Posts Tagged ‘Breyerfest’

I had planned on posting something to do more with the art side of things. But as yet my life is still tilted sideways. So you’ll have to make do with one more post showing pretty horse pictures. Another Dr. appointment tomorrow and perhaps it will help to provide me with some clarity.

Cooling Off
This beautiful Freisian was enjoying a cool bath. It was seriously hot and the humidity was breathtaking. Most horses, when done showcasing their stuff at the arena were rushed up the hill and hosed off to keep them from over heating. I find horses being bathing infinately fascinating and took loads of photos.

Yet More Horses
Though the Kentucky Horse Park had horses packed in all every nook and cranny. The other horses at Breyerfest were a select few. (Other meaning other than Alborozo.) The Breyerfest breeds were really either horses that Breyer had made models of in previous years. Or horses that owners were hoping to have Breyer create a model of.

I found that out because I got curious and asked a couple of owners. With the price of gas what would motivated someone to haul their horses half way across the country to attend Breyerfest. Turns out they’re hopping their nice gesture of attending will get their fine examples of various equines to be recreated in plastic.

This beauty (left) is a Gypsy Drum Horse. It is part Gypsy and part Shire (you can really see the Shire.) They had several drum horses that I photographed. But again I felt the need to show some restraint as pretty soon I may have to change my blog name to Pretty Horse Pictures or some such.

This horse was not actually part of Breyerfest but was participating in a competition at another part of the park. I’ve been wanting to paint some horses jumping but never had much opportunity to photograph them. I got a few good shots here but the jumps weren’t all that high so the horse didn’t really project that feeling of effort and power I was looking for. I guess I’ll need to find myself another jumping competition and try again.

Other horses Breyer has created models of.

This handsome guy is Fox Valley Oliver, owned by Kathy Whitaker of Flying Feathers Farm in PA. He is a champion ambassador for the Shire breed. Between 2000-2003 he earned several reserve championships in the US and Canada.

He excels in driving but unfortunatelty he came up lame while at the part so we weren’t able to see him in action.

This is DZ Weedo Affectionately known as Odie, he is a 1994 buckskin Appaloosa. Owned by the Schembri’s of Char-O-Lot Ranch in Florida. His honors include 1997 National Champion Trail Horse and 1998 Appaloosa World Champion in the Western Riding Division.

Blugrass Bandit
She is a lovely Tennessee Walking Horse who is owned by the Carrier’s of KY. She was named World Grand Champion in Western Pleasure and was voted the Trail Pleasure Horse of the Year by Voice of the Tennessee Walking Horse.

Information resource for Horses that Breyer has created models of: http://www.BreyerHorses.com

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I go to many horse expos and various events and one of the things that I have never done is had my photo taken with a horse. Owners who come to these types of events are so generous with their time and animals and often invite you to be photographed with their horse. I’ve always smiled politely and said “No. . .thank you though.

I have a horse. I have spent my life around horses and a photo to commemorate the experience of meeting yet another horse has never been something I felt I needed . . . until now.

This is Brigitte Eberl (on the right,) the sculptor of the Breyer Alborozo, and her friend Sondra (left.) They both came over from Germany to attend Breyerfest.

Carol Herden the artist I accompanied to Breyerfest and Brigitte are good friends. We had dinner with them both nights. Unfortunately by the time I actually had a Breyer model to be signed they had already left the state. (followed by the country) Big Bummer. I would have loved to have her signature as well as Avi’s.

When Sondra first asked if I’d photograph her with Alborozo I said of course. When she came back all smiles she offered to take a pic of me. I pondered the whole photo thing for about half a second then said “sure.”

So here I am meeting Alborozo, and I have a photo to prove it. Me and Big Al (thats a pet name I share with him now. You know because we have something special between us.) had a moment here.

Huh . . . I never knew I looked like that with all those fanny packs. I mean I look like a toddler with one of those blow up rubber floaty things around me, heading off to the wadding pool or something. In case your wondering, one is for new film, one for spent film and one for cash. I now realize I would look oh so much cooler with my camera case instead. But it weighs a ton and I always have to keep an eye on it so someone doesn’t run off with it. Hmm . . . Maybe I’ll need to put “So I won’t look so dorky” on the plus side for going digital on my pros and cons list.

The Other First
The Alborozo model was only available at Breyerfest 2008. To make it especially collectable Breyer broke the mold. Something it has never done in its 60years of existence. I had thought about including a pic of the actual Breyer but then I thought “Nah.” You can click through to see Breyer’s model of Alborozo if your curious.

