to use as a host. When you access that login, you will have to click the "Gallery" link at the top of the menu, and then you will be able to see your show category, as well as any other show that is running at the same time.
Top-Most View of Gallery
Please make sure you only make modifications inside your own show. Make sure your judges know the show URL.

Lock the Gallery. After you locate your show category, check to make sure that it is locked from uploads so that entrants do not begin to enter before you are ready. When viewing your category from the top-most Gallery page, click the Edit link
Edit Link
. After you do so, an Edit Category form
Edit Category form
will open that shows the settings for your show. If the "Lock Category from uploads" box is not ticked, go ahead and tick it and click the "Edit Category" button to save the setting.

Create a Class. Before you start to create classes, have your Show Announcement thread (or draft) handy and make sure you are using the same names for your gallery classes as you will list in that thread. To create a class, click on your show's link from the top-most page in the gallery, and scroll to the bottom of the page, until you see the link for Add Subcategory
Add Sub Category Link
. Click that link and the Add Subcategory form page will open
Add Sub Category Form
. Note that it looks just like the "Edit Category" page but with some important differences: the Title and Parent Category fields are not complete, and you will complete them. The "Title" should be the name of the class or championship (e.g., CH/RS OFP Light, OFP Thoroughbreds, etc.) and in the "Parent Category" drop-down, you will pick the name of your show. Click the "Add Category" button when you are done to save your work.

Finish Class Creation. The Gallery may bounce you back to the topmost Gallery page when you're done adding a subcategory. If so, then click on your show's category link again, and repeat the process above until you have added a subcategory for each class and championship. If you accidentally skip a class, you can use the [Up] [Down] links in your show category to move the omitted subcategory/class so that it appears in the same order as your classlist. In addition to adding a subcategory for each class and championship, add a final subcategory called "Pony Pound," where you will move photos that have been entered incorrectly and you are unable to figure out where the photo should go. The photos in the Pony Pound will not be judged.

Set Gallery Icons. You will notice after you create your subcategories (classes) that there is a blank column
Comparison of Class with and without Icon
next to the subcategory name (link). You can optionally make icons to put in that blank spot, and the gallery looks a whole lot nicer when you do. There are two ways to do it. First, you can return to the Gallery and "Edit" each subcategory so that the PonyBytes icon appears, by inserting this in the "Gallery Icon URL" field: Alternatively, you can enter each subcategory, find an entry thumbnail to use as your icon, click on the photo, and click on the "Set as Category Thumbnail" link above the enlarged photo. You need to access the "Edit Category" form to unset or replace an icon.

Open Show for Entries. On the day that entries are supposed to open, return to the Gallery, and click the Edit link
Edit Link
again. This time, you will untick the box labeled "Lock Category from uploads," so that entrants can begin to upload photos. Note that there is one exception: You will not unlock "championship" classes. Return to the calendar and paste the links to your show gallery category and your Show Announcement thread in the "Entries Open" and "Judging Period" appointments, for the ease of entrants looking at the calendar to see what shows are open.

Watch the Entries Come in! As classes begin to fill, each subcategory class will start to fill with thumbnail photos
Sample Class Appearance
that lead to larger images. Start watching your Show Announcement thread for questions.


Entry Text Info. Photos have two text fields: a Title field and a Description field
Locations of Text and Description Field Data
. The developer intended the Title field to house shorter information, and longer information in the Description field. Entrants seeking points must format the beginning of the Description field with certain pieces of information preceded by certain characters/words. This is covered in the Simple and Advanced Formatting Instructions and stewards should be checking to make sure it is correct. The person doing stewarding should also check that the entry otherwise complies with the show's rules (e.g., the horse's breed and gender is not missing).

Incorrect Entries. Entrants have many mechanisms to check the proper placement of their photos before the show begins, including the My Entries report. Before entries close, entrants have the ability to move and delete their own images, and replace photos. In all cases, entrants are responsible for the correct placement/completion of their entries. Despite this rule and the array of tools available to them, you will want or need to move photos that are in the wrong spot and/or get entrants to move the images themselves. Alternatively, entrants will fail to complete all the text information described above and you may need to contact the entrant to get the entrant to correct it.

When to Start. You should start stewarding as soon as your galleries open as it is too much to do in one fell swoop, and it will give entrants time to make corrections, if possible (it is usually *not* possible if they enter all their photos in the last hours/days before entries close, but that is not something you can control; entrants are always encouraged to enter early), including moving photos themselves or adding missing information. You are only going to frustrate them if you wait until the day before the galleries are locked and make a bunch of comments (or send a bunch of PMs) telling them to fix their entries, which they may not see until after the galleries are locked and they can no longer fix them.

