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Identify Your Breyer | Home | Web Specials | Special Events | Model Horse Glossary | Site Index
In 2004 Breyer introduced a series of models and plush items based on Touchstone Pictures newly released movie "Hidalgo." The film tells the story of American cowboy and "the greatest rider the West had ever known" Frank T. Hopkins and his horse, Hidalgo. In 1890 Hopkins was invited to enter the Ocean of Fire, a fearsome race of 3,000 miles across the Arabian Desert, competing against the world’s greatest Arabian horses and their Bedouin riders. The movie was a large success and Breyer released several model horses as a tie-in to this popular horse movie.
|Photo||Model #||Name||Release Dates|
|10302||Hidalgo 6" Bean Bag Plush||2004-2005|
|10303||Hidalgo Stablemates Arabian Adventure Set
With Arabian Mare, Rearing Arabian, Morgan Mare, Thoroughbred
|10304||Hidalgo Stablemate Mustang Play Set
With Paso Fino, Thoroughbred Mare, Swaps, Thoroughbred
|10306||Hidalgo Stablemates Buffalo Bill Show Play Set
With Appaloosa, Silky Sullivan
|10308||Hidalgo 10" Poseable Plush||2004-2005|
Feel-good race horse dramedy will leave you cheering.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Dream Horse is a fact-based, feel-good dramedy about a group of working-class Welsh folks, led by Jan Vokes (Toni Collette), who defy the odds to breed and raise a champion race horse. The story was previously told in the 2016 documentary Dark Horse. There’s little iffy content, with the exception of a few British swear words (“bloody,” “bollocks,” “bastard”) and quite a bit of drinking (one character in particular seems to nearly always have a pint or can of beer in his hands). There are also a few innuendos, but nothing too graphic. Families who watch the film together can talk about the importance of respecting all people, no matter their class background, job, or circumstances. The movie also promotes teamwork, integrity, perseverance, loyalty, and dedication.
- Parents say (1)
- Kids say (2)
Great Family Movie for families with older kids.
This is a great movie with positive messages. There’s quite a bit of a dog Contin in terms of drinking but other than that it’s really good. The plot is complex possibly too complex for younger viewers.
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What's the Story?
Based on a true story (previously chronicled in the documentary Dark Horse), DREAM HORSE chronicles how Jan Vokes (Toni Collette), a Welsh grocery clerk and bartender, convinced about 20 of her neighbors in their small village in South Wales to go in on a group purchase of a brood mare — with the goal of raising their own race horse. Empty-nester Jan, her husband, Brian (Owen Teale), and the rest of the working-class villagers — including Howard Davies (Damian Lewis), a tax adviser who once belonged to another syndicate — acquire the mare, Rewbell, for just 300 pounds and keep her stabled on their community allotment. With each member contributing 10 pounds a week, the syndicate amasses enough money to pay the stud fee for a thoroughbred stallion. Rewbell gives birth to a colt, whom the group names Dream Alliance in honor of the syndicate trying to make their dream come true. Jan and Brian convince a respected trainer (Nicholas Farrell) to take on Dream Alliance, who exceeds expecations for a horse of such humble origins. But just as Dream Alliance starts winning, a race-course accident could derail everything.
Is It Any Good?
Underdog sports movies are always crowd-pleasers, and this one doesn’t disappoint. Yes, Dream Horse is somewhat predictable, but so are most movies in the genre. And by confronting issues of (literal) breeding and social class, it helps ensure that audiences root for the unlikely champion. If racism is the defining plague of American history, then classism is the United Kingdom equivalent. So it’s particularly notable that Jan and her syndicate are a humble lot of horse owners: villagers who work blue-collar and service industry jobs (with the exception of Howard). These aren’t folks who ever imagined rubbing elbows with landed, titled gentry in owners’ boxes, but that’s where they find themselves, even if it’s with a bag of smuggled beer cans (“Welsh champagne,” someone yells). Director Euros Lyn (best known for his stellar British TV work like Doctor Who, Happy Valley, and Broadchurch) doesn’t delve deeply into the syndicate members’ personal lives, focusing primarily on Jan’s desire to love and protect Dream Alliance after Rewbell’s death.
Dream Alliance is more than a horse: He symbolizes the villagers’ collective hopes and goals — a chance for working men and women to show the posh, pedigreed world of thoroughbred horse racing that a collection of cleaners and clerks can aspire to and achieve greatness. All it takes is dedication, hard work, and the dignity to know that all people deserve respect. The racing sequences spend as much time showing the spectating syndicate as the actual horses — reveling in the awe and excitement the group feels at seeing their “boy” pass the other, favored horses. There are no insights about the jockey, no training montage to set the tone (outside of Dream’s initial visit to the famous trainer, whose other clients arrive in a helicopter and Range Rovers instead of an old van). Although audiences will be able to guess much of what happens in the story, it’s heart will make viewers young and old cheer for the beautiful horse from a tiny town in Wales — and the band of villagers who become the ultimate underdog champions.
Talk to Your Kids About .
Families can talk about whether you consider Jan a role model. What’s remarkable about what she and her syndicate accomplish?
How were Jan and the syndicate treated differently because they were working class? What is the movie’s message about the role of class differences?
How are integrity, perseverance, and teamwork exhibited in the story? Why are those important character strengths?
Did the movie make you think about other movies about horses? What are some of your favorites?
Imagine Entertainment’s Kids and Family division has partnered with Breyer, a maker of collectible model horses and other toys, to develop a live-action horse-themed TV series.
The series will be executive produced by Imagine Entertainment chiefs Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, as well as Stephanie Sperber, president of Imagine Kids and Family. Ashley Avis, writer and director of the “Black Beauty” adaptation in development at Constantin Film, joins the project as showrunner and writer.
“As both a longtime equestrian and collector of Breyer horses, getting to be apart of creating this series is a very special opportunity,’ Avis said in a statement. “Breyer helped to inspire so much of my imagination and I hope to do the same for our future audiences through collaborative storytelling with these two truly eminent partners.”
