The Breyer SpotLight: Your Horse Model Market Resource

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  • Updates .. New things happenning
  • Article: Planning Classes for Your Model Horse Show

Updates .. New things happenning

This week the updates and the news are going to kind of run together. There are so many things happening there are times I feel as though I am living, eating, breathing nothing but model horses as well as the real horses!

For Breyer Horse Collectors we have been busy on building a new page, it has not been released yet as it is not quite finished. However I can tell you that it has to do with “customizing” model horses…. I have been in touch with a few well known artists across the country and… quite literally around the world… keep an eye out as it's coming soon…

And I can't forget to give the author of today's article a little plug as well. Diane Maccani is an author of stories of different type, not just horse stories, but stories about horse shows and all kinds of drama that has or can occur. If you're not sure of what to get the teenager on your list for Christmas - check out her website at the bottom of this article. They are really good.

Planning Classes for Your Model Horse Show

Deciding what classes to have at your model horse show can be a daunting task. You need to have a good feel for the exhibitors who will come and what type of models they will be showing.

Halter classes are the starting point. The Breyer website gives a very good breakdown of categories and classes to hold. If your show is going to be small or very local, you may want to generalize these classes. Instead of holding a class for each of the breeds in that category, just have a category class, example--light breeds or stock breeds, etc. If you know your show is going to be large, stay with the individual classes to avoid classes with a large number of entries in them.

Custom and collector classes can be set up the same way. If you expect several custom model enthusiasts to exhibit, make sure you have a good number of classes for them. All the time and effort they put into their creations, should be rewarded by not lumping them into a few big classes. Treat collector models the same. They can be show according to breed, category, or age. You, as the administrator of the show, get to decide what classes you want to offer after you've given some thought to who will be exhibiting at your show.

Another area to consider when setting up your class list is what age and level will be exhibiting. If your showmen are all new to model showing, offering open classes should work fine. If you know you will have experienced exhibitors as well as new showmen, I suggest offering open classes plus a few for novice exhibitors only. Nothing is more discouraging to a new exhibitor to get to the show and find her entries are out shown by the models of someone who has been in the business for years. Provide a class for those just starting out to keep them coming back. They will learn what model showing entails and upgrade their 'show string' if they enjoy the showing experience. The purpose is to get them hooked on the fun of showing models so they will be back.

Youth entries should be treated the same way. Make sure your class list includes classes for youth entries only. This is especially important if your show is NAN sanctioned and you know you will have fierce competition. Again, the idea is to encourage their showing efforts so they will become part of the model show crowd. Many NAN sanctioned shows have non-NAN sanctioned classes for these young showmen. It provides the perfect place for them to get a start.

Performance classes are generally broken down into western performance, English performance, harness, games, trail, costume, and scenes. Western and English pleasure at the larger shows often have their own classes. Horsemanship and Equitation may be a separate class or they can be shown with any other western or English event. Jumping is an event that often is a separate class. In the larger shows, the harness classes may be divided into single hitch and multiple horse hitches. Trail class can be its own venue or you may have trail entries show with western or English performance classes.

Performance classes may have two divisions if the size of the show warrants it. Horses can be shown in original finish performance or custom performance. For your first efforts at holding performance classes, you may want to show all performance together in open performance classes. As the size of your show grows, and your competitors become more talented at customization, you can then add the custom performance classes.

The hardest part of selecting a class list for your model show is getting the right number of classes for your exhibitors. You want each class to have competition, but you don't want to have too few or too many in each class. As you hold shows, you will learn which classes usually have the most entries and which classes you may want to combine or eliminate.

Have fun setting up your shows. The 'real' horse show season slows down for the colder, winter months. This provides the perfect opportunity to hold those model shows---in a warm, heated 'arena.'

Best wishes to all you fellow model enthusiasts for a happy, healthy, and safe holiday season from Breyer Horse Collectors and Diane Maccani!

Diane Maccani is a lifelong horseman and the author of a thirteen book series, What the Cowgirls Do! Her books take you into the 'real world' of showing, rodeo, and ranching in today's horse industry. Check out her website: for more information about the series. Now is the time to plan your Christmas giving. A book/books from the series is a perfect gift for all the horse lovers on your list.

Until next time, keep imagining!


Breyer Horse Collectors