Using Comments. The steward may certainly ask an entrant to correct an entry themselves while entries are still open by making a comment on the photo. The comment goes directly to the entrant via email unless the entrant has, contrary to instructions, disabled communications settings or unticked the "Notify of Comments" box in the photo form, or depending on the show's rules, the steward can correct it herself after the galleries are locked, because the entrant will no longer able to do it herself. Keep in mind that if entries are closing on a particular date, leaving a comment the day before will do nothing but frustrate the entrant, because she may see it at a time when she can no longer fix it. If she tries, her entry will be automatically bounced out of the show. So please use comments prudently and in a way that makes sense with the schedule.

Pony Pound. If a problem with an entry is discovered after judging begins, and the entrant has not supplied show staff with enough information to allow them to independently determine where the entry belongs, it can be moved to the Pony Pound subcategory and not judged.

Move Pix for Judges. A judge cannot move photos on her own. Therefore, when a judge is going through the Gallery either judging or helping with pre-judging stewarding, she will need you to move photos to the correct class subcategories for her. The judge can communicate the need to move pictures either through a private message (PM) or through comments made to the photos in the Gallery. Until we have reports set up that will identify these comments, there is no way to see them without going through each photo. Accordingly, it is best if you and your judges communicate these needs via PM for now.

How to Move a Photo. Navigate to the incorrectly-placed photo and enlarge it by clicking on the thumbnail. When you do so, you will see a small menu up at top that includes a link to "Edit"
Edit Photo Link
. Click that link and you will see the Edit Picture form
Edit Picture Form
. Using the "Category" drop-down menu, select the correct subcategory (class) for the photo. Then click the "Edit Picture" button to save your work.

Judging and Results

Shut Off Entries. When entries close and before judging begins, send an email to (don't PM - it will only go to the one administrator you contact) and ask the administrators to restrict Registered Users per the "Admin Help" instructions. That will prevent entrants from tampering with their existing entries while judging is underway. Return to the Gallery, and click the Edit link
Edit Link
again. This time, you will tick the box labeled "Lock Category from uploads," so that entrants can no longer upload photos.

Judging. After the settings have been changed, judges can begin to judge by rating the photos. Only the judges have the power to rate photos; you cannot do it for them. Make sure that your judges are actually starting work at the agreed-upon times by reference to the results report, and continue to monitor that situation over the course of the judging period. If a judge is delayed for any significant time, consider swapping that judge out so that you do not run over the show's allotted calendar time. If you need to swap a judge, please let the administrators know. If it is a person not already judging some other division, we'll need to set that person up with a judge's account before she can begin to judge.

Splitting Classes. As noted above, a judge cannot move photos on her own and she can't create class subcategories. If a judge needs a class split, she'll contact you and ask you to create a new class subcategory, and move the applicable photos for her.

Review Results. As the foregoing suggests, the database automatically starts to generate results as judges pin classes. Review the results as they are coming in and report to the administrators any aberrant-looking results, as it may be that we do not have the report programmed correctly and may need to make a change.

Championships. When judges determine their champions, the judges will put a comment underneath the photo that says "Champion" or "Overall Champion," for example. You will need to copy the designated champion and reserve photos to the championship subcategories so that the results capture the champs separately. To do so, click the "Copy Photo to Another Category" link, and using Copy item to another category form
Edit Picture Form
, copy the photo to the desired championship class by selecting the correct championship subcategory in the "Category" drop-down menu. When you're done, the Gallery may bounce you somewhere unexpected. If that is the case, navigate back to the class where the photo should have gone, and confirm it's there. Then let the judge know via PM that she must "rate" each copied photo in the championship category; using 1st place for champion and 2nd place for reserve. That will provide the entrant with additional points for the championship placing.

Virtual Awards. The site allows you to hand out virtual championship awards to entrants that will appear in their user profiles and in posts (only four awards will appear per post, so that the post area doesn't become enormous). In order to hand out these awards, we suggest that you have two browser windows open side-by-side. In one browser window, access your user profile while logged in to your host account. In the lower left-hand corner, you will see a link labeled "Awards," and you should click on that. New content will open on the right side. Click the button labeled "Manage Awards." You will then see a list of awards along with a link to "Give" the award to a user of the site. When you click "Give," a form will open that allows you to input the user's name and a reason for the award.

In the other browser window, load the Reports page, and then access the "Latest Results." Then compare the two browser windows (the User CP Awards "Give" page and the Latest Results) and hand out the appropriate awards to the appropriate users. Note that if a user has her real name in the results, you will have to click on her name in the results to see her username. You must utilize the "username" and not a person's real name in the "Give" form. You don't have to put a reason in the "Give" form, but it's best if you do so that the user can tell where s/he got the award from. The "Reason" will also show up on the user's profile and the "Awards" page (linked from the top menu) so don't get all sassy. We suggest you say "Overall Reserve awarded to Chinook Tiny Toon in [name of your show]" or similar, so the entrant knows the horse, the award title and the show where the award was received.

Finishing Up. When judges are completely done judging and championships are determined, announce that fact in your Show Announcement thread, and let the administrators know by email so they can make some "wrap-up" settings at the administrative end that will put the show to bed. We may eventually close your Show Announcement thread so people do not "necromance" it. Congratulations on the completion of your show!