Breyer got its start in 1950 as a molding company in Chicago that made model horses to top a mantlepiece clock sold by F.W. Woolworth Co. The company, owned by Pequannock, N.J.-based Reeves International, is well-known among horse enthusiasts. The company’s annual Breyerfest fan gathering draws more than 30,000 fans and will be held in Lexington, Ky., this week.
Along with the series, Imagine Kids and Family and Breyer are working on several other development prospects including a documentary about the history of Breyer.
“Breyer fans have created over 200,000 original stories in YouTube, so we know the hunger for more stories is there. We are excited to be working with the team at Imagine to help create horse inspired stories for kids and families,” said Breyer exec VP Rick Rekedal.
Launched in January Imagine Kids and Family division recently announced another partnership with James Patterson’s kid’s division to produce film, TV, and digital projects based on his books in March. The family entertainment division also announced taking an equity stake in “The Tiny Chef Show” to develop content, and a global consumer products program.
I’m a big fan of the movie Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron put out by DreamWorks Pictures in 2002. I first saw it live in the movie theatre, and then got the DVD version as soon as it was released.
Spirit came out at the beginning of a minor explosion of new horse movies, including The Young Black Stallion (2003), Seabiscuit (2003), Hidalgo (2004), Dreamer (2005), and Flicka (2006). While horse movies have never really disappeared from the big screen, this five-year span was heaven for horse lovers, with a new movie coming out every year. A friend and I had a standing date to go see every new movie as it came out, and although we had critiques for some, we thoroughly enjoyed them all.
Spirit stands alone though, as being the only animated feature, and the one tale that is told entirely from the viewpoint of the horse. This technique had been used before, most notably in the 1994 movie Black Beauty, and in several earlier animated versions of the same. It’s also part of the narrative line of 1993’s The Silver Brumby (also called The Silver Stallion), where the horse’s point of view is utilized to tell the “tale within a tale” of the movie.
Sunday, 25 August 2019
It Only Took 20 Years
The year was 1999. The model horse hobby was starting to get organized on-line, but it was still early days. Breyer did not have its own website. Facebook had not yet been born. Model horse fanciers mainly met through the “Haynet” mailing list, which I subscribed to in digest form. I did more lurking than conversing as I timidly paddled around in the shallow end of the Internet. I was still working on a Macintosh Classic with a dial-up connection.
Suddenly, there was a stirring in the ordinarily placid Haynet pool. Peter Stone’s new model horse business, Stone Horses, had only recently come into being and already it was sending big ripples through the Internet. Stone Horses were hard to come by. The Ideal Stock Horse (ISH), sculpted by the multi-talented hobby artist Carol Williams (premiere sculptor, painter, and tack maker), was available in four different versions, and everyone wanted one of each. Stone was already producing smallish special runs of horses, mostly for larger distributors like State Line Tack.
And then there was Coho — a long mane, long tail ISH painted by hobby artist Laurie Jo Jensen in a silvery grulla appaloosa inspired by the colours of the adult Pacific salmon, produced for a model horse distributor I’d never heard of before: Eagle Nest Tack.
From the instant this special run was announced, a feeding frenzy such as I’d never beheld before gripped the Haynet. Everyone, it seemed, wanted a Coho. But how to come by one? Some people, lucky enough to live near the distributor, were able to pick theirs out in person, but for most folks a phone call to the dealer placing an order was the only way they were going to be able to get one. And as the Haynet kept filling up with people happily exclaiming “I got a Coho!” I sat squirming between the Scylla of discretion and Charybdis of desire, wanting a Coho but afraid to put myself out there in order to get one.
You see, at that time going out on a limb like that, making a long distance call to some unknown distributor and placing an order in a foreign currency for a horse to be shipped to Canada (if they even did that) required more effort than any other hobby project I’d ever undertaken. Yes, I did have a credit card — I knew that would help. But still, did I really want to be one of the crazies besieging this distributor on this day? I imagined them to be a small rural tack shop who had no idea what had happened to them. Would the person who answered the phone even know what a “Coho” was?
I hesitated. I was late to the party anyway, since the Haynet digest was only compiled after every hundred posts or so, and not sent out in real time to digest subscribers. Finally, however, I couldn’t stand the FOMO (fear of missing out — a term that hadn’t even been coined back then) any longer. I gathered my nerve, found the phone number, and dialled.
I don’t even remember the conversation, but I know it was remarkably brief. By the time I actually got through to somebody, all the Cohos were sold out — I was told so, and that was it. Coho was my “one that got away.”
Yes, they do need another horse figurine for their play stable.
Oh, parents. I’m sorry in advance if your kid is turning into a horse girl or boy. It’s one of those obsessions that will take over their clothes, their toys, their conversations, and your bank account. In which case, you may want to shop these Spirit toys for kids who love the original and can’t wait for the revamp coming out this summer.
Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron came out in 2002, starring a wild horse voiced by Matt Damon, and quickly became a favorite of horse-loving kids everywhere. Personally, when I wasn’t watching The Saddle Club, I was rewatching Spirit, Breyer horse models in-hand. Even as an adult, I can still appreciate the movie’s soundtrack. Bryan Adams did not have to go that hard, but bless him, he did it anyway.
This June, DreamWorks is following up the OG Spirit with Spirit Untamed, a sequel to the movie that’s based on the 2017 series Spirit Riding Free. Basically, Lucky, a girl from the city, moves out west with her family and befriends Spirit when he’s brought to the ranch for training. They meet other characters, like Pru and her horse Chica Linda, and Abigail and her mount Boomerang. While it’s not yet known what adventures the friends will get into in the movie, they’re all available in toy form so your kiddo can play with their favorite duo.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Dolls & Figurines
If your little equestrian prefers to watch their favorite Spirit episodes with a horse figurine in each hand, well, there are plenty from the show to choose from. Not only do these dolls bend into position to ride, but some come with extra outfits and accessories, too. There’s a toy here for everyone, from toddlers to older kids and collectors.
