News - 2004

January 4, 2005--Well, 2004 was a thin year for Hartland horses, but they pulled some out of the hat in the last two weeks of the year. The Hartland company’s Summer 2004 newsletter, which arrived December 21, announced five “sample run” models: all runs of fewer than 50 except that the pinto Saddlebred numbers about 100.
      While the quality of these model runs was supposed to not be up to snuff – hence the modest price of $20 each, instead of about $27-$29, I thought they were just fine. The models are Polo Ponies in grullo (a dun), bay roan, and bay pinto; the Tennessee Walker in a rich buckskin color, and the Five-Gaited Saddlebred in bay pinto. All of these molds originated in the 1960s and are in the 9” series.
      The other models Hartland sold in 2004 were two “club” horses, three Jamboree special runs, and a holiday horse. Read more in my magazine, Hartland Model Equestrian News.
-- Gail Fitch

Racing Stripes: A Fun Movie with a Positive Message

January 4, 2005--
Animal lovers of all ages will enjoy the movie Racing Stripes (Warner Bros. Pictures), which opens in theaters around the country on January 14. There is
beautiful footage of very attractive horses – especially an Arabian -- and a baby zebra steals the early part of the movie. The visuals, alone, are worth the price of admission, but this movie also has a satisfying plot, human actors, and when no humans are listening, talking animals!

The human plot and the animals’ intentions generally run parallel; it should always be like that in real life! Racing Stripes mixes a few elements of National Velvet, “Mr. Ed,”
Field of Dreams, and some recent, talking insect animated movies. Racing Stripes is set in Kentucky, but was actually filmed in South Africa. The children in the audience
laughed gently and tears of joy came to some adult eyes during the special screening in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on December 30, 2004.

Racing Stripes evolved from a story by an 11-year-old girl, Kelly Weil, who spent time in Milwaukee. Her “Zink the Zebra” story was discovered after she died of cancer in 1993. It was published by Gareth Stevens Publishing in 1996, and debuted as a play in 1997. Zink was a spotted zebra in a striped world. The story perhaps reflected how young Kelly felt when classmates reacted to her illness. The wider message is acceptance of differences of all kinds. The story inspired Kelly’s father, Les Weil, to start the Zinc the Zebra Foundation, whose motto is, “Education for Understanding, Respect, and Compassion.” The Zinc program of instruction is used in 41 Milwaukee Public Schools and in 50 Girl Scout councils around the country, according to an article in Exclusively Yours magazine, December 2000.

The equine star of Racing Stripes is a striped zebra in a Thoroughbred world. He wants to be a race horse. Will he make it? It is well worth about an hour-and-one-half of your time to find out.—Gail Fitch

Free Passes to Horse-Related Movie!

Do you live near Milwaukee, Wisconsin? Would you like to attend a special screening of Racing Stripes, a comedy with David Spade, Dustin Hoffman, and Whoopi Goldberg on Thursday, December 30, 2004, at a theatre on the western edge of Milwaukee? I have free passes. Each pass admits two people. If you'd like one, two, or three passes, send me a self-addressed, stamped envelope or send $1 via PayPal.:

Send SASE to: Gail Fitch, 1733 N. Cambridge Ave., #109 Milwaukee, WI 53202
Send $1 by PayPal to: (The $1 pays for the PayPal fee and the stamp. )

Southern California Event Features Mini-Sized Models

October 1, 2004 --The West Coast Model Horse Collector's Jamboree, October 8-10 in Pomona, California, will sell a special run set of three Stablemate (mini-sized) Breyer Shetland Ponies. The colors are black pinto, gray appaloosa, and palomino. The special run of 50 sets of Hartland Tinymites sold out in advance, in September. However, the Hartland company is slated to have one or more special run models available at the show. If you can't attend, email me ( I can recommend someone who does model pickup (professionally). There will also be model judging and other events. This is the 13 th and final Jamboree. The organizer, Sheryl Leisure, issues resin models and equine wall plaques and jewelry. Jamboree information is at ; . (By the time you read this, the event may be over!)

