Tag Archives: live showing

NAN 2016: Day 3

Day three of NAN was the quietest day of showing for me, and thus allowed the greatest amount of time for oogling (and some relaxing, since I was pretty dang tired from two big days of showing!)

Since the third day of NAN is for OF Collectibility and China, I wasn’t showing any of my horses. But I was proxy showing a very nice string of OF Breyers for Erin while she judged.

Erin judging a lovely class of China Arabians

Erin judging a lovely class of China Arabians

Although I only have customized models, there is a weird little part of me that loves Original Finish models, particularly vintage ones. I don’t want to collect them, but I love to look at them and marvel at the hobby history. So day three of NAN was full of eye candy for me- the OF Collectibility rings showcased some of the rarest, most amazing models in existence.

Kristen Wellman's incredibly rare blue Fury

Kirsten Wellman’s incredibly rare blue Fury. Only a few of these are known to exist.

A pristine example of Breyer's ill-fated "Touchability" box (owned by Kirsten Wellman).

A pristine example of Breyer’s ill-fated “Touchability” box (owned by Kirsten Wellman).

A stunning class of vintage Breyer decorators.

A stunning table of vintage Breyer decorators.

Pinto Family Arabian Foal on a base made for the Ford Motor Company. Owned by Kristen Wellman.

Pinto Family Arabian Foal on a base made for the Ford Motor Company. Owned by Kirsten Wellman.

I enjoyed showing Erin’s lovely collection, which includes some cool vintage pieces as well as more modern models.

Erin's "ES Thanks, Baby!" is a rare Proud Arabian Foal made for only a short time in 1959.

Erin’s “ES Thanks, Baby!” is a rare Proud Arabian Foal made for only a short time in 1959.

ES Sir Chalkington III, Esq. is a beautiful chalky Adios made during the 1970's oil crisis.

ES Sir Chalkington III, Esq. is a beautiful chalky Adios made during the 1970’s oil crisis.

These were the first two of these Premier Club models made, and the only ones mounted on a base. They were given away randomly to a luck Premier Club member.

These were the first two of these Premier Club models made, and the only ones mounted on a base. They were given away randomly to a luck Premier Club member.

The only bummer about day three was that the hall was FREEZING. It had been cold the other two days, but this was a whole other level. I’m often the person wearing a sweater when other people are in t-shirts, but in this case I was definitely not the only one!

nan-2016-day3-16

Those of us who happened to have brought blankets (I had one in the van for napping on the road!) wore them around the show hall all day. In my desperation, I’m also sporting a fleece cape that is usually used to wrap models.

Luckily day three showing wrapped up a little sooner than the other days, so I was able to escape back into the wonderful warmth of the Kentucky sun.

Erin's show string with the day's winnings.

Erin’s show string with the day’s winnings.

We packed up and headed back to the hotel. NAN was over, but Breyerfest was about to begin and there was no time to slow down…

NAN 2016: Day 2

After the excitement of day one, I sort of just… floated… into day 2 of NAN. The Day 2 divisions are OF Performance, CM Halter, and AR Halter. In addition to showing my horses, I was proxy showing Erin’s amazing string while she was judging other classes.

My day was a little quieter since I wasn’t showing performance, but I stayed plenty busy keeping track of the various halter classes. In between, I oogled the entries in the OF Performance division.

Showers setting up their entries in OF Performance

Showers setting up their entries in OF Performance

Erin's incredible grumpy pony winning Champion Other Pure/Mix Pony. ES Sir Kix-a-lot was customized by Emilia Kurila.

Erin’s incredible grumpy pony winning Champion Other Pure/Mix Pony. ES Sir Kix-a-lot was customized by Emilia Kurila. He was also champion in his workmanship class!

Mackenzie Purdy's beautiful Catarina winning Champion Lusitano/Andalusian.

Mackenzie Purdy’s beautiful Catarina winning Champion Lusitano/Andalusian. Customized by Tiffany Purdy.

