Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Gilfoyle (Not!) on Copperfox

What could go better with my new Copperfox than my newly-gotten Gilfoyle-McGroarty saddle?! 

NEWSFLASH - Keren G-McGroarty claims she did not make this saddle!!  March 15.  Who Dun It?? 

NEWSFLASH - from the future -  November 15, 2017 - Kelda Goerte of Red River Saddlery made this saddle set.  Thanks to Frances Stevens for this information!

Both were made in England.  This is a short post which celebrates a fortuitous combination.  But I made the saddle blanket.  : )
Friends will know I received my first Copperfox last fall (Oct 2016), one of the "Marble" Connemara mares.  I absolutely loved her.
Ever since then I'd been eyeing the Copperfox catalog and thinking about the exchange rate.  When Copperfox announced a sale that ended at Christmas (2016), I decided to make my move.  All along I had been drawn to only two of their four molds.  Finnegan, while an excellent performance prospect, was not quite so close to my heart as the Connemara; call him a solid second place.  I suppose eventually I shall pursue Finnegan (especially if he turns out to be anywhere near a pair with True North, Breyer's new mold by the same sculptress), but in the end, I chose another Connemara.
I loved the bay, Cadno.
When Cadno arrived, I was marginally less smitten than I had been with the Marble; but only marginally.  He was a very nice horse and I was delighted with him.  He didn't seem quite as sharply molded; and it took me a while to appreciate his grey hoof paint.  He was more matte than I had subconsciously wanted - I seem to have a serious crush on gloss.  But his color was gorgeous, every bit as luscious as I had been led to believe.  The model is wonderful.  It was sculpted by the same artist as Geronimo.  When you hold Cadno next to Geronimo, you learn how much Geronimo has been 'softened,' smoothed down, and how much muscle detail was lost on him compared to the Copperfoxes.

I named my bay Canto, a word which means 'song.'  It also means "Can too!" as an expression of confidence, which was important to me.

The saddle was first seen on MH$P.  The pictures were dark, but I fell in love.
photo by Lynn Norbury
I did not know much about Keren Gilfoyle-McGroarty, other than she had been around forever and that she was from Great Britain.  The overall level of detail on the set was awesome.  This was really the first time I'd paid serious attention to the work of this artist, for which I am somewhat ashamed.  I determined I had to have the saddle, and luck was with me - it came home that fall (Sept 2016). 
What makes me fall in love with a particular saddle?  For one thing I collect pieces from artists who have matured to the point of having their own distinct style and a pretty high level of detail.  I can only afford one piece from each, so it should be a representative saddle.  I really like saddles that look so real you could 'sit in them and ride away' and be comfy when you did.  The suede seat, then, was a strong draw, one of those subliminal things!  This particular set had that balance of silvering and tooling which I like.  It had the unmistakable stamp of a quality piece of model tack: every part was in scale with every other part, and all the parts expressed the same artistic vision.  For a bonus, it had the most glorious bling, jewels set on to the silver - something I'd rarely seen in real life (and loved when I did).  They too were not overdone; there was a masterful sense of restraint.
But perhaps the best bonus of all was that I had nothing like it.  When availability crosses with quality with liquidity (none of which is guaranteed!), it's time to bite.

The earlier pictures of the bridle reveal my troubles with getting the bit right on the off side.  Yes, the earpiece is too big for this horse, and that forelock doesn't help.  On the near side, everything laid beautifully on the head.
 The braided-floss reins had amazing buckles with silver tips, something I rarely see (and didn't own).
The blanket, of course, is the 'Vibe' I finally finished in late January.  It had been under construction since May of 2016!  which meant sitting around in its little blanket kit box for months, while I dragged it on every trip, to Kentucky, to Florida...  Something about the bright colors just hit it off with the amazing bright jewels on this saddle.  I suspect they are AB, aurora borealis, so they have peach and purple and green and gold tones, just like this Vibe.
The black elements of the saddle balanced with the black of the blanket.  Black is an extremely strong color, yet in this case each piece used it perfectly.

Keren had made her own silver for this set, a clue as to how old it was.  It is not a material I am familiar with.  I am still trying to learn more about when this saddle was made, and under what circumstances.  It is at least 20 years old from what the seller told me.
Minor repairs were necessary with lifting silver on the cheekpieces, breastcollar and cantle.  On the whole, this saddle has been remarkably well preserved.

I am grateful to have it!


  1. That's a beautiful set (and I love the models that are wearing it too).

  2. Another tack mystery! It seems a shame that more people don't sign their work somehow. I am guilty of this myself, I often forget to sign models when finished...