New Magazine Just Published: Model Horse, Hartland, & Horse Lover's Topics

August 31, 2004 --Just published today! Hartland Model Equestrian News, Issue #6, September-October 2004, 28 pages, 65 illustrations (photos). The word "Hartland" is in the title, but the scope is wider than Hartland, and wider than model horses! This issue touches on major model horse and related news since January 2002. It tracks Hartland production. It includes some Breyer and Stone highlights and several "minority" brands of horse figurines and new favorites. It reports on some model events, gift catalogs, and affordable horse items. More than that, it is about horses in culture: movies, books, etc. It includes advertising, letters, editorials. It will appeal mainly to HORSE LOVERS who happen to be very interested in model horses, but it is not exclusively about model horses. It is indispensable for Hartland HORSE fans. Horse-and-rider collectors will find things of interest on several pages, but this is, most of all, a HORSE LOVER'S (and MODEL HORSE -- of all brands) publication.
      PRICE: $5.00 plus $1.25 shipping = $6.25. Contact me if you purchased previous issues of Hartland Model Equestrian News or the book HARTLAND HORSES AND DOGS from me because you will be eligible for a discount.
     Check or PayPal ( Gail Fitch, Editor & Publisher,
1733 N. Cambridge Ave.#109, Milwaukee, WI 53202.

A Busy Season, with Good Things to Come

September 1, 2004--If you noticed that I didn't add news to this web site since February, one reason was that not much was happening in the Hartland collecting world. Few new Hartland models have come out in 2004. The main reason, however, was that a lot has been happening with me this year -- and it will work out to the benefit of Hartland and model horse fans. The first new publication is Issue #6 of my Hartland & model horse newsletter. It is 28 pages with 65 illustrations. There is more good stuff to come. Some will appear at this web site, but most will be available in printed publications. One thing that kept me busy earlier in 2004 was selling (on consignment) a wonderful, new-in-box collection of old Hartland rider sets and some loose horses. From that collection, a very rare color of a three-piece horse family is still available. By very rare, I mean that one has never turned up before in this color, yet it is a legitimate color because it appeared in two Sears catalogs in the 1960s. See the “Collector's Gallery” page at this web site. Sales by other collectors are described there, too. Enjoy your collection

Weren't the Olympics – equestrian and non-equestrian events -- fun to watch? I don't get cable, but liked what was on the regular channel. Also, don't forget to vote in September and November, no matter whom it's for. That's what this country is all about.—Gail Fitch

"HERD' IT WAS YOUR BIRTHDAY"-- The card above is the creation of Laura Pervier, and is displayed here with her permission. Laura took the horse design and customized it, and made a card of it. Inside, she wrote, "Yes, it is okay to color outside the lines, especially when you want to portray motion."
     There is a certain crossover between the model horse and rubber stamping hobbies. Two-dimensional art is certainly more compact. I really appreciate the birthday reminder. I'm no longer 21, but...

It's the Twenty-first Anniversary:

The first publication of my Hartland books. On February 25, 1983, I shipped the first books to collectors who had answered my ads in model horse magazines. That first edition took 13 solid months to produce, and I had actually begun the research in fall of 1980. The books were in FULL COLOR then, as they always have been. Because of thir quality information and my genuine enthusiasm, they've helped attract and sustain quite a following for Hartland. Although four Hartland companies have contributed information and given their approval, these books have always been independent works of original research and writing.
Added December 17, 2002; updated 2-13-04

New Hartland Models for 2004

February 13, 2004 --The 2004 Hartland "club" models are a rider series horse with saddle (Semi-Rearing in pale buckskin, and a Polo Pony in metallic copper color. Both are 9" series models. The company is offering the choice of buying both or either model.
     The current Hartland company, Hartland Collectables, L.L.C., which formed in the second half of 2000, was accepting deposits for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans rider sets and their dog, Bullet. It would have been the first re-issue of rider sets since 1994. However, the company announced that production of the sets would be postponed indefinitely, and the deposits were returned. The reason cited was a legal problem in which another company that is licensed to produce Roy Rogers items, complained about Hartland also being licensed.
     I can't help but wonder who the other licensee is? Could it be Breyer? (Updated August 31, 2004)