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Live Shows
By now you know that Breyers are models of horses, so the term live show throws me off a bit. (actually it tends to make me snigger like a school girl.) Not knowing much about the model showing universe it surprised me how serious people take it all.

A live show is where the model is actually present at the show, as opposed to a photograph competition. The goal of these shows are to showcase the model in as lifelike a setting as they can acheive. Just like in real life the horses are shown in different classes such as halter or performance.

Top dollar is paid for quality models either original to an artist or a Breyer that has been altered or is in classic condition. A high premium is paid for quality painting and tack. In the end the prices being spent rival that of a real horse show for both animals and tack. Wow!

The number of people participating is small (compared to that of an artshow that is) but they are very serious. These people would stand in line for hours just to get a good deal, or enter the swap meet.

The Holiday Inn West in Lexington, KY was completely taken over for 4 days. Most people who stayed at the hotel opened their rooms and sold their older models or whatever. You could walk up and down the hallways to find room after room full of Breyers and Breyer enthusiaists. They also plastered the walls with sales fliers showing the horses for sale and the room number. I would think this would do major damage to the wallpaper but apparently not, since the hotel hasn’t put a stop to it and the event has been held at the same place for many years.

I should mention that Stone has an event going at the same time at the same city. His event is called Equilocity. I didn’t run over there but that just goes to show how much interest there is in this stuff.

Carol is good as what she does. Her passion for her art and animals comes through in her work. She loves cows like I love horses. It’s just something in the gentics that is hard to explain. She used to do a lot of horses but over the past several years her work has focused more on the livestock side of things. And towards cattle in particular. Her business acronym is COWS. (Carol’s Original WorkS) Very clever!

Most of the people we met were great fun. The vendors and fest goers at the Kentucky Horse Park were all friendly. Our neighbor Nicolle at the artisans gallery was a hoot and made what would have been a rather stuffy experience a joy.

However, there was a select few people who held a rather high opinion of themselves and I think they tended to look down their noses at Carol. Mind you, some of these same people she helped get into the industry. Breyer uses a rather small stable of artists to create original work for new models. I believe having only a handfull of artists tends to increase the competitive edge for some. I mean seriously, had a few of them been any more Alpha Dog, they would have come over and pee’d on her table.

I did want to say not everyone gets cut throat when it comes to Breyer. Brigitte Eberl is the German sculptor who created the Alborozo model for this years event. She and her friend were a delight. Carol and Brigitte (Bri-gee-ta) are good friends and share much between them including information and a place to stay when one is visiting the others country.

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This was the 19th year for Breyerfest to be held at the Kentucky Horse Park (KHP) in Lexington, KY. It is expected for 2009 event to take place there, though not a certainty. And in 2010 the World Equestrian Games will be held at KHP so who knows what will happen to the Breyer people. KHP is currently under heavy construction to improve the park in readiness for the games.

The KHP is huge. I walked all over that place and still didn’t see it all. It has several museums (all dedicated to the horse) a racetrack, polo field, cross country course, show jumping and dressage arenas. They have an extensive breed barn and many things dealing with the history of the horse. I was in pony heaven.

Breyerfest events were held in the arena at KHP, as were the vendors. Here is a photo of our both. (Carol and mine.) It was located on the railing and behind us was where the horses did their performances. We were the only artists at this location. All of the other vendors were more retail like in that they were selling Breyer models, t-shirts and such.

The other location for Breyerfest activities was at a nearby Holiday Inn. There they had the Artisans gallery where tables showcasing the artists works were displayed. Also this was where the auction and swap meet was held. Sorry no photos of this. By the time we got there after a day of sitting in near 100 degree temps at the park, I wasn’t feeling very much like taking pics.

A surreal experience
Carol Herden is a sculptor and has created several pieces for Breyer. You can check out Carol’s website and get a much better idea of what it is she does.

I have known her for many years now, but didn’t really know her, (if you know what I mean.) The idea of spending a week with someone I was not thoroughly familiar with, in very tight spaces was a little unsettling. But what I knew of her, I liked. I figured either we’d get on like a house afire or we’d wind up killing each other. Turns out . . . we are actually the same person.

At first it was just really weird how similar we are in husbands and lifesyles and personality. We occasionally said the same thing at the same time or after long periods of silence both spoke at the same moment. We have the same suitcase, toothpaste and moral code. But by the end of the trip the weirdness had worn off (well almost) and all that was left was friendship.

Thanks for the ride Carol!

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