News 2008-2020

Signature and Numbering Adds Value to Books
Author Reveals Quantities Sold

Over the years, I’ve authored five different titles of Harland books. Two of them were self-published. I also published an all-Hartland newsletter. People sometimes ask how many copies there were. The answer is that I published a total of 447 Hartland books between 1983 and 1998. The newsletter had 155 subscribers. Details follow.

“Copy #312 – Gail Fitch.”
An author signature and book numbering add a personal touch, and may also increase the value of a book; especially, if it’s a limited edition. Here’s a history of how my Hartland books have been signed and numbered. The self-published books can be recognized by their plastic comb bindings.

Hartland Horses and Riders is the first book I self-published. It was in print from 1983-1996. It included all Hartland horses, plus riders and company history and artistry. It went through 18 printings.
     The first print run, in February 1983, was not signed and numbered, but a few months later, I mailed most of the buyers a signed and numbered label with directions on where to place it in the book. In the 17 printings after that, I signed and numbered all copies.
     Each print run changed the contents at least a little from the one before it; when changes were big, I counted it as a new edition. The 1st through 3rd editions, printed in 1983-1989, were copy numbers 1 through 142. The 4th edition was so much larger that I bound it in two volumes. Since it was almost a different book, I restarted the numbering. So, in the 4th through 6th editions, printed in 1991-1995, each book was numbered with two digits for the year it was sold, a dash, and the copy number. The numbering started at 91-1, and ended at 96-175.

Hartland Market newsletter. The 18 issues of Hartland Market that I published monthly in December 1994-May 1996 were not signed or numbered, but are part of the story. The newsletter – three-hole punched so it could be put in a binder – included news from the then-Hartland company, history from my ongoing research, results of surveys on model variations, and ads. One issue had a multi-page ad that illustrated a Hartland rider-set collection to be auctioned by phone. Afterward, the auction holder told me that he ran a similar ad in Toy Shop, a magazine sold on newsstands, but half of his bidders came from Hartland Market. Feature articles tackled Hartland myths, and collectors would call me to talk about the surprising facts. The newsletter acted as a book update, consumer advocate, and liaison with Hartland while the company was in flux. It helped create a better-informed collecting community.
     (I loved publishing it, but it left me with little time for anything else, including book work. Reluctantly, I quit. I had sold the subscriptions in six-month blocks that all started and ended at the same time. The 155 subscribers received all of the issues they paid for, but I was sorry to disappoint them by not continuing.) 
The 1998 Book. In 1998, I self-published my second Hartland book, Hartland Models, Volume 1: Hartland Horsemen & Gunfighters. After the heightened interaction from the newsletter, I decided to “reward” people with the numbering of the 1998 book. For the 76 advance orders, I gave lower numbers to people who had contributed photos or whom I knew or liked from their participation in my newsletter surveys, from phone calls, or from other hobby connections. The first person to pre-pay was someone I did not know; they received copy #48. The 76th person to pre-pay got copy #7. If that is not quite fair, I apologize. For the 77th through 130th buyers, I went back to numbering in the order of payment received.
     The 1998 book was only an introduction to the horse-and-rider series because it was intended as the first in a series. Like the first book, it had a plastic comb binding. A few months later, after seeing it, a publisher was finally interested in Hartland, and the next books would be paperbound, with improved contents.


Totals. Between 1983 and 1996, I printed and sold 317 copies of Hartland Horses and Riders: 142 in the 1st - 3rd editions, and 175 in the 4th - 6th editions. With so many pages in color, it was an expensive book, and remarkable that so many sold. The 1998 book, also in color, was a print run of 130. In 18 years – 1983-1998, inclusive – I printed a total of 447 self-published Hartland books. (I collated them by hand, sometimes with the help of my late brother John.) They are now out of print, but remain under the protection of U.S. copyright registration. When they occasionally appear on the secondary market, they sell for more than the new books.

Hartland Books Now. The Hartland books are now published by Schiffer Publishing, providing the highest quality of color printing. Mass production has dropped the cost per copy, and the books are widely available: from Schiffer, from Amazon, from many booksellers, and from me!
They are:
(1) Hartland Horsemen – horse & rider sets
(2) Hartland Horses and Dogs – horses plus Hartland history & artistry
(3) Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000 – new-century models

If yours is signed and numbered, it came from me. (I also enclose extra pages with additional information.)
I have them in stock, and number them chronologically. (To break ties, priority goes to the earlier postmark, and then to the greater distance traveled.) Your check or electronic payment (by PayPal) are equally welcome. I ship in a sturdy box.

I have personally sold over 600 of Hartland Horsemen, over 400 of Hartland Horses and Dogs, and over 100 of Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000. Your very own numbered book is waiting for you.

Gail Fitch, July 25, 2020

Email:    PayPal =              

Gail Fitch
1733 N. Cambridge Ave., #109
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Print AdNew Book Showcases the Model Horse Hobby

February 11, 2019
-- A new model horse book covering a wide range of brands and hobby activities -- including collecting, creating, showing, and connecting -- was released in January. Exploring the Model Horse Hobby, by Nancy Kelly, includes over 500 color photos, plus historic, black-and-white images along with collecting stories, explanation, and resources for model purchasing, hobby participation, and additional reference. It is available from Fairport Press. (See display ad above.)

Prices Lowered on Hartland Books

February 17, 2019
-- My prices on Hartland books have dropped by about four dollars! Each one is now $26 when ordering with PayPal (at my Catalog page), and $25 when paying by check or money order. For the latter, you can print out my Order Form page and mail it in with your payment! The prices include postage. These prices may not last forever. Take advantage of them now! As usual, all books are signed and numbered. -- Gail Fitch

Plastic Models from 3-D Printer are Fragile

August 5, 2019 -- This year, the new Hartland company has been making tiny copies of some Hartland horses with a 3-D printer. It cautions that the plastic is very fragile. That's true.
      The mini dog and draft horse, above, arrived on June 29. After a month of standing on the shelf, I found that the horse had developed a semi-horizontal crack above the knee on its left foreleg.
     It did not arrive that way, so perhaps supporting the model's own weight -- .6 oz -- was enough to cause that fissure. It's possible, though, that the leg could have been weakened during shipping.
    The horse had been wrapped in bubble wrap wadded into the shape of a barrel. It evidently exited the "barrel" through the opening because it was rattling around loose in the box when it arrived.
      There was little filler in the box, which arrived crushed. The horse is now lucky to be so intact as it is.


Model Horse Events Coming Up in Wisconsin, Indiana, and Kentucky

April 20, 2019 --
The Milwaukee County 4-H and Open Model Horse Show moves to a new location in 2020: Trinity Presbyterian Church on Sherman Blvd. in Milwaukee, Wis. The date is Saturday, January 25, 2020. The Open Fun Show, featuring performance and halter, will use the same class list as the Sr. 4-H division, according to show hostess Char Ehlert.
Before then, Betty Mertes is hosting a NAN show in Fond du Lac in November (2019). Other Wisconsin shows are expected also.

The Stone Horse Country Fair is May 3 and 4 (2019) in Shipshewana, Indiana.

Peter Stone Co. model horses will also be sold in Lexington, Kentucky on July 11-14 (2019), with a model horse show on July 13. For information, see

BreyerFest is July 12-14 in Lexington, Kentucky, with many events held at the Kentucky Horse Park. See

Copperfox Model

Copperfox Company Closed

Copperfox Model Horses, England, closed in August. Its remaining models are being sold on eBay by ultrachoicemodelhorses, in Pennsylvania.
The owners said at their website,, under “Connect,” that they are open to the company or its molds being purchased.

The four molds are the Welsh Cobb (shown above, in styrene plastic), Connemara Pony, Exmoor Pony, and Irish Sports Horse, all in action poses. Most of the remaining models are the Welsh Cob.

November 17, 2018 -- Article and photo, copyright 2018 Gail Fitch

Know the Facts about Hartland Models...

Detailed eyes and painted hooves were traits of the 2000-2007 Hartland horses (by “Hartland 2000”). Eyes were often tri-color!

Most 11” series (“Regal”) models were $38 then. Taking inflation into account, the price would be about $50 now.

