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A Day of Photography with Johnny Johnston “Picture Perfection” The Perfect Shot by Mary Ann Allen

A Day of Photography with Johnny Johnston

“Picture Perfection”
The Perfect Shot  

by Mary Ann Allen

When I heard news that the world famous Johnny Johnston was going to be at the OVAHA Celebration Show in Lebanon, Ohio, I knew I had to be there. I had no problem driving 150 miles to meet him. Sherri Lewis (President of OVAHA) along with the help of AHA’s Educational Department helped to have Johnny there to speak and take photos. I arrived prior to the show starting as I wanted to have a chance to talk to Johnny and ask him a few questions about my camera.
Author Mary Ann Allen with Johnny Johnston

With my list prepared with questions I went over to talk to him and found out he needed a helper for the day. Of course I jumped on that opportunity. My job for the day was going to be ‘get the ears’. After Johnny was set up for photos, we had a crash course on the settings of the camera. He is quite the teacher, teaching then asking questions to make sure I understood. Of course we didn't get to cover everything, but we covered a great deal of information for which I will be reviewing and practicing.  

We then had our first customer. Johnny walks around with his camera searching for the perfect spot to take the picture. He looks at the sun, the background and for distractions as he wants the horses attention so he can get the best shot. I get the instructions on how to get the ears up, and he begins. He is all business when he is taking pictures and I must say they turn out awesome and that’s what you expect, after all its Johnny Johnston.  

Two ladies joined us that also wanted to meet Johnny. It was wonderful having them along as they would get in deep conversation about specific horses in the 1970s and what a history lesson I was receiving, I was thrilled! The ladies were Ricky Steele which is another BAHA member and her sister Michal Tennison. All four of us spent the day together talking Arabian horses. Our conversations included: *El Moraduke, Fadjur, Bask and his shoulder movement, The Judge, *Sakr, etc. Johnny also shared stories about him being in the Air Force and navigating the B-52 bombers, stories about Stanley White Sr., Jerry Sparagowski and how they became great friends. If you love stories, go to and learn about the life of Johnny Johnston. Johnny also has a book out ‘Arabians: from the camera of Johnny Johnston’. Johnny is still doing Ranch Shots, you can check out his web site at:  

During Johnny's Seminar, he spoke about the ‘Mind of a Horse'. He talked of preparatory command and command of execution. You prepare him, you command him, you praise him and he gave examples. He talked about stroking the horse vs. petting as petting is a harsh command while stroking is praise to the horse. I videotaped the speech for which Sherri Lewis and I will be putting together a DVD.  

While there, I saw several people I met at the Region 14 Trail Ride too; it was so nice to meet up with them again.  

Of course we got our pictures taken with Johnny and his autograph. It was a day I will remember forever, ‘The day I was a Bear for Johnny Johnston’!


October 2008

Greetings from BAHA's 4th Annual Falling Leaves Trail Ride, in Mammoth Cave National Park, KY! fall comes less daylight but it also brings cool crisp air, brilliant colored fall foliage, trail rides, fields full of pumpkins for carving and making pumpkin pie.  Who can resist the small ghost and goblins that come trick or treating and just around the corner thanksgiving?

BAHA's 4th Annual Falling Leaves Trail Ride was held at the D Bar K Horse Riding Camp on the edge of Mammoth Cave National Park October 3-4-5.

Sixty plus BAHA members and friends took full advantage of the perfect weather to do what we all say we wish we had time to do, ride our horses for fun.

 Many started out early in the morning and came back to camp late in the day, while others took short rides coming back to camp to rest, visit with friends and saddling up and taking another short ride. 






That night everyone gathered to enjoy a BBQ rib dinner and while all the food was great the hit of the meal was the fresh roasted corn. BAHA president, Rick Tosch knows how to roast corn and if you don’t believe it just ask Terri Rettura for a testimony!                            



The BBQ Rib Dinner on Saturday night! to all who helped put the meal together, it was a team effort. After the meal many stayed and played bingo. Instead of numbers on the cards each square had the name of a horse that BAHA members have breed, owned and showed throughout the years. It was a wonderful tribute to some very special equine friends. There were very nice prizes for the winners and the grand prize was a 27” TV. Thanks to the Henderson’s of Firelight Arabians for all the work they did designing the cards!       

 The winner of the trail course was Neil Henderson, who finished the course in one minute and twelve seconds with no faults. The horse riding ability of the Henderson ladies are well known but Neil has been keeping his talents hidden. Way to go Neil! If an award was given to the person who traveled the most distance to attend the trail ride, the award would have to go to BAHA member, Jenese Briegel’s mother who made the trip from Iowa to be at the BAHA Falling Leaves Trail Ride.

Several camped out Saturday night and hit the trail again on Sunday. It was a great weekend; make your plans to join us next year!


Relaxing at Firelite Arabians’ campsite. Neil Henderson, standing, is the 2008 BAHA Trail Champion

Katie Briegel borrows her daughter’s horse & tries her hand at closing the gate in the trail class.

Our condolences to BAHA member, Billie Dunavent, upon the passing of her father. A speed recovery to Joe Waits, who fell and broke his leg while helping clean up the storm damage from the high winds that came through Kentucky and southern Indiana.

Jason Reed will be BAHA's delegate to the Arabian Horse Association annual convention.

BAHA’s annual awards and election meeting will be held January 24, 2009. All BAHA directors will be elected at this meeting. The director’s term is for two years. Directors must be a member of the Arabian Horse Association and have been a member of Bluegrass Arabian Horse Association for a least one year. If you would like to run for one of the director’s positions please submit you name and a brief write up of why you would like to serve as a director. Your name and write up will be forwarded to the nominating committee. Please send your info to before December 1, 2008. Nominations will be accepted from the floor at the meeting.   Detailed information regarding the time and place of the meeting will be sent at a later date.






New members Larry and Calvin Grant, ready to hit the trails in Mammoth Cave National Park!


Above: Scholarship checks presented to BAHA youth members Jennifer Henderson and Heather Perez

Don’t forget to Contact Jenese Briegel regarding the Stallion Service Auction. It is not too early to make plans for your 2009 breeding season. We have Purebred, Half-Arabian, Anglo-Arab, Quarter Horse, Saddlebred, Thoroughbred, Friesen, and many other breeds available. What better opportunity to breed to an outstanding stallion at a reduced price while at the same time supporting the BAHA futurity. We are still accepting new stallions for the 2009 stallion service auction.  

A picture is worth a thousand words and these pictures taken at BAHA's 4th Annual Falling Leaves Trail Ride speak volumes. Sixty plus BAHA members and friends spent the first week in October at D Bar K Riding Camp on the edge of Mammoth Cave National Park doing what they love, spending time with their horses & friends. 





A very happy group of BAHA members and friends after a great day of riding at BAHA 4th Annual Falling Leaves Trail Ride held at D Bar K Riding Camp on the edge of Mammoth Cave National Park.

BAHA member, Jenese Briegel and her mom, Katie Briegel, who traveled all the way from Iowa, enjoy a very special day at the BAHA trail ride.
“See you next year!” Says Katie, “It was an Awesome trail ride”




Happy Thanksgiving!


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