Thursday, 14 December 2023 13:20

Two Local Children’s Books Honored with 2023 Winnie Awards

Two Local Children’s Books Honored with 2023 Winnie Awards

SARATOGA SPRINGS/ ALBUQUERQUE, NM — On November 19 the EQUUS Film & Arts Fest announced the winners of their 2023 WINNIE Awards in Albuquerque, NM. Two local children’s books, “Upset, The Original Dark Horse”, and “Jim Dandy, A Dark Horse on a Dark Day” were both granted WINNIE awards. Written by local author Maddy Zanetti and illustrated by local artist Gretchen Tisch the children’s books have been a fan favorite in the area.

EQUUS Film & Arts Fest was founded in 2013 by Lisa Diersen to highlight and reward creative efforts in film, music, advertising, and literature that pay homage to the horse. 

Maddy Zanetti, co-owner of Impressions of Saratoga and The Dark Horse Mercantile with partner Marianne Barker own Upset, the miniature Dark Horse. Together they take him on the road and around Saratoga. The legend of Upset beating Man o’ War in 1919 is what inspired The Dark Horse brand and her stories.

Gretchen Louise Tisch is an Artist and owner of Feathered Antler, a boutique located on Broadway. Her shop is filled with her hand painted fashion and home decor that doubles as her Art Studio. 

The original book, “Upset” won the WINNIE Award in Children’s Book category while “Jim Dandy” received an Honorable mention. “Upset” is based on the infamous thoroughbred aptly named Upset who beat the previously undefeated Man o’War in Saratoga in 1919. “Jim Dandy” tells the story of the 100-1 longshot that ran in the 1930 Travers Stakes against Gallant Fox. Though he had never won a race he never gave up, and with a little motivation from his friend, Upset, Jim Dandy learns that it is not just luck that gets him across the finish line. Each page is filled with vibrant works of art and a twist on the real story of Upset. Some creative license was taken to tell the stories. Upset teaches everyone to believe in themselves even if they are the longshot or the “Dark Horse.”

For more on the EQUUS Film & Arts Fest visit

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