A handful of 2000-2007 11” standing Arabs – slightly beat-up sample-room models -- have been for sale in 2018 by the new Hartland company (“Hartland 18”). One of them, in dapple bay, is “Silver Sultan.” Another was “Bronze King,” a bay pinto. The company has described them as “flood survivors.” Except, the floods were in 1986 and 1993.

The flood story, and 60 years of history and regular horses are in Hartland Horses and Dogs (2001).

Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000 (published in 2012) includes "Silver Sultan," "Bronze King," and 123 other horses with original prices, suggested values, and advise on rating condition.

Gail Fitch, November 24, 2018

After 10.5 years, there is finally some Hartland “news.”

New Hartland Company Begins Issuing Models

A new Hartland company, Hartland Horse Company, formed this summer in South Dakota. Owner Lisa Perkins said she bought the Hartland molds from Steven Manufacturing Company, Hermann, Missouri, and expects to begin molding on November 10.
     The purchase included unpainted bodies, which the new company has been painting as OOAK (one-of-a-kind) models, as tiny runs (about four pieces or fewer), and as the start of regular runs. Models may be ordered at the company website,, which also includes a link to its Facebook page. The OOAK models are mostly pictured at Facebook, and sold by "messaging" offers.
    Some unpainted bodies and a handful of imperfect models painted by the previous two Hartland companies have also been available.
     In addition to other businesses her family is involved in, Lisa Perkins said she is a Breyer and Trail of Painted Ponies distributor. Besides selling by mail, she plans to offer Hartlands in three souvenir shops she owns. Hartland’s George Washington will fit right in since one of her shops is near Mount Rushmore.
by Gail Fitch, October 28, 2018 and updated on November 1, 2018

"Maverick" (above) is the first regular run from Hartland Horse Company. It became available in September, went off the website in October, then became available again on October 31.
"Appaloosa Hartland" (below) was a run of four similar models. Both the "Appaloosa" and "Maverick" are from the 7" Tennessee Walker stallion mold, which originated in the 1960s.

Mackenzie, Other Rare Riders To Go To Auction on eBay

October 28, 2018
-- Hartland’s hard-to-find Col. Mackenzie will be for sale this week or next on eBay. About 50 more Hartland horse-and-rider sets, including all of the rarest riders and some very rare horses, will be offered on eBay – about six per week -- between now and about January. All are from an estate I’m selling on commission. This collector had 75 different, 9” rider sets from the 1950s-1960s.
    My asking prices are about 60% of book value. The book is Hartland Horsemen.

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Carousel History on Exhibit in Iowa Until October 21

If you can get to Davenport, Iowa, don’t miss “The Steam Circus: The Colorful World of Carousels.” The exhibit opened May 13 and runs through October 21, 2018, at the German American Heritage Center and Museum.

The theme is, “Explore the German-American contributions to the art, engineering, and amusement of carousels.” Mangels, Dentzel, De Kleist, and Muller: Who noticed that so many big names in carousel creation – from woodcarving to pipe organs to machine patents -- were German immigrants? This German heritage museum did!

The exhibit spans the history of carousels, including their military origins, and the contributions of non-German immigrants as well. Some Dentzel and Looff carousel horses are on display.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission is: $5 – adults, $4 -- senior citizens 60 and up, $3 -- children 5-17, and free for members and children under 5.  On the second Saturday of the month, college students with ID, and all children, are admitted for free.

The German American Heritage Center is at 712 W. 2nd St., Davenport, Iowa 52802. See

Gail Fitch, July 29, 2018.
Thanks to Sandy Truitt for alerting me to this excellent exhibit.
Photos are by Sandy Truitt.

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Estate Sale of "Complete" Horse-and-Rider Collection Begins

On January 22, 2018, I started selling – on eBay -- an estate collection of Hartland horse-and-rider sets. This lady had 67 different Hartland horse-and-rider sets, including all of the “famous” riders and generic (Champ) riders from the 9” series in the 1950s-1960s – some with rare horse variations -- and even a Roy Rogers lamp. There are also extra horses, riders, and accessories; some breed-series Hartland horses; and a few Breyers and other-brand items.

Keep an eye on my auctions.  My eBay I.D. is hartland_guru.
-- Gail Fitch

Horse expo slated for Massachusetts in November

September 9, 2017- - Equine Affaire, Eastern States Exposition is November 9-12 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. It bills itself as North America's premier equine exposition and equestrian gathering. New for 2017 is an opportunity to "explore equine-related career paths and college opportunities." See

Hartland Lady Jewel and Jade set sells for $305

August 27, 2017 -- A Hartland Lady Jewel and Jade set in black with silver mane and tail sold for $305.89 on eBay on August 27, 2017. Ten bidders placed a total of 23 bids on it. Produced 28 years ago by Paola Groeber's Hartland company, black-with-silver is among the harder-to-find colors of the popular 11" series Arabian mare and foal sculpted by Kathleen Moody.

The eBay seller was thehorseyouwantcalif, who has been selling the Breyer, Hartland, Hagen-Renaker, and other brands of model horses from Black Horse Ranch and two other estates.

The Lady Jewel and Jade models from the 1980s and 1990s are found in Hartland Horses and Dogs. Test sets of LJ & J from "Hartland 2000" are in the latest book, Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000.

Two April, 2016, shows to include Hartlands

Two model horse shows in California this April will include classes dedicated to Hartland horses.

Jane Morehouse's Fantastic Plastic Classic on April 9, 2016, in San Martin, (northern) California will include four classes double-judged for breed and collectability, and three judged on collectability only. The doubled-judged classes are: Light Breeds, Stock Breeds, Sport & Other Breeds. The collectability-only classes are: Foals, Horse & Rider sets plus advertising items and lamps, and Test/OOAK/Run of 30 or fewer models. A Hartland champion and reserve  will also be chosen. See

On April 23-24, Julie Dewyer's So Cal Live 2016 show in Ontario, (southern) California, has five Original Finish Hartland classes slated: one each for Foals, Light/Gaited, Sport, Stock/Grade, and Draft/Pony. The Hartland classes are on April 23. See

-- Gail Fitch, February 21, 2016, with thanks to Mel Teller, who informed me by email.

Happy winners in the Milwaukee County 4-H Model Horse Show in Milwaukee, Wis., on January 30, 2016, posed at the table with their china entries. Second from right is Julie S.; her shy boyfriend is at far left, beyond the pillar; her proud mother, giving two thumbs up, peaks over Julie's shoulder. Her boyfriend carefully carried models to and from the table. He said Julie told him some of the models were worth more than his car. Julie's mother talked about how many horses Julie has, "but it's her money." You open a closet door, and it's full of horses. Things like that. I said, "A lot of people here are like that."

More models are shown below. The champion rosettes were purple, and the reserve champion rosettes, light violet. The horse at far left, below, is a vintage, Beswick Fjord Pony, made in England.
-- Gail Fitch, February 21, 2016



Animal-Themed Business Begins

Laura Pervier of Seatac, Washington, announced this fall that she's begun a new business, Under Kitty Supervision, to sell hand-stamped cards, magnets and tiles, and decorated picture frames, plus gift boxes, tags, bags, and other things she creates using paper and rubber stamps. Animals are her favorite theme. Her products are sold at Contact Laura at
--December 10, 2015

Event Dates Announced

Equine Affaire, Eastern States Exposition, is November 12-15, 2015, in West Springfield, Massachusetts. It features over 150 clinics, seminars, and demonstrations; and "the largest horse-related trade show in the East." For details, see www.equine

The 2016 North American Nationals, the national championship model horse show, will be July 19-21 in Lexington, Kentucky, at the Rupp Arena / Heritage Hall. Models -- plastic, china, or resin; original finish or customized -- qualify by placing first or second at one of the member shows held around the country -- or in Canada -- in the two years prior. For more information, see

-- August 23, 2015

Model Horse Show Includes Hartlands

A Hartland class judged on "collectability" will be held at the Sinawa Model Horse Show on October 24, 2015, at Camp Sinawa in Valders, Wisconsin. The show includes halter and performance classes for Kids 14 & Under and Youth 18 & Under. The Open (adult) division includes 20 halter classes, and any brand of model horse may be entered.
Direct questions to:

Contributed to China, Metal, and Breyer Model Horse Books

Besides writing my own books, I've contributed to the books of others.