Welsh-made film Dream Horse tells the tale of champion racehorse Dream Alliance, who was raised by a Cefn Fforest syndicate – but where in Wales was it filmed?
Dream Horse stars Toni Collette and Owen Teale as Jan and Brian Vokes, the animal-loving Cefn Fforest couple who, with Howard Davies and a syndicate of locals, bred and owned the Welsh Grand National winner.
Davies is played by Billions star Damian Lewis, who talks about his fiercely proud Welsh roots, here.
The film is shot almost entirely in Wales, using local people as extras, and filmmakers built a brand new allotment here just for the movie.
If you want to hear more from real-life couple, Jan and Brian, you can read the interview in full here and you can read our Dream Horse review here.
Here's more about the locations used in Dream Horse:
This is where Jan and the syndicate live – in real life, of course, it's Cefn Fforest, but the filmmakers chose to shoot in Blaenavon which is, of course, the home to Big Pit.
All the exteriors, including the allotment (which was built out of wasteland), Dream’s field as a colt and the graveyard were shot here.
A lot of the extras in the big village scenes were locals, including people like the shopkeepers.
The working men’s club interior where Jan works in the film and first meets Howard, is the Brewery club in Rhymney, which is still going strong.
The Welsh racecourse features twice in Dream Horse, in the scene of the first and final race in the film.
It's also here we see Katherine Jenkins singing and where, during the shoot, Jan and Brian Vokes met their on-screen counterparts for the first time, Toni Collette and Owen Teale. You can catch up with Owen about his role as Brian, here.
Another two racecourse scenes were shot at the Berkshire course.
It doubles for Aintree in the third race of the film.
Sully, Vale of Glamorgan
Jan and Brian’s house scenes were shot here, both interiors and exteriors, as well as Jan’s parents’ house interiors in an empty bungalow.
Pant Wilkin Stables, Cowbridge
Tim Vaughan's stables in Aberthin doubled for the stud farm in the film and also for Philip Hobbs' training arena and gallops.
Glanusk Estate, Crickhowell
Any seasoned Green Man Festival attendee will recognise the stunning landscape and tower bridge and stable yard of the Glanusk Estate and they get a showing as Dream Alliance is taken to see Philip Hobbs in the film, doubling as the famous horse trainer's stables.
Howard and Angela’s house was shot here, inside and out, on an estate towards the top of the village.
It's where the couple – played by Damian Lewis and Joanna Page – have a showdown about Howard getting involved with a syndicate again.
The all-important syndicate meeting took place at the local working men's club.
It was shot in the committee room (the snooker room) and the syndicate decide to take on the Dream Alliance dream here.
Hi, I want to thank you for these articles! I have a HUGE collection of not only model horses, but Barbies and other 1:6 scale figures (vintage & newer), 1/6 scale vehicles, plastic doll furniture, and Hartlands and Breyer horses! My point is, they ALL have the same thing in common. PLASTIC. I think these problems you mention that happen to the model horses, can and DO happen with ALL other plastic items. It would be great if someone with some vast knowledge of chemistry (chemical engineering perhaps) could help advise? Although I’m afraid they’d say “get rid of our collections NOW!!” ? Plastics are all around us in everyday use in our homes, work, schools, in our drink and food containers, and even in some clothing, etc.! No wonder there’s a high rate of Cancer and various other health & environmental problems!! I hope this discussion gets more attention from others. I’d like to hear if anyone with a chemistry degree knows more, or can add to this subject, because I see this problem with various collectors of different items made of plastic asking the same type of questions almost every week!!
Thank you for an interesting article! I’ve been collecting for a long time, so had heard (and seen) these older shrinkies. But what about more recent models that show similar size differences? For example, I’ve noticed that my Valentine (Giselle mold) is noticeably smaller than the Slainte Surprise models; and the Breyerfest Marwari Nazruddin is significantly larger than the palomino Marwari. No other signs have yet appeared, and they live on open shelves, but since they are newer molds, I wonder if this is a similar issue or something else entirely….?
Thanks for this! I have about 2-3 shrinking but luckily not any with oil in them, my moms had been in a plastic box but they are fine luckily. They were there for 3y.
Ouch, Ellen, that’s so sad! I’m so sorry for you! And you too Tonya! I store my models in a temperature controlled house with open air and frequent “health” checks.
Great article. As far as I know the shrink plastic is mostly found in those few years shown by most of these- however I have a few other oddballs, much older, who developed pock mark shrinky spots. Its as if there were bubbles or as you pointed out, poorly mixed plastic. I wonder, too, about the years when Breyer was shifting from plastic to plastic, there had to be batches with more than one type mixed together by someone who didn’t understand chemistry. Speaking of chemistry, I just found one more thing you can’t do! I use t-shirts to wrap my models, and if they have a log turn them inside out to keep the logo away from the plastic. Works great- except apparently not sports shirts! I had a bunch of my now grown son’s soccer shirts, you know the ones with the holes and the number? They were so soft I thought they would be very nice. Apparently they have enough of something in them that reacts with breyer plastic to wreak havoc. Fortunately while prepping for the online Breyer show I found the situation. I knew something was amiss the second I opened the box. That terrible vinegar smell! And it wasn’t older models, somehow the soccer shirts, not the plastic number bits, but the actual fabric, had reacted enough with the models that it had EATEN its way into the models. Horrified I threw the whole thing into the freezer to stop the reaction. Now they are soaking in baking soda and cool water. Finally got the shirts to let go. Hard lesson learned, thought I’d pass it on. If I could post a picture I would show you what type of t-shirt I mean, as they are relatively common. Toodles, Ellen
Did you know that there are shows where you can show your Breyer horse? Yes, those model horses that you have in your closet or up on that shelf getting dusty, you can dress them up in tack and show them off.
