On October 15, Didi Hornberger successfully pulled off her eleventh Intermediaire/INTERSPORT model horse show (Harrisburg, PA), and she graciously let me photograph it from beginning to end. Didi is the old fashioned sport breed, and all I have to do afterward is send her a compact disc with the pictures burned on it. This is a great relief for me; I have few other ways to transmit hundreds of digital shots. (I'm pretty sure my email would croak if I tried.) Not surprisingly, there were 948 pictures (!! okay, I'm surprised). Idly I thought I'd put up a blog post on the show -- I did last year. Oh hah hah -- !! It's taken 4 days just to pick out my favs and only now have I realized one post isn't going to hold them all. Halter, Performance: that's an easy split, none the worse for having been used before.
These are one photographer's choices. I concentrate on portraits, a favorite goal of mine, both horse and human. I've tried to include something for everybody: Breyers, Stones, resins, chinas. Of course I'm also very interested in performance, but since Intermediaire is such a great performance venue and since I couldn't winnow those shots down very well either, there will be a second post later. Just this post has 40 shots!
Compared to the horses, people are very hard to shoot at shows. Only one class of people comes close to being both unaware and focussed. This first shot tickles me pink -- I think she looks elven. It's Ellen Derr judging a Western performance class.
Mary Ann Snyder judging Arabians. The expressions tell you everything.
Why do I go to big shows like Intermediaire? A good part of the answer is to see what's new! This year in particular I saw so many new models. Here's Duende, Breyer's new Andalusian, sculpted by Mindy Berg. This is my first time seeing him in person.
Although I own 2 Copperfoxes, this was only my second time of seeing the Finnegan models, the Irish Sport Horse (has anyone else mixed up our two ISHs?!) up close and in person. He was sculpted by Morgen Kilbourn. Here we have a glossy Toby and the original chestnut Finnegan.
This beauty is Loughnatusa, owned by Margaret Suchow. I confess I like him best.
I believe all these Copperfoxes were issued as limited runs of 150 or 200 head. I knew about Brigadier from other sources; still it was a thrill to see this glossy black monster up close. He's a big horse! He has ermine spots on his socks.
This one is Bunny, a new mold from Peter Stone company. Pretty impressive if you ask me. I found out she is sculpted by Stacey Tumlinson.
Sometimes you just feel like the guy on the ground here...
In complete contrast, and to my utter delight, I found this foal a few classes later. "What is This?!?" I exclaimed. It is also a new mold from Peter Stone! although this particular one has been factory customized. Uncustomized, the tail points pretty much straight up and the head is straighter and the nose is up level with the horizon. "Arabian Foal," it's called. The tail reminds me of the Mustang Foal from the CollectAs.
This color was called Wonder Woman. Who's surprised.
I'm going to go back to an earlier part of my day. I like to wander around and inspect people's tables. This delicious assortment was seen on Beth Dickinson's table. She informed me the palomino in the foreground is a rare Goebel.
I believe this resin is named Lucius.
Back to seeing models for the first time, here's Java. I find the big cat colors an amazing departure for Breyer, and this one the most astonishing of all. What an idea!! I haven't collected the big cat series, but this is the first time I've really wanted one of them.
I'm as much a pushover for cute foals as anybody.
This foal was more than cute; he was spectacular. I think this is a remake although I'm not sure.
While we're on the subject of new models, here's Calvin the Blue. I've already commented elsewhere on his amazing similarity to the Stone Little Bird and Fledgling, horses released in 2000 and which I happen to own. They were designed by Karen Gerhardt. When Karen first saw this Calvin, she was pretty surprised; but then she just accepted it. I hope most showers can know it is her design idea, and pass on the knowledge.
Here's another Stone custom I had no idea existed. There seems to be no limit on what can be done with plastic hair!
Moving now on to some resincasts, here's a striking pair. You don't often see these two together. Vata, sculpted by Lynn Fraley, is on the left. Maggie Bennett's sculpture Umbra is on the right. Note how Umbra's base is in the form of the horse's shadow.
Conformationwise, I have some rump arguments...
There were a lot of good Matriarchs at the show, at least 5. I own one myself, so I'm somewhat particular for this model. Even though I see some of these horses year after year, I still love them.
Don't you just love the color on this Okie Rio resin! Sculpted by Carol Williams, who also did Matriarch.
And here's a classic, Aashiq by Ed Bogucki, with a stunning rabicano paint job (in oils) by Kim Bleecker.
Despite my efforts, a few Performance shots are sneaking in. It's because I've classified them as portraits. You'll forgive me. This grey mare is a Brigitte Eberl sculpt, owned by Kris Gallagher.
And here's a True North. 'Fess up, Sue, you wanted a Rangoli and didn't get one, so now all the True Norths are just that little bit more attractive.
To prepare you for what lies ahead, I will hark back to an earlier comment. It seems there is no limit on what can be done with plastic hair...
Stone calls this type of factory custom "puddle tail." I think I would've found a more graceful name, perhaps 'curtains'... : )
Indeed there is no limit. At every show I attend, I find a defining model, one that I remember above all the rest -- one that becomes a 'memory tag' for that show. Sometimes I merely fall in love with a horse; others I remember with worship and awe. This show I found something I never dreamed existed, yet it instantly hooked my attention. How could anyone have come up with this?!? Elements of Cervine (deer) and Equine are in this shy forest creature, which I am calling the Deer Filly.
I first saw it on the owner's table. I was astonished and intrigued. Later I photographed it in the arena.
The 'antlers' are part of the mane, not stuck on separately, or so I remember the owner telling me. It is a factory custom on Stone's Arab Filly.
The judge liked her too:
So there you have it: the only model I'm showing 3 pictures of.
I see I've largely left out chinas. Alas, they can't all get in. This beautiful Hagen Renaker took top prizes.
Here's a brief glimpse of the winning Woodgrain. Portraits, remember? He was in such good shape.
When I saw this etch, I was impressed. There were very few etches at Intermediaire, for whatever reason. This one must have started out as a Breyer Valentine.
Here's another case where I own the resin, (except mine is unfinished). This lovely horse is the Morgen Kilbourn sculpt Maxixe, pronounced Mac-SEE-shay. He makes a really good Criollo.
Didi runs an interesting show, with fun classes in the Intermediaire half and 'serious,' more open-class competition in the Intersport half. I'm not clear on which class the Eohippi enter, but I saw my first one last year. This year there were two; this is the new one.
Nearly half the shots I take when documenting big shows are table or arena shots, of a class as a whole. Often they are diagonal (across the table) so as to fit as many horses in as possible. I haven't posted many of these shots as they tend to be of interest only to fanatics (read: boring). But here are a couple. This first one is of the class the Eohippi were in. You can see both of them on the left. The eventual winner was a tiny Quagga and the above model took second.
Here is part of the O.F. Appaloosa class. It's hard to beat an Appaloosa class for flash and color.
A close up, mostly Stones:
To end this post I'd like to zoom in on a model I found particularly enchanting. After a day of seeing thousands of models it's hard to pick just one, but I could find no flaws in Bogucki's one-ninth-scale Bask. Normally I don't like greys, -- which just speaks volumes about his quality and attractiveness. Owned by Niki Hertzog and finished by Nan Wagner.
Coming up: Performance!