Japan chinas -- I sent a few dozen photos to the Made-in-Japan [Horse] Club's reference base book (1996) and supplements compiled by Barri Mayse. In 2007, I submitted photos for the future edition. The book work was on hold, but may resume soon.

Metal horses -- I contributed photos and research to Carolyn Martin's Metal Horse Figurines (2004) and Gladys Brown Edwards' Equine Works in Metal (2008).

Breyer horses (plastic) -- In the 1990s, Breyer author Nancy Young wrote or emailed me regularly. I sent her photos. I bought a model for her and mailed it. I told her how to research patents. (She had no clue.) I also sent her (for free) my entire Breyer file dating back to 1975 (and forward into 1996). It included Bentley Sales Co., and other vendor sales sheets with special runs, medallions from Breyer packages, and other interesting things. So, I did my bit for Breyer, too.

-- Gail Fitch, June 21, 2015

Hartland is an old, diverse, innovative, and resilient brand of plastic model horses and toy horses.

The original Hartland company, Hartland Plastics, Inc., of Hartland, Wisconsin, made its first horses in the late 1940s. By the late 1960s, the company was making horses from two, different hard plastics -- cellulose acetate and styrene -- and in five different sizes (scales). Hartland called its scales: the Tinymites (3") and the 5", 7", 9", and 11" series. (The models are often one-half inch to one inch less tall than the series name.) In addition, there are actually two major lines of Hartland horses: horse-and-rider sets and regular horses.

Hartland began making horse-and-rider sets in the early 1950s; in a decade, the sets depicted nearly three dozen famous characters, including Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, and Tonto. Most rider sets are 9" size, and have removable equipment (saddle, hat, etc.). Much of the equipment was uniquely shaped for each rider, and many riders had more than one horse design, so the rider sets are pretty complicated. Hartland's mane and tail variations added diversity decades before other companies did that.

The rider horses were "western" horses of no particular breed. In the early 1960s, Hartland began producing horses of specific, popular breeds, including more Tennessee Walkers and American Saddlebreds than any other manufacturer. The 9" and 11" horses were sold individually; most of the 5" and 7" horses were created to be sold as horse family sets. The 1960s horses included decorator colors, wood-carved/wood-grained textures, unpainted ("paint them yourself") models, and pearled finishes in addition to more realistic models.

Then, the molds were sold, and four more companies had a hand in making Hartland horses from the 1970s through 2007. Each company produced new and different colors, boosting the total number of Hartland horse models to over 750.

Many, but not all, Hartland horses are marked "Hartland" (on an inner, hind leg). Especially before the 1980s, Hartland fairly often molded horses in colored plastic, not just white, which makes for some interesting color variations. Semi-gloss finishes are typical for Hartland horses of all eras. Fine, sculpted detail is another Hartland hallmark.

-- Gail Fitch, April 28, 2015, ©2015

Spring 2015 Events -- a partial list in the Midwest

Equine Affaire was April 9-12, 2015, at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio. See

The Midwest Horse Fair was April 17-19, 2015, in Madison, Wisconsin. See

The Milwaukee County 4-H Model Horse Show was April 25, 2015. This year, there was no open show, only the 4-H show. The open show is slated to return next year.

For events of the Chicago-area Great Lakes Congress, Inc. (model horse club), see

-- February 28, 2015

Fall Events, 2014

Mini Models to be Judged in Indiana

Model horse events for fall include The Little Horse Show on Saturday, October 18, 2014, at the Peter Stone Factory, 805 E. North Village Dr., Shipshewana, Indiana 46565. It is open to model horses of all brands that are the size of Stone "Pebbles" or smaller; that is, about 5" tall or less.
     Eligible horses also include the Chips (about 3") by Peter Stone, Stablemates and Little Bits / Paddock Pals by Breyer, Tinymites (3") and the 5" series by Hartland, and Hagen-Renaker minis (3"), plus artist resins, customized models, and other brands of horses about 5" or under. See

Massachusetts Horse Expo Features Musical Celebration

The Equine Affaire, Eastern States Expo, billed as the largest horse-related trade show in the East, is November 13-16, 2014, in West Springfiled, Massachusetts. It includes clinics and seminars, breed demonstrations and exhibits representing the horse breeds of North America and Europe, and the "Fantasia," a musical celebration of the horse. Adult admission is $15 or $50 for a four-day pass. See

-- Gail Fitch, October 12, 2014


Summer Musings, 2014

James Garner died yesterday. Of all the actors who portrayed characters that Hartland Plastics, Inc., modeled in plastic in the 1950s-1960s, he was my favorite. Dale Robertson was right up there, too.

In December, 2013, I was preparing the next issue of Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting & Hartland News, but had to set it aside. There was an immediate need for a mini-biography on a local person, and I wrote it.

-- Gail Fitch, July 20, 2014

Model Horse Shows Slated in Wisconsin for Early 2014
by Gail Fitch, January 17, 2014

Wisconsin is a hotbed of model horse shows, even in the cold months. It began with the Milwaukee Co. 4-H Horse/Horseless Club youth and open show on January 11.

The pavilion at Firemen's Park in Columbus, Wis., will be the site of the Sleigh Ride Rally Model Show, a NAMHSA approved show on February 8. Contact Karen Meekma,

March 1 is the show at Camp Sinawa in Valders, Wis. Contact Gerg Stebnitz, It is NAMHSA approved. For food, grilled cheese "is back."

March 8 is The Crystal Creek Riders show at Randolph Christian Grade School, Randolph, Wis. Contact Kathy Gunderson, NAMHSA approval is pending.

All three shows include youth and open (adult) classes, for performance and halter.

Hartland Indian Rider Set Sales

Ends December 22-- Brave Eagle, whose last year of issue was 1960, ends at auction on eBay on Sunday evening, December 22. The set looks very new, and includes the accessory bag (opened), but is missing the box and some parts. He rides a white, semi-rearing horse with mane up and fancy tail. Brave Eagle was the lead character in a 1950s TV series of that name owned by Roy Rogers.

Sold for $295-- Another Hartland Indian, Chief Thunderbird in the hard-to-find war paint version from 1960, sold on eBay December 8 after meeting the reserve of $295. It was near-mint with all of the plastic accessories. His mount was the war-painted, semi-rearing horse with mane up and plain tail, the very last 1950s-1960s horse variation for Chief Thunderbird.

I'm the seller. Both sets were sent to me to sell on commission. My eBay ID is: hartland_guru.

Issue 17Just published: The latest issue of
Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting & Hartland News
(Issue 17, August 2013)
It's 28 pages with two in color!

Topics, and who they'll appeal to, include:

Horse lovers:
Real-horse news and features. You'll laugh or be glad you know!
Forays into  "alternative" types / brands of make-believe horses, large and small.

Model horse collectors / hobbyists:
Detailed history of the model-horse collecting hobby, and news milestones.
Practical tips and philosophical musings on horse collecting.
We meet a hobby icon, a long-time customizer, and a very nice collector.

Hartland western / horse-and-rider collectors:
Collecting reports on Hartland western sets.
Two important ads for Hartland western collectors.

Fans of TV / movie western heroes:
News  and reviews on TV / movie westerns and their stars.

Hartland horse appreciators:
Updates on recent Hartland findings.

(Some articles and/or ads on each of the above topic groupings appear within this 28-page issue. It is not a "too-girly" magazine. There are things for the western collectors, too, not just the horse people.)

The price is $6.50 plus $3.00 shipping and handling = $9.50

You can send $9.50 via PayPal to:

or mail a check payable to:

Gail Fitch
1733 N. Cambridge Ave., #109
Milwaukee, WI  53202

I don't publish these very often. The last issue was February 2012!
Take Care, Gail Fitch
August 15, 2013




Production Piece Doesn’t Match the Quality of the Original on Breyer Resin Saddlebred

I was disappointed after I took my Breyer “Breeds of the World” American Saddlebred (#8251), a 5.5” tall resin, out of its box.  I noticed that my piece does not look so well shaped as the model illustrated on the box. According to the sculptor, Kathleen Moody, the model photographed for the box was a prototype, not one of the mass produced pieces. 