Showing model horses first came to my attention about 15 years ago when I started to notice an upswing of tack and accessories for the Breyer horses being sold on eBay and actually getting high prices for them. It was then that I did a little research and found out about the model horse shows being held on weekends.
People will either buy an over the counter model horse and customize it by painting or heating up the legs and reposing them or buying a craft horse such as the one below and adding mane and tail to it as well as a custom color.
Breyer craft horse
If you are interested in customizing your own model horse then I suggest this book on Prepping and repairing the model horse . On the same page you will also find other books on the subject.
If you need to identify what Breyer horse you have then this website – Identify your Breyer Horse, will be invaluable to you. That same website also has lots of information on showing your model horse.
FREE STUFF FOR YOU AND YOUR HORSE
Have you visited our FREE STUFF for horses page? There are also coupons for your next shopping trip to the feed or tack shop on that page. Check back often for updated free and almost free items.
Below are Breyer models (and sometimes a few other brands) of Roy Rogers’ famous palomino horse Trigger for sale. Some of the model horses shown below were originally made several decades ago but some of them may have been made more recently. The Trigger models are for sale alone, or sometimes with related items such as books or DVDs.
In Roy Rogers’ movies and television show Trigger received top-billing right along with Roy himself. Trigger was as beloved with the public as his human co-star and was known worldwide as “The Smartest Horse In The Movies.” For more information on the Breyer model company and Trigger, please scroll down beneath the models for sale.
The inspiration for the Breyer model: Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger.
About Breyer’s Model Of Trigger
The Breyer model of Roy Rogers’ famous palomino stallion, Trigger, is based on the company’s mold #57, a mold the company calls the “Western Horse.” The model number for Trigger is #758 (the mold number and model number are two different things).
Below is a partial quote from the Identify Your Breyer website (we love this website!) regarding Breyer’s #57 Western Horse model. It is very descriptive and describes the mold in detail.
“The Western Horse, introduced in 1950 and Breyer’s first animal mold, originally had no mold marks. Later models have the “U.S.A.” mold stamp inside the right hind leg, and some also have an upside down or backward “B” stamp. The mold has a molded-on bridle and breastcollar with gold metal chain reins, comes with a removable plastic Western saddle and stands 10 1/4″ tall…… The mold was sculpted by Chris Hess, adapted from Hartland’s Large Champ, which was sculpted by Roger Williams. It is Breyer’s mold #57.”
Breyer’s Trigger Is The Original Trigger
Roy Rogers owned three palomino horses with “Trigger” in their name:
- Trigger, which we sometimes refer to as the “original” Trigger
- Little Trigger, and
- Trigger, Jr.
With three Triggers, which one is the Breyer model horse designed after? While we have never seen any official documentation on it, here at RoyRogersWorld we feel that the Breyer Trigger was made in the likeness of the original Trigger. While all three horses were palominos they had different markings, and we personally feel that the markings on the Breyer Trigger match those of the original Trigger.
Specifically, both Little Trigger and Trigger Jr., had stockings on all four legs, while the original Trigger only had a left hind sock. This sock was often difficult to see in many of his movie and television scenes, but it is shown on the Breyer model. Also, the white on the original Trigger’s bald face completely covered his right nostril, and this is also shown on the Breyer model.
A Little Bit About Trigger and Those Other Two Triggers, Too
In 1938 a young golden palomino stallion named Golden Cloud appeared in his first movie as a mount for Olivia de Havilland in her role as Maid Marian in “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” Not too long afterwards the beautiful stallion was chosen by a young Roy Rogers to appear with him in his first starring role in the movie “Under Western Stars.”
Roy fell in love with the horse after just one ride, and promptly changed the horse’s name from Golden Cloud to Trigger. The movie was a hit, and both Roy and Trigger were on their way to international superstardom.
Roy Rogers knew almost immediately that the level of popularity he and Trigger were experiencing was going to create a work schedule too demanding to ask one horse to fulfill all the personal appearances, concerts, movies, and television shows. With this in mind Roy purchased another palomino he named Little Trigger.
While the original Trigger was mostly used for movies and “The Roy Rogers Show” on television, Little Trigger was used extensively by Roy for personal appearances as well as also appearing in some of Roy’s movies. Roy also purchased a third horse to give the original Trigger a break, and named this horse Trigger Jr. For more information we suggest you see this page: Roy Rogers’ Horse Trigger.
Christmas Ranch- Cheyenne (WPH) #112,115 & looks like 114 (Hard2Tell),
Dream Weaver #833, Tesoro #867 (El Pastor), King, The Fighting Stallion #35 , Snow Globe – My First Pony #700236 , PAS #211 – Brown Horse Beside it cant tell what it is & another horse I cant tell
American Housewives S1 Ep4
Around 20 Horses – Classic Breyer – Misty, Grey Pinto (#614), Chestnut Appaloosa (#611)
Hallmark Love Finds You in Valentine 2016 – Hobo
Riddle Passing Through Time, Phase I #703595 & #3045 Quarter Horse Stallion
Grease Live – Appaloosa Performance Horse #99 (1974-1980) & it looks like Hope #5 (1967-1987)
American Mustang 2013 – Weather Girl #1463, Misty & Stormy , CM Cleveland Bay & 2 others (Looks like running foal/Classic Black Stallion & ?)
PBS Chatsworth House Documentary – Basset Hound in Deborah Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire home
Hoarding Buried Alive: Season 2: Ep.3 – Breyers,Peter Stones, CM Raisin Horses (not for the horses for garbage)
The Early Years: India Salvor Menuez’s Closet > www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7Vi2A… Jet Run Mold?
