Get Ready for Your First Model Horse Show

What is a model horse show? And how can you participate? Read on to find out!

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Model horses and championship ribbons at a model horse show
Photo courtesy Breyer

What will the judge look for in a model horse show? If it’s an Arabian class, the judge will look for the ideal conformation and characteristics of the breed, as well as colors allowed. For similar models in the class, the judge will look for great condition relative to its age or rarity, and since each Breyer model is hand-painted, nice shading and highlights. The best models in the class win the top ribbons and awards!

A young model horse exhibitor and her dad at a model horse show
Photo courtesy Breyer

“Original Finish” means a Breyer horse straight out of the box, with no alterations. Models can’t be repainted or changed in any way.

Model horse exhibitor dusting off her model horse before competition
Photo courtesy Breyer

Check out the event calendar on BreyerHorses.com for a show in your area! Always make sure to read the show packet, but don’t hesitate to contact the show holder with questions and let them know that you are new to showing.

When you’ve selected your horses, it’s time to clean. Take a damp soft rag or towel and run it over each horse. Make sure to get between the ears and through manes and tails!

Bay Arabian Breyer model horse
Photo courtesy Breyer

Once you’ve got a show and date, it’s time to prepare. Bring what you love, but also bring the nicest horses in your collection. “Nice” does not mean “most expensive,” but rather, your horses with the least flaws (like rubs in the paint­—check ear tips and hooves!—or warped legs), and nice shading.

Breyer model horse at a model horse show

Next, you need to give your horse a breed and a name. Most model horse shows require hang tags attached to the back hoof of your horse. On one side of the tag, you’ll put your horse’s name and your initials or identifying information. Name your horse whatever you’d like! It doesn’t have to be the Breyer manufactured name. On the other side, you’ll write down the breed. Be sure to look up the breed characteristics to make sure it’s a good match for your horse.

Breyer model horse in a Breyer pony pouch
Photo courtesy Breyer

With your horses cleaned and tagged, it’s time to pack! Sewn cushioned pouches, such as Breyer’s Pony Pouches, offer protection and less bulk and time needing to wrap and unwrap. Carefully place your models in a sturdy tote for transport.

Model horses lined up at a model horse show
Photo courtesy Breyer

When you get to the show, you’ll want to lay down a blanket on your table and line up your horses. Follow along with the show announcer and listen for your class to be called. Place the model in the show ring and get ready to have some FUN!


Now that you’re all ready, come out and show at BreyerFest® Salute to Horse Heroes July 12-14, 2019 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY

Take $10 off your Youth and Children’s show registration (normally $30) by using code YRSHOW19. Head to www.BreyerFest2019.com for details.


This article originally appeared in the May/June 2019 issue of Young Rider magazine. Click here to subscribe!

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