The problem is not a reflection on the sculptor. The model was made (mass produced) in China. It is up to Breyer to maintain quality control during mass production, and to represent its product accurately.
The model I received falls short. I wonder whether mine is the only one like this or whether all of the production pieces are shaped like mine? Take a look.

On the piece I received, look at the right foreleg (the foreleg on the ground), and compare it to the picture on the box. On my model, the lower leg (cannon bone) is thinner than shown on the prototype, and I think the fetlock’s lower and back portion were partly shaved off. I think the front of the hoof was shaved off, too. The result is a steeper pastern, shorter toe, and more vertical hoof. 

Saddlebreds are known as a comfort to ride partly because of the slope of their pasterns. This horse just became less of a pleasure to ride.

It is not my imagination that my piece’s leg and hoof got smaller than the prototype. The photo on the box is in a smaller scale than the model, yet the model’s leg is actually slightly thinner than the picture. (I measured!) It should be bigger.

That is true for all four of the legs, too, but more for the lower half of the legs than the upper half.

Does your Saddlebred piece look, in comparison with the prototype photo on the box, like it lost part of the thickness and contour of its lower right foreleg and hoof, and the angle of the pastern and hoof each became steeper?

If I return mine, will Breyer send me another that is equally painful to look at? Or, is there a chance I could get a better one?

“No foot, no horse,” you know!
Gail Fitch, buying Breyer horses since 1963.
May 19, 2013

Several national store chains open their doors to "Black Friday" specials so soon as 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day this year.

The weekend of November 16-18, Toys R Us made coupons available to TRU rewards card holders for "buy 1, get 1 free" on Papo and Schleich figurines, according to model horse collector Christi Koenig, writing at the Toy Horse Haven yahoo group. She said that the card is free.

On November 5, the Great Lakes Congress announced its 2013 schedule. No Frills Shows will be held February 23, March 23, and August 24. An all-mini No Frills Show is April 20. The Youth Show is October 19, and the No Frills Show with holiday party is December 7. All of these 2013 events are on Saturdays, in northeastern Illinois.

by GF, November 20, 2012

A major event for midwest horse lovers is the Midwest Horse Fair, April 19-21, 2013, in Madison, Wisconsin. Madison, located in the middle of the state, is the state capitol.
The response to my new book, Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000, has been enthusiastic. Thanks to all who have sent their compliments. The publisher, Schiffer, did a fine job.

GF, April 13, 2013

Model Horse Swap Meet and Show to Be Held During  Equestrian Expo Near Detroit, November 9-11.

The Showplace Spectacular Model Horse Show is Saturday, November 10, 2012, at the Suburban Collection Showplace, 46100 Grand River Ave., in Novi, Michigan, which is slightly northwest of Detroit.
    It takes place during the Novi Equestrian Expo, November 9-11, 2012. Riding exhibitions and clinics are included in the schedule, and tack and giftware will be available from vendors.

    The model show, which is NAMHSA-approved,  includes 10 judged divisions: OF Breyer classic or larger, OF Breyer mini, OF Stone mini, OF Stone classic or larger, Custom classic or larger, Custom mini, Breyer Connoisseur models, Artist Resin mini, Artist Resin classic or larger, and Performance.
    All divisions except Performance will use the same list of 25 classes: four foal classes and 21 classes for adult horses, divided by breed or type. The Performance division is open, and has four classes: Western Pleasure, Working Western, English Pleasure, Working English, and Costume.
    All of the halter divisions will run concurrently, and the plan is for each class to load at the same time across the divisions.

    The model show entry fee is $45 or $30 to enter only one division. There is also a fee to park at the Suburban Collection Showplace. Prices include a one-day pass to the Equestrian Expo.
     The show is preceded by a Model Horse Swap Meet on Friday, November 9, 2012. A table is $25, but $20 if also participating in Saturday’s model horse show.
    See  “Model  Horse Show” is one of nine categories to click at the left of the page.
    The Performance division is efficiently condensed. The breeds and types are divided up interestingly in the halter divisions.  Missing, though, is a performance class for harnessed horses, and the halter divisions overlook chinas, mass produced resins (and miscellaneous media like metal), and Hartlands and all other plastic models besides Breyers or Stones. With an entire division for Connoisseur Breyer models, though, this show accommodates models that are generally both higher-priced and less breakable. The relatively shorter class list of this show, with no cross entry except possibly with performance classes, should mean that the show ends before everyone is exhausted! 

Gail Fitch, October 16, 2012

Hartland Horses CoverThird Book Joins Hartland Stable

With artistic sculpture and imaginative colors, lovely horses by Hartland have thrilled kids and collectors since the 1940s. They have held a special place in the world of make-believe horses. While hardships halted Hartland horse production in the 1990s, in 2000, they returned in style, with gleaming coats and expressive eyes. This new book picks up the trail with 358 bright illustrations of Hartland's revived production. New-century American Saddlebreds, Appaloosas, Arabians, Mustangs, Paints, Polo Ponies, Quarter Horses, Tennessee Walkers, riders, saddles, and more are covered, with detailed descriptions, values, and plastic-horse hobby lore. Also included are gift-run models in sizes ranging from Tinymites to 11", and test models. If you have a passion for model horses, you'll love this book!

It is 180 pages (8.5" x 11", paperback). I will sign and number your book, and enclose my two-page index, also.

I am now accepting advance, pre-paid orders for delivery in June. The price is $30 by PayPal or $28.50 by personal check or money order. If you pay by May 25, your book will be from the very first shipment.

The first 10 people to order will receive a small gift of interest to model horse collectors.

To pay with PayPal, go to the Catalog page.
To pay with a personal check or money order, print out the Order Form page.

Gail Fitch, May 1, 2012

July 21, 2012
The first shipment of Hartland Horses: New Model Horses Since 2000 arrived on Thursday, July 19. On July 20, I mailed your book if you were in the first shipment; that is, if you ordered by May 25!

Sent by Media Mail, the books will begin arriving on July 23 or 24 at the earliest, but allow two weeks. To Canada, the books were sent by First Class Mail International, which I am told will take two weeks.

The second shipment arrives Tuesday, July 24. I will send them out on July 25 to all those who pre-ordered between May 26 and July 19. From July 24 on, the new book will be continuously available for immediate shipment.

I signed and numbered each book and also the orange index sheet. The edition number should be the same in both places and also match the number wriiten in pencil under my return address label on the box. Let me know if anything isn't right.

I appreciate your buying the book from me, and your patience in advance ordering. I hope you like the book. Feedback is welcome.

Gail Fitch

P.S. I sell the book on eBay, but the price is lower when bought directly from me. See the Catalog Page to pay with PayPal and the Order Form Page if sending a check or money order.

July 3, 2012
The Summer Olympics open July 27, 2012, in London, and the theme of BreyerFest 2012 is "The British Invasion." The model horse convention is July 20-22 (Friday-Sunday) at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky.

Equilocity, the Peter Stone Company's model horse convention has a tropical theme, "Horses in Paradise." It is July 19-21 (Thursday-Saturday) at the Griffin Gate Mariott Resort & Spa, Lexington, Kentucky.

For more on these events, see:

June 15, 2012
In horse-related news, The Dane County (Wis.) Human Society is looking for donations to its Horse Fund to help feed 16 horses that were recently surrendered to its care (Associated Press, May 15, 2012).

The Columbus (Wis.) Horse and Carriage Festival is June 16-17, 2012, in the picturescue town that dates to the 1840s. Admission is free. See (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, June 3, 2012)

A collector is looking for old Hartland books (by Gail Fitch) from1983-1998. Those had plastic comb bindings. He has a lead on a 1987 book (from the Second Edition of Hartland Horses and Riders), and I think I can get him a 1998 book. He will still be missing these editions: First (1983-1985), Third (1989), and Fourth through Sixth (1991-1995). See the "Out of Print" page for pre-1999 book details. Contact me -- -- if you have an old Hartland book for sale.

The advance copy of the latest Hartland book arrived June 8. The shipment is due in July (or late June). I will fill the pre-paid orders so soon as the shipment arrives. I've already addressed the shipping boxes!