Jessie S2, E13 – Toy Con
Camp Harlow – Traditional Man O’ War & Proud Arabian Stallion / Classic Arabian Stallion
Ace of Cake S1: E7/E10: Classic Warmblood Mare # 755454
Criminal Minde S1: E16 – Family Arabian Foal #39
Criminal Minde S1: E16 – Trad. Western Horse #57
Criminal Minde S1: E16 – Adios – I Think #853
Criminal Minde S1: E16 – Justin Morgan #1142
Criminal Minde S1: E16 – I Think Man O’ War #47-#497510?
Criminal Minde S1: E16 – More horses not listed above but very good chance they could be Breyers
When I was a kid, one of my mother’s friends bequeathed me her Breyer model horse collection. I ecstatically played with them in the backyard for years. They were like My Little Ponies, but grown-up!
Later, my brief stint in 4-H taught me that you could “show” them. Basically, it was playing dress-up with your Breyer, but with lots of homework involved. You could make some tack (or buy it if you were rich), dress your horse, then on a notecard, write what the horse was and why it was wearing this particular outfit. You got judged on how neatly you presented your stuff, how nice/realistic the tack and model were, and your knowledge of it all. “Paint horse with purple felt halter” got you minimal points, “trotting bay frame overo with real leather-and-silver western show halter, shown as in showmanship class” got you way more points. (Rules here)
As a kid, I thought it was kind of dumb; I wanted a real horse. This model horse showing seemed like a poor substitute. Until recently, I had no idea that it’s a really big thing. It’s not a poor substitute, it’s a past-time bordering on a career. Like, on the level of some peoples’ obsessions with scale model railroads. Adults spend thousands and thousands of dollars on showing model horses. The level of detail on some of them is incredible.
- Serious competitors have a “stable name” and show names for each horse in their “show string.” They collect only the rarest, best-quality models. (If you want to identify one of yours, try this guide for Breyers and this guide for Peter Stone models. If it’s not one of those, well, good luck.)
- Really really serious competitors transport their model horses in super-protective, locked cases!
- You can paint, re-mold and customize the models, either by ordering one custom-made for you or doing it yourself (with extremely precise tools).
- There are special shows and show categories for horses made by different companies, re-painted and re-sculpted horses, etc. There are also “classes” for every kind of tacked or un-tacked model horse imagineable.
- You can make or buy realistic dolls to ride or show your horses.
- You can create or buy custom tack for every horse sport, with incredible detail.
- You can spend hundreds of hours (or dollars) making realistic scenery with which to display your models.
- There are model horse associations of all stripes, including the North American Model Horse Shows Association (membership only $30 for two years).
- There are “live shows” where you physically travel to a location and set up your horses on a “show ring” (big table) and photo shows, where you can email pictures to an online show organizer. Of course, you have to pay an entry fee for shows, just like real horse shows.
Wow, right? Who would have thought that there was an entire sub-sub-culture of horse enthusiasts. Kind of scary.
If you have Breyer horses you play with them in some way. Some of us collect to admire, some of us collect to pretend, some of us collect to compete, and some of us do all these things! No matter what you do with your horses, if you are having fun with your horses, you’re playing!
Collecting just to collect horses is very common. Often collectors try for all of a favorite mold, creating a game out of seeing if they can get as many of one mold, or sculpture, as possible. This sometimes includes any regular run horses, and sometimes people take on the challenge of trying to collect every single model, including very rare and limited models. This can take years to do when there are only 5 of a certain model! Often collectors just collect what they love and let their collections amass. I’m one of those collectors!
Playing with our horses is something that most of us have done at some point, especially those of us that were kids at some point in our collecting life. Even pulling out horses, re-displaying them, or trying on tack is simply, playing with our horses. In the digital age many adolescents have taken to the internet website YouTube to create videos and movies about their horses. Some collectors are creating movie series about their models that are as intricate and well written as some of the movies we see on television.
Lastly, some of us compete with our models. Model horse shows are commonplace in the Breyer horse hobby with shows all over the country and the world. The thrill of competing is a great reason to collect. Many collectors do not have the time or resources to ride or compete with real horses, and find an easy way to do something very similar. Breyer horse shows are also great places to socialize with other collectors and a great way to see other beautiful models!
No matter why you collect or what you do with your models, we’re all doing the same things overall, we’re playing! Sometimes collecting or showing can get stressful, and its a good idea to remember that in the end, we’re all just playing.
For those of you in the Concord, NH area, Golden Oak Stables’ New England Fall Live Breyer show is filling up quickly! For more information visit here.
I have a soft spot for sports movies where an underdog comes up from behind, culminating in a moment of pure triumph. The genre can be hokey or sentimental, but there is an underlying power and inspiration in those cliches. “The Dark Horse” is a great example. Based on the true story of Maori speed-chess master Genesis Potini, and directed by James Napier Robertson, it’s a feel-good story with the potential to make you feel great. What makes it unique is the Maori background, the atmosphere of poverty and violence in the community, a people marked by the genocide perpetrated upon them. In that environment, chess becomes not only a life-saver for kids who are born into inherited hopelessness, but also a metaphor for strategies on how to get through life. Strategy combats chaos, strategy focuses people on one goal, and with strategy, winning is actually possible. That’s what “The Dark Horse” is all about.
Genesis Potini is the center of “The Dark Horse,” (his nickname in the chess world) and the film is as much a character study as anything else. Potini had a bipolar diagnosis (treated realistically in the film with not a whiff of condescension or grandstanding), and spent his life in and out of hospitals, with short jail stints for vagrancy. He was a phenom-prodigy at chess, winning competitions, and eventually helping form a chess club for underprivileged kids in his community called The Eastern Knights (the organization still exists today; Potini died in 2011). Potini’s older brother taught him how to play chess when they were kids, presenting the different chess pieces as nearly-mythological figures with special powers. Chess was a way for them to access the pride of their culture and history, the fact that they all “once were warriors.” It is a militaristic game played by two people, but what happens on the board is a group event, and that was how Potini viewed the game.
