I like the running braid.. it looks nice and it's an easy way to get hair out of the way - I.e. I do a running braid down my mare's mane when it's hot out and I know I'll be working her hard.
However, I do not find them at all acceptable for the show ring - mainly because they are so labour-free... and if I have to suffer through 3+ painstaking hours of doing proper braids, then everyone should
No, but really, they are very easy to do, and I do not consider them "proper" for the showring.
I would certainly do one for a sale picture just to tame a mane a little and make the horse look a little more polished - but if I had the time I'd do proper braids.
It's all about image ... it's easy to pull your horse out of the pen, give it a quick brush and enter the showring... it takes effort to do braids, and bathe, shine the hooves, etc..
I am in no way putting down running braids or that picture - it's lovely! And I already stated I do like them.. but there's a place for them