-- Gail Fitch

                Seahorse Card

Issue 16 of Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting & Hartland News, published February 6, 2012, has received very positive reviews. One reader said it was the best issue yet. It encompasses much more than "just" Hartland models, and most of its articles are timeless. This issue is called February 2012, but it is like the year in review, plus what's coming next, and special features. It is 28 pages -- all articles, no advertising. See Catalog Page to order via PayPal or Order Form Page if sending a check.
(February 23, 2012)

Pink and Purple - - Model horse collector Laura Pervier creates greeting cards. She sent the card with a seahorse motif (upper right) for my birthday in February 2012. It is shown smaller than actual size. Thank you, Laura. (March 9, 2012)



news from 2011

Vintage Hartland Books For Sale:

September 27, 2011-- Collector Laura Pervier is selling three books by Gail Fitch that she said she's "had for years and years. Excellent historical hobby material. I need the shelf space, so hopefully they'll find new homes." They are for sale on MH$P.

"Hartland Horses and Riders" from June 1986

"Horse Colors and Gaits" from Nov 1986

"Hartland Horsemen & Gunfighters, Hartland Models, Volume 1" from Feb 1998

These books were autographed. They include color photos. Contact Laura Pervier at

Fall 2011 News and Events
by Gail Fitch, September 27, 2011

A memorial service for Thoroughbred stallion Invisible Ink, who was a Kentucky Derby contender, was held September 16, 2011, at the Kentucky Horse Park.

Equine Affaire, Eastern States Exposition, is November 10-13, 2011, in West Springfield, Mass. See

The Great Lakes Congress, Inc., has model horse events planned for northern Illinois in the final months of 2011. It posts notices at

In September, Back in the Saddle mailed its Autumn 2011 gift catalog for horse lovers. See

The latest horse story to make the best seller lists is The Eighty Dollar Champion by Elizabeth Letts, 2011. It's the story of Snowman, the former plow horse who took show jumping honors in the late 1950s. There has never been a movie about Snowman, but given the interest in this book, perhaps a movie will follow.

September 28, 2011--

Seabiscuit, the inspiring, late 1930s Thoroughbred race horse, was the subject of "American Experience" on PBS television on Monday, Sept. 26.

For more of the American experience of shopping, there's the Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market, November 19-20, 2011, at the Lake County Expo Center in Grayslake, Illinois. For details, see

A new sitcom on CBS television this fall, "2 Broke Girls," included a walk-on by a horse in its second episode (Sept. 26). Caroline, a former rich girl, has a horse named Chestnut. As she pointed out, Chestnut is a champion. Since her family's money suddenly collapsed, Caroline's been working in a diner and rooming with her fellow waitress, the other "broke" girl. Apparently unable to afford board, she's been keeping Chestnut just outside the apartment. Who knows what the poor animal is eating? This show has possibilities.

Happy New Year 2011:
February 4, 2011 -- by Gail Fitch

If you own Hartland test models, contest-prize horses, or other rare models -- especially those made since 2000, bring them to the Stone Horse's Eureka Live Model Horse Show at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara, California, on Sunday, February 13, 2011. Someone will be there to photograph them for a book.

Dress-up themes are popular lately at some model horse shows. Mardi Gras is the theme of the February 13 show in Santa Barbara. See

The 2011 Show for the Cure has a western theme. Anyone dressing as a cowboy, cowgirl, or Indian is eligible for a prize. The show, which raises money to combat cancer, is March 19, 2011 in Itasca, Illinois. See Show hostess Jenna Nejman is author of Amy's Big Day, a story of a high school student who's preparing to enter her first horse show. The book is sold at

The Great Lakes Congress model horse club has shows scheduled for February 19, March 12, April 30, and May 28, 2011, in Huntley, Illinois. See or the GLCLIveShow group at

March 12, 2011, is also the day of the Crystal Creek Rider's spring show in Wisconsin. Contact Karen Meekma at

A year-long exhibit, "Celebrities: Saddlebreds and Personalities from the Silver Screen, Cinema, and History" opens February 18, 2011, at the American Saddlebred Museum at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky. \

The Illinois Horse Fair is March 4-6, 2011, at the state fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois. See

The Equine Affaire equestrian expo, with clinics, seminars, demonstrations, a trade show, and more, is slated for April 7-10, 2011, at the Ohio Expo Center, Columbus, Ohio. For details, see

Ride & Shine Model Horse Tack Shop has branched out from blankets to include halters, leg wraps, saddles, and costumes. The prices are reasonable. See

Following Santa Barbara in February, Peter Stone events slated for 2011 include: The Stone Horses Country Fair in Shipshewana, Indiana, in May; the Beach Party Live Model Horse Show in Pocomoke, Maryland, in June; Equilocity, July 14-16 in Lexington, Kentucky; and the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous in Grand Lake, Colorado, in September. Equilocity includes a model show, breakfast, ice cream social, dinner, and the Equlocity Artist Colony (vendors). See

A new magazine that began in July 2009, Model Horse Performance features delightfully illustrated how-to articles on model horse performance showing. It is published quarterly by Shannon Granger and Riversong Press, Rathdrum, Idaho. See

BreyerFest 2011, the largest model-horse collecting convention in the world, will be July 15-17 at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky. Three-day admission tickets are $70 if paid for by April 1; $85 thereafter. Admission for children 7-12 is $55. See for more information.

news from 2010

October/November 2010 Events.

In 1995, Carl Carlson bought Hartland Horses and Riders, the two-volume book on regular Hartland horses, horse-and-rider sets, and Hartland company history. His wife said he really enjoyed it. Now, she is selling it on eBay. If you don't see it there, email me at for more information on how to get in touch with her. She was selling each volume separately.

Some factory color-sample Hartland models from the 1980s and 1990s and a few painted later than that have been for sale on eBay by horse_power_graphics_inc, starting about a week ago (in November 2010). Hartland production models and some unpainted (white plastic) models are for sale also.

The November 2010 issue of Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting & Hartland News is now available. It is the first issue in two years, and covers a lot. It is 28 pages, including two in full color. The price is $8.50 ppd.

-- Gail Fitch, November 21, 2010

Model Horse Show Slated for March 19, 2011

The Show for the Cure, hosted by Jenna Nejman, will be March 19, 2011, in Itasca, Illinois. It raises money to combat cancer. See

Model-Horse-Related Events for Fall 2010 Include:

October 8, 2010
Secretariat, the new movie about the 1973 Triple Crown winner, opens in theatres.

October 8 & 9, 2010
Artist and equestrian Elizabeth Shatner, who is married to actor William Shatner, creates impressionistic, digital photographic art depicting many horse breeds and riding disciplines. She will be on hand to sign her work at The Kentucky Horse Park Gift Shop, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 8 & 9.
      The Horse Park also reported that the Shatners and three of their American Saddlebreds participated in the opening ceremonies of the Alltech FEI 2010 World Equestrian Games in progress September 25-October 10 at the Horse Park, which is near Lexington, Kentucky. Elizabeth rode Boston Legal, and William drove Call Me Ringo. (The third horse, All Glory, was the subject of a 2010 BreyerFest model.)

October 23, 2010
The Great Lakes Congress, Inc., is presenting a Youth Model Horse Show and Breyer Fun Day on Saturday, October 23, 2010, at the Huntley Park District building, 12015 Mill St., Huntley, Illinois. The Youth Show, open to ages 18 and under, will have 34 judged classes and a $10 entry fee. Free activities open to all ages include painting a small Breyer horse, and a judging clinic. A Breyer dealer, Bentley Sales Co., will have new models available, and there will be other vendors and door prizes. Great Lakes Congress is a non-profit organization that promotes the study of horses and the hobby of model horses. For more information, see

October 31, 2010
The Halloween Horse Parade, October 31, 2010, in Beaver Dam, Wis., the largest all-horse parade in the state, steps off at 12:30 p.m. There is a $10 donation per rider. Proceeds go to the Crow Creek Sioux Reservation. Contact the Dodge Co. Boots and Saddles Club,, Rob or Maily Kocinski, (Added October 24, 2010)

November 11-14, 2010
The Equine Affaire, Eastern States Expo is November 11-14 in West Springfield, Massachusetts. See

November 20-21, 2010
The Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market is November 20-21, 2010, at the Lake County Expo Center, Grayslake, Ill. An indoor event with vendors and seminars, but no live horses, it is produced by the Horsemen’s Council of Illinois. See

By Gail Fitch; added October 8, 2010

(For your event to be mentioned here, send a news release.)