Genesis is portrayed by wonderful character actor, Cliff Curtis, so unforgettable in the Maori dramas “Once Were Warriors” and “Whale Rider,” as well as in small roles in “Three Kings,” “Training Day” and “The Insider.” (Currently, Curtis can be seen stealing AMC’s “Fear the Walking Dead.”) The actor has an imposing lumbering presence, reminiscent of Lee J. Cobb, and a malleable face. In “The Dark Horse,” he returns to New Zealand to take on one of the best roles in his career. As the toothless Genesis he is ruminative, gentle, often detached from surrounding events, but when he plays chess he is a ferocious competitor who can see six or seven moves ahead.
“The Dark Horse” opens with a dream-like sequence in which Genesis, in the grip of manic hallucinations, staggers down the middle of a street in the rain, heading into a “curios” store as though by appointment. There’s an old-fashioned chess set on display, and Genesis stands over it, dripping rainwater onto the board, playing a game against himself as the well-dressed, white customers stand back, watching. Genesis is taken off to jail for disturbing the peace, and then released into the custody of his older brother, Ariki (Wayne Hapi). Ariki is entrenched in Maori gang-culture, the house filled with scary-looking drunk tattooed guys who stare at Genesis with contempt.
Genesis seeks out an old chess buddy, who runs an after-school chess club for local kids and offers his services as a coach. It is when Genesis starts teaching the kids chess in an old ramshackle shed that the film takes off. The group of kids are not professional actors. They come from Genesis’ world. They look like street kids; trash-talking, rambunctious, but also incredibly sweet and transparent to the camera. Genesis is an excellent and inspiring teacher, and decides, on impulse, that he wants to take the kids to the Auckland junior chess tournament. To say that it’s a “long shot” that the kids will make any kind of a good showing in Auckland is an understatement.
“The Dark Horse” takes time to portray Genesis’ conflicts with his brother, his growing relationship with his nephew Mana (the young James Rolleston, in an extraordinary performance), and his devotion to passing on his love of chess to the kids, hoping that it will provide for them what it provided him: guidance, a sense of possibility, and maybe even a “way out.” This central theme is made most explicit in the case of Mana, who is in the process of going through a brutal gang-initiation, at his father’s urging.
The film is inspired by “Dark Horse,” Jim Marbrook’s 2003 documentary about Potini. Robertson spent time with the real life Potini while adapting his story into a dramatic feature. He has a great respect for the bare bones of the story, and relishes the exuberance of the kids, their different personalities, their transformation into competitors. The chess tournaments are total nail-biters. Dana Lund’s score pulses beneath much of the action, throbbing single notes that underline the urgency, rather than manipulating audience-response.
The way “The Dark Horse” unfolds may be the ultimate in sports-movie cliches. But that doesn’t mean there is no suspense, that it’s a “done deal” that the kids will be able to handle the pressure of entering a mostly white middle-class pursuit such as chess. (In this respect, the film is reminiscent of “Stand and Deliver,” another sports-genre movie, where Edward James Olmos plays an inner-city math teacher determined to teach calculus to a student population underestimated and ignored.)
As Genesis gives his chess lectures, he has a couple of rules for his students. Their main job is to protect the King. Protecting the King takes on enormous significance considering their shared history. It’s part of their epic story. Another rule he drums into them is that no piece on the board should be left behind. Circle the wagons around your community. Try to save everyone. And finally: Don’t keep the focus on the rigid lines of figures on the board’s edges, but launch yourself out into the center. The center is where the real battle goes down.
Miguel Najdorf, the Argentianian grandmaster, said of Bobby Fischer, whose ruthlessness on the chess board was legendary: “Fischer wants to enter history alone.” Genesis Potini, also ruthless when playing, viewed chess as a group endeavor (on the board and off). Entering history may not have been his goal, but if he were to enter history, his group must come with him.
Sheila O’Malley received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Rhode Island and a Master’s in Acting from the Actors Studio MFA Program. Read her answers to our Movie Love Questionnaire here.
One of the first titles will be an anthology series featuring a rotating roster of artists that is set in the world of his cult-favorite films.
Image via 1091 Pictures
If you know Kevin Smith, then you know it all started with comics. From the story of selling his comic book collection to help make his first film Clerks, to writing some of the most prominent characters in comics for both Marvel and DC, and even owning his comic book store, The Secret Stash, Smith has always been a massive fan of the medium. Now, The Hollywood Reporter brings word that Smith is teaming up with Dark Horse for a line of creator-owned comics that he will write.
Smith's line will be called Kevin Smith's Secret Stash Press, adopting the name from his comic book store. He will write each title, starting with Masquerade, an eight-issue masked avenger tale about a budding vigilante. Andy McElfresh will provide the art. Smith will also write Quick Stops, an ongoing anthology series featuring a rotating roster of artists that is set in the world of his cult-favorite films. "2022 marks the 25th anniversary of my comic book store, Jay & Silent Bob's Secret Stash. And after a quarter-century of selling comics, the Secret Stash is going to MAKE our own comics!" Smith said in a statement.
Smith revealed some additional details on his Instagram about Quick Stops. The first issue will star Holden McNeil, Ben Affleck's character from Chasing Amy, as he shares the story of how he met Jay and Silent Bob during his days as a clerk at arguably the world's most famous convenience store. The third issue catches up with Trevor Fehrman's Elias from Clerks II in a story titled "Pious Elias and the Crypto Kid." And as for future issues, he names Bluntman & Chronic, Ranger Danger, Mooby, MooseJaws, and more as upcoming characters in the series.
Smith, who is never at a loss for words, added: "Following the recipe written by Mike Richardson eons ago when he turned his comic shop into a legendary comic book publisher, the Secret Stash is ready to take the next step in its evolution," said Smith. "I'm ecstatic for Secret Stash Press to become a part of the Dark Horse multimedia empire, and I hope our books will bring new customers into comic shops and delight regular readers from all around the world."
