My name is Gail Fitch, and I've been gathering, recording, and reconstructing the history of Hartland models for over 25 years. I'm a horse lover, and have belonged to the model horse collecting community since 1975, when it depended almost entirely on print publications.

     When I began Hartland research in 1980, little had been written on the subject. Since the 1950s - 1960s company literature set forth only a partial record of the models that had been made, there was a need to fill the gaps and organize and make sense of it all. Fresh from my first jobs in research, writing, and preparing publications, I thrilled to apply that experience to my hobby--model horses--and fill the information gap on Hartland models. I loved all brands of model horses, but the need for Hartland information was the greatest, and I guess I like a challenge.

     Begun in 1980, my first Hartland book was 72 pages and included over 100 color photos. It came out in 1983. Between then and 1998, I self-published an avalanche of books and newsletters on Hartland, always in color, and always on a nonprofit basis, along with writing articles for magazines. It's always been a labor of love. Many collectors contributed photos or information, and I located and extensively interviewed many Hartland personnel, some of whom began in the 1940s, to get the authentic Hartland story. In 1998, I was happy to finally get a publisher. I spent five out of the six years from 1995-2000 working full-time on Hartland publications. I take it seriously!

      The publisher should take a bow for my latest two books, Hartland Horsemen (1999) and Hartland Horses and Dogs (2000). These beautiful books featuring the best color printing in the world are still nonprofit for me (because of the thousands of dollars I spent on the well over 150 rolls of photography I did myself), but you can help me recover my expenses if you buy them from me, rather than from a distributor. Please reward the author!

     Only those who have bought one or both books from me will be eligible to purchase upcoming, limited-edition publications that will not be sold through stores. I hope you enjoy my Hartland books; I immensely enjoy writing them.

     In June of 2004, I received an award for some volunteer effort. Click the link to go to the City of Milwaukee web page with a description and a picture of me taken at one of my favorite places. When you get there, scroll down more than a whole page worth, to near the bottom. You can't miss my picture and the headline with my name in it.

     — Added February 1, 2006 and City address updated 10-27-08 and 8-15-10.



  • Personal1
    The horse bug bit early, and there was no going back.
  • Personal2
    When I was a kid, I wanted to be a dancer, then an artist, then a writer and equestrian. During college, I wanted to be a model.
  • Personal3
    After college, I worked in magazine publishing and then as a research assistant and writer (for the government). Here, I'm wearing my engagement ring.
  • Personal4
    I was close to my goldfish, including Tiger, whom I got at Woolworth's. I had Tiger -- or he had me -- for six years. For a while, I rode two Arabian mares at Wooded Hills Arabians, but my best four-footed friend was Classy, a Thoroughbred gelding at Joy Farm. Classy would still run away with riders when he was 24 years old.
  • Personal5
    My summer 2000 "think tank" included Penelope (upper), and from left: Pintobean, Magnolia, and Phillipe. Two of them have since left. Not shown are Brandon, Zippy, Speedy, and Quickfish. After seven years in the tank, Penelope turned from orange to pink, and is now known as Pinkfish.
  • Personal7
    From 1980-1996, I entered the photo shows (by mail) of the Made-in-Japan (horse) Club. Model expos gained momentum in the 1980s. A typical show has over 100 classes, including a "collector" class for eight models of the same brand. My collector class entry (above) consisted of Hartland horses spanning three decades. I have also had Breyer, Hagen-Renaker, and many other brands of horses for decades.
  • Personal8
    In 1994-1996, I published eighteen issues of Hartland Market, with the help of a cat, Linus, and his friend Ted. Linus liked technology. He'd come running when the computer was turned on. The TV was his second-favorite electronic device.
  • Personal9
    My boyfriend, Roger, has helped with my Hartland books in various ways since 1997. He identified the firearms in the Hartland western sets, and he took me out to eat when I was exhausted from readying the two book editions for Schiffer Publishing: Hartland Horsemen (1999) and Hartland Horses and Dogs (2000).
  • Personal10
    A friend who went to "Mystery School" taught me the art of stencil spray painting. I created original designs. On a different subject, emerald green is supposed to encourage creativity and inventiveness, but this dress is spruce green so it may take a while. This photo was taken at a friend's house.
  • Personal11
    For a number of years after earning a master's degree in journalism, I was a volunteer writing tutor for fifth graders in a literacy project by the Women in Communications of Southeast Wisconsin, Inc. Each year, we tutored at a different school during about six to 10 lunch hours. We helped the kids prepare a class newspaper.
  • Personal12
    Here I am pouring milk at the Easter Breakfast at our church, long ago when I was in college. A church member, Howard Melius, was a freelance photographer.
  • Personal13
    An artist friend, Mike, is my web master. He also helped me select the photos for my 1999 and 2000 Hartland books from Schiffer Publishing. It wasn't easy since there were literally thousands of pictures to go through. This is a 1975 photo; publication of any photo more recent is forbidden by his staff of vicious attorneys.