September 2010 Events.

The Meows and Minis model horse show to benefit the Cat Guardians cat shelter in Lombard, Illinois, will be September 11, 2010. For information, contact Chris Wallbruch,

Gail Fitch,
March 13 & 14, 2010; March 23, 2010; April 11, 2010.

Summer and Spring 2010.

Buy Rare Hartland Items with Caution
by Gail Fitch, August 12, 2010

It was inevitable: When a collectible becomes valuable, fakes become part of the collecting landscape. It happens more as time goes on. Two recent instances of Hartland fakes include a saddle and a rider -- in separate eBay auctions, by different sellers, and going to different buyers. Both models were represented as originals, and carried high "buy it now or make an offer" prices. Both buyers are now chagrined.

The saddle was actually a common saddle, but stripped of its paint and repainted to resemble a rare saddle. It's hard to tell the rider's original color scheme because the attire was entirely covered with non-factory paint. It is now in a rare color scheme. It probably began as a common color. If it was originally the rare color, but repainted to cover rubs, it was a bad idea. Hartland models in average condition, with rubs in the paint, but original finish, are normally more valuable than blemish-free repainted or touched up models.

The names of both sellers are known. For now, give extra scrutiny to high-priced, "rare" Hartland pieces sold by individuals in Pennsylvania or Minnesota or who do not reveal their geographic location. Also, if an eBay seller asks you to pay outside eBay, don't do it. As a buyer, you would lose protection.

Here's some advice. After buying an expensive, "rare" piece, get it checked by an expert -- it's not hard to send photos by email. (My email is Don't put it off. Soon after a model arrives is not too late to ask for a price adjustment or to ask to return the model. I've had people ask my advice before an auction ends, but let's face it: a "buy it now" auction encourages spending first, and asking questions later.

There are things you can check for once the model is in your hands. On factory-painted Hartland models, airbrushing was the norm; visible brush strokes in the paint are a giveaway that the model was either touched up or entirely repainted. On all but a handful of model designs -- mainly very early ones -- the Hartland factory used paint masks to neatly demarcate painted areas. Sometimes, the masks slipped, leaving a blurred line, but that is a more consistent line than the dodgy edges left behind by unmasked, hand-brushed work.

The trend toward fakes being paired with high, "buy it now" prices should make collectors extra wary of such auctions of "rare" items. Rare items, by definition, don't turn up very often. In an auction of a group of items, with no claims made about the scarcity, if you think you spot a rare item in the bunch, it is more likely to be authentic. The highly polished auctions that boast about scarcity or feature a single item are more likely to involve fakes -- although auctions featuring such calculated misrepresentation are still few and far between.

Many sellers are not well informed, and eBay is full of the garden variety of incorrect or vague identification or description. That's why a picture is worth 1,000 words. It doesn't hurt to ask the seller questions although I'm not sure how productive that would be when fakes are labeled as rare and original.

The most important issue is correct representation of the item for sale. Some collectors don't mind touched up models if it improves the appearance. Likewise, some collectors will even commission an artist to repaint a common model to look like a rare model, so that they can fill a hole in their collection. Repaint artists should always sign the underside of the model.

But I think most collectors are like me: generally turned off by retouching and repainting. I'd rather have an authentic piece. The condition doesn't need to be close to perfect.

Customizing -- repainting a model to look unique, not like any existing mass produced model, or adding more details to a model whose identity remains unchanged -- is fairly popular. Hartland never made Zorro, the Cisco Kid, or General Grant, but there are crafters who happily transform Hartland models into those and other characters and correctly label them as "custom" or "customized" in their eBay auctions. Likewise, there are hobbyists who fancy-up a Hartland Lone Ranger or Roy Rogers by adding more painted details to the tack, the horse, or the rider's outfit. Customized models can be fun.

It's all in the labeling.

Model Horse Events Peak in Summer.

by Gail Fitch, July 21, 2010

Each year, the biggest model horse events are two conventions hosted by model horse manufacturers. Both happen around the third weekend of July in Lexington, Kentucky.

Equilocity, the Peter Stone Co. event, runs Thursday, July 22 through Saturday, July 24, 2010, at the Mariott Griffin Gate hotel, Lexington. Thursday events include model sales and an ice cream social. Friday begins with a pajama breakfast, and ends with a buffet dinner at 6 p.m., followed by an auction of one-of-a-kind Peter Stone models at about 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time. The models not only have unique paint jobs, but are uniquely re-shaped from the manufactured versions. Bids may be placed by email until noon on July 23. The Stone Age Live Model Show is Saturday, July 24.

BreyerFest is Friday, July 23 through Sunday, July 25, 2010, with a heavy schedule of model shopping and workshops, model horse shows, a Saturday night dinner and test model auction, and real-horse spectating. Most BreyerFest events are held at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, with a few at the Lexington Holiday Inn-North. The 2010 BreyerFest featured models include likeness of All Glory, a bay Standardbred roadster owned by Elizabeth and William Shatner; and Rising Sun, a palomino that was owned by Elvis Presley.

The Holiday Inn is a short walk from the Mariott, making it easy to participate in both BreyerFest and Equilocity. The BreyerFest events at the Horse Park require a BreyerFest ticket, which includes Horse Park admission. Many of the Equilocity events do not require an advance ticket purchase. In addition to the formally scheduled activities, collectors go room to room model shopping late into the night at the Holiday Inn.

For more information, see (click the box for "Equilocity 2010"), and

On Values -- Revised November 7, 2010
Second-hand collectibles generally sell for much less than they did a decade ago, which is good for ("true") collectors. Rare and sought after items still garner high bids on eBay, which is reassuring for sellers who paid a lot for them years ago.

Long-time collectors have nearly everything by now, but there are always new collectors with extra spending money. When huge collections go up for sale, it's a great collecting opportunity.On eBay, "jettabird" is one of the major collectors selling Breyer, Hagen-Renaker mini, Peter Stone, and Hartland horses. She lives on the East Coast, and I've known her by phone and mail for more than 20 years.

1995 Hartland Book Sells for $120
An old Hartland book edition from 1995 sold for $120.00 on eBay on December 9, 2009. It was from the fifth edition of Hartland Horses and Riders, and sold by "shatormar_studios" -- a collector in Pennsylvania whom I've met. (Each book was numbered and signed. The first edition came out in 1983.) That high bid contrasts with the modest price ($25-$30) for the current and far superior editions published by Schiffer Publishing: Hartland Horsemen and Hartland Horses and Dogs. It does make me feel appreciated as an author.

June/July 2010 Events.

Many model horse shows are held each year, but only some are for the benefit of nonprofit organizations or charitable causes. The eighth annual Big Orange Bash model horse show will help the University of Tennessee's College of Veterinary Medicine buy equipment for its new Equine Sports Medicine Department. BOB 8 will be June 19, 2010, at the Hollingsworth Auditorium at the University of Tennessee Agriculture Campus. It is a NAN qualifying show. For more information, contact Jennifer Pommerance, or see

BreyerFest 2010, the model horse expo held by Breyer, the model horse manufacturer, is slated for July 23-25, 2010 at the Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, Kentucky. See

April/May 2010 Events.

Ohio and Indiana
Equine Affaire, a real-horse expo, is April 8-11, 2010, in Columbus Ohio. The Hoosier Horse Fair is April 9-11, 2010, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis. The Stone Horses Country Fair is May 7-8 in Shipshewana, Indiana. Stone manufacturers plastic model horses (

Northern Illinois
No-Frills model horse shows are slated for April 10 and May 22 in northern Illinois. April 10 is an all-mini show. For information, contact lizicory AT or check GLCLiveShow, a group at

The Midwest Horse Fair, one of the largest horse expos in the country, will be April 16-18, 2010, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

March 2010 Events.