Dark Horse Comics are the publishers responsible for Hellboy, The Umbrella Academy, and many more well-known titles. Mike Richardson, Dark Horse president, spoke on the new partnership. "I've been a fan of Kevin's films for years. The fact is, we have much in common. We've both worked in our own comic shops, worked in the film business, but most of all, have a passionate love for the comics medium. It only makes sense for us to finally team up, and I am extremely proud to announce his exciting new line of comic books and graphic novels here at Dark Horse. Kevin has a brilliant, creative mind, and I can't wait to see what he has in store for all of us."
Kevin Smith recently wrapped on Clerks 3, which is expected to release this year. He is also the showrunner for Netflix's Masters of the Universe: Revelation.
“Wait? There’s all this Oscar buzz, so why would you pull it if it was just making money?”
Pixar’s latest feature film won't be headed to theaters. Instead, Turning Red is available for streaming on Disney+. While this was the norm for pandemic-era movies, all of Disney’s releases since last August— including Encanto, West Side Story, and Marvel’s Eternals — all had exclusive theatrical engagements before heading to the streaming platform. But Turning Red is skipping theaters and landing straight on Disney+, where you can watch it now.
Both of Pixar’s previous two releases, Soul and Luca, were released exclusively on Disney+, which perhaps explains why Turning Red is following the same model. The last movie the studio launched a movie directly to Disney+ was Jungle Cruise in July, and even then customers had to pay $30 for Premier Access. However, you don't have to pay anything extra to watch Turning Red.
In countries where Disney+ is not yet available, including the United Arab Emirates and the Philippines, Turning Red will play in theaters. The movie will also have a one-week run at the historic El Capitan theater in Los Angeles starting Friday.
Directed by Domee Shi, Turning Red tells the story of 13-year-old Mei Lee(Rosalie Chiang), a Chinese-Canadian girl who finds herself turning into a giant red panda whenever she experiences a strong emotion such as anxiety or excitement. Sandra Oh voices Ming Lee, Mei's overprotective mother. The voice cast also features Never Have I Ever's Maitreyi Ramakrishnan as Mei's friend Priya, Wai Ching Ho as Mei's grandmother, and James Hong as Mr. Gao, a local elder.
Turning Red has already received glowing reviews from critics, with a current aggregate score of 95 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. And if you are a Disney+ customer, you don't have to wait any longer to stream Pixar's latest triumph. Don't have a subscription yet? You can sign up for Disney+ here.
Not many horses are famous enough to have a movie made about their lives, let alone two, but then again illustrious showjumper Showman is no ordinary horse.
Harry de Leyer and Snowman.
The story of the “Cinderella” showjumper is to be made into a film called Eighty Dollar Champion, following a documentary feature on the horse titled Harry & Snowman that is currently in production.
The MGM film will be based on the book of the same name by Elizabeth Letts, which was a New York Times bestseller in 2011. Screenwriter Brenda Herrold has the job of adapting Eighty Dollar Champion from the book to the big screen. The film is being produced by John Gatins (Flight).
Long Island riding instructor Harry de Leyer found the miracle horse who launched his riding career on a Pennsylvania Horse Auction block in 1957. Arriving late, Harry was left with only the rejects of the auction that were already boarded on a truck for slaughter, but he laid eyes on a large white, former Amish plough horse whom he bought for $80.
De Leyer named him Snowman and used him as a lesson horse for children at his barn. De Leyer sold the horse to a neighbor, but recognized jumping talent and potential in Snomwan as he cleared every obstacle to jump his way “home” to de Leyer’s farm six miles down the road – and so began his show jumping career.
He won prestigious classes only two years after being saved from the slaughter truck, and his career lasted five years. He was well known for his calm disposition and willingness in the show ring.
The loveable grey took the equestrian sport by storm, also appearing on television shows such as Johnny Carson’s where it is well remembered that Carson climbed aboard. Snowman has been the subject of two books, had his own fan club, and was flown aboard for “guest appearances.” The dynamic duo stayed together throughout Snowman’s retirement until he was 26.
Snowman was inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 1992, and has been made into a Breyer horse model, now a collector’s item. His most recent step into the limelight, however, is the feature length documentary in development by Docutainment Films.
Meet & Greet with Tommie Turvey, Equine Extremist
Tommie Turvey, Equine Extremist, who will be performing at this year’s Draft Horse Classic, will be featured at a Meet and Greet on Saturday and Sunday from 2 -3 pm at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Held outside the arena, near the box office, the Meet and Greet is a great opportunity to meet Tommie, meet his famous horses, get an autograph, and chat with Tommie about his work with horses.
Tommie is a world-renowned equine entertainer, stuntman, and one of the best movie horse trainers of today. As a professional stuntman and movie horse trainer, Tommie has been involved with his horses in the Hollywood blockbuster movies “Jonah Hex,” “Batman: Dark Knight,” and Larry the Cable Guy’s “Witless Protection.” His horses have also been featured in AMC’s series “The Walking Dead,” NBC’s “Revolution,” and TNT’s “Burn Notice.”
Additionally, Tommie was called upon by Anheuser Busch to train and coordinate eight of their famous Budweiser Clydesdales for their highly watched 2013 Superbowl commercial. The commercial, “Brotherhood,” was voted best Superbowl ad, and has more than 15 million views on YouTube.
Tommie and his horses travel the world performing for hundreds of thousands of people each year, and have performed in some of North America’s biggest shows – the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas, the Hollywood Charity Horse Show, Night of the Horse in Del Mar, the Toronto Royal, and the PA Horse World Expo. They have also been featured in the Tournament of Roses Parade on New Year’s Day and the World Equestrian Games in Lexington, Kentucky.
His bay and white American Paint Horse, “Pokerjoe” is the star of the group. He is well known for his comedy antics, black mane, white tail, and his most requested equine act. In 2009, Pokerjoe was immortalized as a Breyer ® Horse model. Tommie’s black and white Paint Horse, “Joker,” was cast as the Celebration Breyer® Model Horse in 2006, showcasing his performances and television career.
As an owner of 14 horses from Paints, Pintos, Quarter Horses, Haflingers, Trakehners, Mini’s, Rocky Mountain and Mustangs, Tommie has dedicated his life to bringing the power and beauty of the horse to the forefront through entertainment and inspiring demonstrations. He is based at Liberty Horse Ranch in Summerville, GA. For more information about Tommie, visit Tommie’s website at www.equineextremist.net.
In addition to the Meet and Greet (held Saturday and Sunday from 2 – 3 pm on the backside of the arena, next to the arena box office), Tommie will be featured at each performance at the Draft Horse Classic. The Classic is held September 18 – 21 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. Tickets to the Classic performances are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling the Fairgrounds Office at (530) 273-6217 or on our website.
Every summer before the hunter/jumper crowd flocks to the Kentucky Horse Park for the Kentucky Summer series, a group of folks comes to show with a very different kind of string—model horses!
BreyerFest, a weekend long celebration of all things model horses, is a hobby convention unlike any other. Events include model horse shows, contests, equine entertainers, exclusive shopping, celebrity guest horses and fun for all ages. Each year, Breyer invites the real horses that inspire their models. VP of marketing, Stephanie Macejko, rode leopard appaloosa, Lil’ Rocky Rocker, in the opening ceremonies and meet and greet. “He’s mobbed by kids who recognize his leopard Appy color, and have his Breyer replica. One little girl saw him and nearly burst into tears. ‘I’ve been waiting to meet him MY WHOLE LIFE!’ she exclaimed. She was six years old!” Stephanie laughed.
The event isn’t just for kids though. Serious hobbyists drive from all across the country loaded up with thousands dollars of exquisite model horses for resale, competition and Breyer’s official contests. The model horse hobby, and BreyerFest itself, is about more than fancy collectibles. Hobbyists are true artists, crafting amazing detail into miniature horses that range from 1:9 to 1:32 scale and sometimes even smaller. These are not toys we’re talking about, but rather works of art.
Custom Contest winner by Kylee Parks. Photo © Jennifer Buxton
Which brings us to perhaps the most expensive model horse of all time—this year’s auction Alborozo.
Towards the end of the weekend, serious collectors gather for the most exclusive shopping of the event, the BreyerFest Live Auction. “Each model in the auction is a test color utilizing a variety of production techniques and colorways,” Stephanie explained about the special model horses offered. While all Breyer models are handpainted, the ones in the auction are given special attention. This increases their value as a model show horse, but also as a piece of curated art.
Breyer brings in a top auctioneer from the Keeneland sales to handle the auction, so the atmosphere feels as thrilling as a Thoroughbred sale. “He always jokes that ounce for ounce, at just 1.3 hands high, our models are just as valuable as the live horses he’s auctioned,” Stephanie said.
Photo courtesy of Breyer Model Horses
The final horse of the auction, a dappled sabino buckskin “Alborozo” model, was expected to go high. The mold was debuted at BreyerFest 2008 as a super limited edition, and Breyer destroyed the mold after the event so no more could be created. “We’ve kept a few blank models on hand, as we said we’d do, to utilize occasionally for the BreyerFest auction with unique colorways,” Stephanie said. Even ten years later, the Alborozo sculpture is hugely popular with hobbyists. “The atmosphere was electric. Everyone knew that the previous record was going to fall, it was just a question of how much higher this one would go,” model horse blogger Jennifer Buxton said of the auction. She was right. The bidding was intense, captured in video by Fabian Rodriguez:
Yes, that’s a $22,000 model horse. Yes, that’s more than my real horse cost (really if I’m counting, all of my real horses combined), but model horse experts say that’s the wrong way to look at his pricetag.
“You sure could buy a $22,000 real horse, but would it be the best horse in the world? Because that $22,000 model horse is without a doubt the best plastic model horse ever produced. Incredible color, incredible mold. His real horse counterpart would be well into the six figures,” lifelong hobbyist Erin Corbett explained. Jennifer agreed, adding, “Please compare top end to top end, not top end to bottom.”
I guess if I try to compare my real horse to a model, he’d be much more of a $40 shelf variety that I still ogle over when I get my niece gifts at the local toy store. Although my horse is super green, so maybe he’s unpainted? Which I guess just proves that trying to compare model horses to real horses is impossible. Their similarity ends with inspiration.
Photo © Jennifer Buxton
Because these models, $22,000 ones included, are really works of art for collectors to cherish and enjoy. And besides, it all helps real horses in the end. Each year, the BreyerFest auction proceeds benefit a variety of child and animal charities. “This year, beneficiaries include PATH, Old Friends, 4H East and West Roundups, The Cloud Foundation, ASPCA, HSUS and several local organizations in New Jersey and Kentucky,” Stephanie said. “Over the years, Breyer and BreyerFest have donated well over $1,000,000 in cash to organizations to help rehome racehorses, foster abused or homeless animals, support sick children, fulfill wishes for the terminally ill and more.” Those are big numbers for a big hobby community that puts a lot of joy into the world.
Though my energies and finances are spent on real horses these days, I have a handful of Breyers left. I like looking at them on my shelf. They remind me of my time as a kid training my “Misty” on worn down circles on my carpet. I admire the artistry behind them, all of the people who have devoted countless hours to sculpting, painting, and making miniature tack.
None of my models cost $22,000, but then again I’ve never even spent five figures on a horse. I sure like watching the six-figure horses go around the hunter ring though, even if I can’t afford them. If I ever got to look at a five figure model horse, I bet I’d enjoy that just as much.
About the Author: Lauren holds an MFA in creative nonfiction from the University of California Riverside, and is a lifelong rider and writer. Beyond equestrian journalism, she explores body positivity, mental health and addiction through personal narrative. She enjoys showing on the local hunter/jumper circuit in Austin, Texas.