Seeking Show Co-Host
The Show for the Cure (to cancer), hosted by Jenna Nejman, raised $3,200 on March 20, 2010 in Streamwood, Illinois. The model horse show is an annual event (see Jenna Nejman is looking for a co-host for a possible show in Madison, Wis., in fall. Contact her at: bellboots AT

Wisconsin Shows Grapevine
Another model show, Greatest Show on Earth, was held March 20, 2010 in Spencer, Wis. (in Marathon county). Wisconsin area model horse shows are listed at Badger_State_Model_Horse, a group at Show listings may be sent to Carol B. at jaxdgg2g AT

January/February 2010 Events.

Upper Midwest
The first NAMHSA-member model horse show of the year was held in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in January. (For a schedule of the North American Model Horse Shows Association's member shows, see

The 21st annual Illinois Horse Fair was March 5-7, 2010, at the state fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois.

The Eureka Live model horse show, sponsored by Stone Horses (the manufacturer) was February 14, 2010 in Santa Barbara, California. I attended and will report on it in the next issue of Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting and Hartland News.

New Breyer Model
While there, I saw a new Breyer action model, "Esprit" by Kathleen Moody, at a tack shop. It's an action model in dapple grey with windblown mane and tail. Other new Breyer molds include Stablemates illustrated in the January/February 2010 Just About Horses, the Breyer company's publication. (I appreciate model horses of all brands.)

news from 2009

October/November 2009 Events
.The Great Lakes Congress' Youth Model Horse Show and Breyer Fun Day is set for Saturday, October 24, 2009, at the Huntley Park District cafeteria, 12015 Mill St., Huntley, Illinois. The model horse show is open to participants 18 or younger who pre-register and pay the $10 entry fee. A judging clinic will be among the activities. An exclusive, special-run Breyer model will be for sale there by Bentley Sales Co. All ages are welcome. To pre-register or for more information, see

Real-horse demonstrations, clinics, seminars, and a trade show will take place at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, November 12-15, 2009. For details, see

The second annual Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market is slated for November 21-22, 2009, at the new Lake County Fairgrounds' Expo Center in Grayslake (Chicago), Illinois. This event sponsored by the Horsemen's Council of Illinois will feature equestrian-themed venders, information booths, and seminars -- but no real horses. The new fairgrounds is at the intersection of Peterson and Midlothian Roads In Grayslake, Ill. See for information.

Gail Fitch
October 3, 2009

Late Summer News
. In 2010, BreyerFest will be held at the same locations as usual: The Kentucky Horse Park, and the Lexington Holiday Inn-North. Hotel reservations are already being taken for next year's company-sponsored model horse convention to be held,as usual, on a three-day weekend in the second half of July. (Last year, there was talk that BreyerFest would be moved or not held at all.) See for the schedule.

A model horse show to benefit a non-profit cat shelter in Lombard, Illinois, will be held Saturday, September 12, 2009, in northern Illinois. Show hostess Chris Wallbruch said the annual Meows and Minis show has raised over $8,000 for the shelter in the last six years. The show includes donated models and other items that are auctioned online. The in-person judging, similar to a real horse show, is open to mini-sized plastic, china, and resin horses under about five inches tall. For more information, contact Chris at:

Wild horse and burro adoptions are scheduled for six locations in September 2009: Gunnerson, Utah, September 1; Boise, Idaho, September 11-13; Solvang, California, September 12; Blackfoot, Idaho, September 18-20; Gulfport, Mississippi, September 18-19, and New Castle, Indiana, September 18-19. The Wild Horse and Burro Program is a function of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior. See or call 866-4MUSTANGS.

Gail Fitch
August 30, 2009

Custom Palomino.
Model Horse           Model Horse

"Gold Coast" is a Hartland 9" series Three-Gaited Saddlebred customized in 2009 by Peggy Guinan (Copperearth Creations). Peggy's photos (above) capture the slightly metallic palomino color with a touch of dappling.
     Peggy specializes in impressionistically customized horses. Look at that reshaped and textured tail! These horses are not like factory models from Hartland, Breyer, or Peter Stone.

      Peggy Guinan is also a writer, and wrote about creating custom Saddlebreds in Hartland Model
, Summer 2007. She described the challenges of portraying action poses, and of working with styrene plastic, in Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting & Hartland News, Fall 2007. Both articles are illustrated with her work.
     Peggy has newly customized model horses available at (just about) all times. Get in touch with her at

July 28, 2009

Unusual Rider Series Horse
Appaloosa Model Horse
February 6, 2009--This appaloosa (above) turned up near Hartland, Wisconsin, in January 2009. Have you seen one like it before? Any thoughts on what it might be? Let me know at gfitch AT Thanks. Gail Fitch

Benefit Show: March 21,2009.

January 5, 2009
--A mail-in photo show to benefit the Made-in-Japan model horse club will be judged by club president Carolyn Winiarski on March 21, 2009. The show is open to all makes of model horses. Carolyn wrote, "I look forward to seeing everyone's models: Japans, Breyers, Peter Stones, ceramics, artist resins, and anything else you can find a class for."

The champion and reserve awards will include items from Country Artists, Cindy Neuhaus - Lakeshore Collection, Janet Bonney, Christy Allen, Lisa Bickford, and Aimee Kelly of Matriarch Creations. The raffle prizes will include Webkins stuffed animals.

For class list, entry information, and pictures of the awards, visit:, which is listed in the links section on the MIJ Yahoo board. For more information, email Carolyn -- CactusKido AT

Jo Maness of Texas founded the Made-in-Japan Club in 1980. Since then, the club has held nearly 300 monthly photo shows, and registered thousands of models. A book published by the club illustrates over 1,000 different molds of china horses made in Japan and sold under dozens of different brand names since World War II. Metal horses made in Japan, and some non-Japan ceramic horses are included.

January 21, 2009--Peter B. Schiffer, the publisher who opened the door to model horse books, died of a heart attack in December. He was 60. Since 1997, Schiffer Publishing, Ltd., of Atglen, Penn. has published a Breyer book, three Hagen-Renaker / Maureen Love books, a general horse collectibles book, and a horse antiques book in addition to the two books on Hartland: Hartland Horsemen and Hartland Horses and Dogs. No other publisher comes close to having so many model horse books in its catalog. While Mr. Schiffer is gone, his widow, Nancy Schiffer, and son Peter N. Schiffer, assured the company's authors and book sellers that they "remain dedicated to publishing great books."

news from 2008

New Model Equestrian Magazine Released
. Issue 14 of Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting and Hartland News was released in December 2008. See Home Page, Catalog, and Order Form for more information.

Chicago Equestrian Expo Nov. 22-23, 2008
. The Horsemen's Council of Illinois will present the Chicagoland Equestrian Lifestyle Expo & Holiday Market on November 22-23, 2008, at Arlington Park Racecourse, Arlington Heights, Ill. The event is billed as "a new all-breed, multi-discipline educational and shopping event." It will be entirely indoors.

The facility does not have room for horses, but participants will be able to shop at up to 300 booths on the grandstand's main level, and attend seminars on the grandstand's upper level. Ten sessions with a choice of three seminars each, with topics such as "Bit Basics" and "The Horse in Art," are slated for Saturday. Six sessions are planned for Sunday.

The Expo hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Admission is $6 for one day and $10 for both days. Tickets can be ordered in advance. At the door, only cash will be accepted. Online, see and click on the "Equestrian Lifestyle Expo" logo. Four nearby hotels will offer special rates: Hotel Indigo, Courtyard by Mariott North, Jameson Suites, and Red Roof Inn.

November 6, 2008

May Date for Stone Horses Fair.
The Stone Horses Country Fair will be May 15-17 in Shipshewana, Indiana. The itinerary includes a model horse show to be held at the convention center at the Shipshewana Town Center. For more information, see or email

Another Model Equestrian Coming Soon!
Another Model Equestrian Coming Soon!
Whew! BreyerFest 2008 is now history. Reports on BreyerFest will be included in the next issue of Model Equestrian! The other topics are to be announced!
August 11, 2008

Equine Art Education Center Opens.
A model horse museum opened in California on May 17, 2008, but closed in 2008, reportedly due to security problems. The museum was on the grounds of the Coyote Springs Ranch in Cathey's Valley, California, in Mariposa County, southeast of Sacramento. The ranch, which is owned by Theresa Castaldi and Patricia and Larry Oakanders, is the site of riding and roping events. See

The museum, which housed the model horse collection of Sheryl Leisure, is slated to reopen in nearby Mt. Bullion, California, as part of an equine "art and learning center." Leisure will teach art, including painting model horses, and a riding instructor will give lessons. Leisure has designed model horse colors for Hartland, Breyer, and Peter Stone, and has hosted model horse shows. The grand opening in May 2008 was marked by a model horse show and swap meet. Another model horse show is scheduled for late February, 2009. See

(Edited December 23, 2008, and February 7, 2009)
For the third week of July, Lexington, Kentucky, is “model horse central.”
National Model Horse Show, 2008

The 2008 North American Nationals (NAN), the largest model horse show in the world, is July 15-17 (Tuesday-Thursday) at Heritage Hall in the Lexington convention center, 250 W. Main St., downtown. NAN is produced by model horse hobbyists, and is not a sales event for model horse manufacturers. Model horse shows are judged meets, similar to real horse shows. The elaborate, organized hobby of model-horse showing is nearly  40 years old. Models qualify for NAN by winning first or second place at numerous designated shows around the country. By July 7, registration was closed. For more information, see

Equilocity, 2008
Equilocity is the Peter Stone model horse company’s event. A pre-Equilocity sale of special run models  will be July 14-16, Monday through Wednesday evenings at the Lexington Holiday Inn—North, 1950 Newton Pike, Lexington.
     Equilocity, itself, is July 17-19 (Thursday-Saturday), and takes place at the Griffin Gate Marriott Resort & Spa, 1800 Newton Pike, Lexington.  Highlights for 2008 include the early-bird sale of Stone models on Friday from 6 a.m.-8 a.m., dinner Friday evening (with a mini model included) for $49.99, and model show on Saturday. The show’s entry fee is $40, and is open to all brands of models.  The dinner and show still have openings.
     During Equilocity, the Stone company will sell Equilocity special-run models in two locations. At the Marriott, the hours are: Thursday from noon-8 p.m., Friday from noon-6 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m.  At the Holiday Inn—North, 1950 Newton Pike, the hours are:  Thursday from 4-10 p.m., Friday from 7 p.m.-midnight, and Saturday from 4 p.m.-midnight. For more on Equilocity, see

BreyerFest, 2008
BreyerFest 2008, held by Reeves International, manufacturer of Breyer models, will draw thousands of model horse collectors to its events July 18-20 (Friday-Sunday) at two Lexington locations: the Kentucky Horse Park, 4089 Iron Works Parkway, and the Lexington Holiday Inn—North, 1950 Newton Pike.
     Midnight on July 7 was the order deadline for a three-day ticket ($85 per adult, $55 per child). One-day tickets will be available at the gate ($20 per adult, $10 per child), but do not include the special BreyerFest model, whose mold will be broken afterward.
     BreyerFest tickets include admission to the Kentucky Horse Park and its museums and outdoor exhibits, including living horses and life-sized statues of horses. The KHP is an educational theme park operated by the state of Kentucky. It hosts many real-horse and dog events throughout the year. On BreyerFest weekend, model horse collectors will be sharing the grounds with the admission-paying general public, including people who are interested in horses, but don’t know what a “Breyer” is. Portions of the KHP grounds are rented for non-horse purposes, too. On the Saturday evening of BreyerFest 2004, a church-sized, grassy area near the Man O’ War statue was the site of a local wedding.
     Each morning and afternoon, the covered arena will feature real horse exhibitions, and side areas of the arena will be occupied by a model-horse and real-horse vendor’s trade fair, and the Breyer company store.
     At the Horse Park’s Grand Pavilion, the open model horse show is Friday, children’s and youth model horse show is Saturday, and benefit auction of Breyer models is Saturday evening, 6-8:30 p.m.  Participation in the shows requires pre-registration and an entry fee. Limited to 15 participants each, 31 of the 32 BreyerFest workshops on model horse painting, sculpting, and other topics had sold out by July 7. Each workshop was $30.
     BreyerFest activities at the Holiday Inn-North are: the Artisans' Gallery sale Thursday through Saturday, 5:30-10 p.m. and the Swap Meet Friday only, 7-11 p.m. Collectors sell from their hotel rooms, also.
     Locations are Close Together
The Mariott Inn, site of Equilocity, is a block from the Holiday Inn-North, the site of some BreyerFest events, a Peter Stone sales room, and evening sales by collectors from their hotel rooms. Both hotels are in a commercial, suburban location less than a 15-minute drive from the Kentucky Horse Park, which is out in the countryside, and from the Lexington convention center, the NAN location, which is downtown.  Some model horse fans will visit all four locations for the three events.  Hotel rooms around Lexington fill up fast for the third week of July.

               Summary of NAN-Equilocity-BreyerFest Week in Lexington, July 14-20, 2008:

Monday                                  Stone sale at Holiday Inn (evening)

Tuesday & Wednesday   NAN show downtown; Stone sale at Holiday Inn (evenings)

Thursday                               NAN show downtown; Stone sale at Holiday Inn
         Equilocity at Marriott
        Artisans' Gallery sale (5:30-10 pm) at Holiday Inn

Friday                                      Equilocity early-bird sale (6-8 am) and evening dinner  at Mariott;
      BreyerFest at Horse Park, including open show, vendors, and Breyer store
         Swap meet (7-11 pm) and Artisans' Gallery sale (5:30-10 pm) at Holiday Inn

Saturday                                Equilocity model show at Mariott
                                                     B’Fest at Horse Park, incl. kids’ show, vendors, Breyer store, evening auction
                                                     Artisans' Gallery sale (5:30-10 pm) at Holiday Inn

Sunday                                    BreyerFest including vendors and Breyer store

Check the Breyer web site and/or your Breyerfest tickets for details including:
• The time of a drawing at the covered arena Saturday (you must be present to win)
• Time span and location for picking up the BreyerFest model at KHP
• Your individual time slot to shop in the special models lane at the Breyer store.  
(Shopping for regular products in the Breyer store is unlimited.)       

While in Lexington, horse lovers may also want to visit Thoroughbred Park, an outdoor sculpture museum at Main & Midland in an older part of the city. A tribute to the Thoroughbred racing industry, Thoroughbred Park was featured in Hartland Model Equestrian News, Summer 2007.           

—— July 9, 2008 ——

BreyerFest in Kentucky in July

BreyerFest 2008 will be July 18-20 at the Kentucky Horse Park, near Lexington.

Horse Fair Arrives in April

The 2008 Midwest Horse Fair is April 18-20 at the  Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

Hartland Books Reach Milestone

February 25, 2008, was the 25th anniversary of publication of the first Hartland book. The title was  Hartland Horses and Riders. It included color photos, and chapters on company history, Hartland artistry, riders, horses designed for riders, and separate chapters for each series of regular horses (horses designed to represent breeds). This book went through numerous printings and editions before being divided into two separate books. Hartland Horsemen and Hartland Horses and Dogs are published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd

Illinois Model Sale and Show Planned

The Great Lakes Congress model horse club is holding a garage sale for model horse and horse items on February 23, 2008, in northern Illinois.

The club's big annual show will be April 4-6, 2008, in St. Charles, Ill. For details, see .

—— January 27, 2008 ——

Breyer Tour Visits Wisconsin

In Hudson,Wisconsin, a special model will be available at the Midwest Breyer Tour stop April 26 at the Best Western Hotel. See

Tack Sales Include Hartland Books

Both Hartland books will be available at two Wisconsin tack sales this spring. On Sunday, March 16, 2008, I'll be at the Washington Co. 4-H Saddle Club tack sale  at the Washington Co. Fair Park pavillion, West Bend.

On Saturday, April 5, 2008, I'll have a table at the Racine Co.4H Horse & Pony Project tack sale at Yorkville School in Union Grove. Model horses, including Breyer, Hartland, and other brands, will also be available.

(Dangerously slippery weather prevented my attendance at the Waukesha Co. tack sale in February. This has been a winter for the record books.)

Celebrated John Henry's Birthday

The Kentucky Horse Park held a public, memorial birthday celebration for the late race horse John Henry on
March 9, 2008. Chocolate donuts, his favorite food, were served, according to a news release from the horse park.

For more on the Kentucky Horse Park,see .

—— March 11,2008 ——


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