The indomitable Canterbury Trendsetter by Sarah Minkiewicz-Bruenig, owned by Diana Patterson.

The indomitable Canterbury Trendsetter by Sarah Minkiewicz-Bruenig, owned by Diana Patterson.

FT Misty Memories owned by Kirstina Fortune

FT Misty Memories owned by Kirstina Fortune

While I know that performance is my strong suit when it comes to model showing, I have less confidence in my customizing and painting. Earning top tens at NAN in breed and workmanship was thus extra special and exciting. The caliber of models at this show is breathtaking.

My first win was also my biggest for the day- Mr. L. B. Scuttlebutt won Reserve Champion UK Pony!

NAN-2016-day2-5

Next, Pollyanna Plaudit took a top ten in Other Stock.

NAN-2016-day2-7

After the CM and AR breed classes were finished, the workmanship divisions started. My wins in workmanship are particularly sweet because all three of them were in classes judged by the esteemed Leslie Kathman. Leslie is an accomplished equine artist and a published expert on horse color genetics. For her to deem my work worthy of a rosette was a huge honor.

Salty Captain took a top ten in the Bay/Black Other Scale class.

NAN-2016-day2-9

My wee foal Hovito won top ten in Other White Spotting Pattern.

NAN-2016-day2-8

And finally, my sweet Pollyanna Plaudit went two for two by winning a top ten rosette in Stock Type Appaloosa. Leslie writes extensively on the intricacies of appaloosa patterns, so this was probably my favorite moment of the day!

IMG_0786

And I wasn’t the only one having a great day…

Tiffany wearing all of the rosettes won by Diana in the CM and AR divisions. Diana's stack of plaques was equally as impressive, but not as wearable!

Tiffany wearing all of the rosettes won by Diana in the CM and AR divisions. Diana’s stack of plaques was equally as impressive, but not as wearable!

NAN 2016: Day 1

We arrived in Kentucky on Sunday evening, and Monday was a blur of errands and preparation. Suddenly it was Tuesday and I was on my way to my first NAN.

The first day of NAN is OF Breed Halter and CM/AR Performance. I was excited and nervous. The hall was enormous.

The show hall

The show hall, with the very first classes being called.

There were twelve show rings, with multiple classes loading at one time. Thanks to some wonderful volunteers, it wasn’t too hard to follow the classes- we had an announcer keeping us constantly updated on the status of each class, and a volunteer manning a huge white board that listed which classes were in what rings.

The oh-so-helpful white board

The oh-so-helpful white board

For me, day one was all about performance. The day started with harness and then several costume classes. I didn’t have anything until the fifth class, so I did as much prep as I could for my upcoming classes and then wandered around nervously looking at all the entries on various tables.

Erin's four Quarter Horses winning top tens in their breed class.

Erin’s four Quarter Horses winning top tens in their breed class.

Finally my first class was called! I had two entries in Scene/Other Performance: Troy Soldier doing horse agility (well, in this case, mule agility) and Puns N Roses doing a liberty demonstration.

One of the awesome things about NAN is that after every class, the top tens placings are announced (in random order) and then they announce the champion and reserve. I love these announcements because you get to hear all the fun names, it’s exciting listening for your horse, and you get to cheer for your friends.

Scene/Other Performance was a big class with some very impressive entries. The announcer listed off the top tens… and the final name she called was Troy Soldier! It was a wonderful moment.

Erin snapped this picture of me, gleeful at winning my first ever NAN Top Ten.

Erin snapped this picture of me, gleeful at winning my first ever NAN Top Ten.

The awesomeness just continued from there. In the next class, Jumper/Cross Country, my old standby performance horse Nightfox won a top ten with my new Star Wars themed jump.

NAN-2016-day1-9

Meanwhile in the other ring, I was setting up my hunter over fences entry with PHF Richard Squared, my beautiful CM Seabiscuit that Tiffany gifted to me earlier this year. When the winners were announced, I was stunned to hear his name announced as Reserve Champion! One of Tiffany’s horses won Champion. Wahoo!

Thank you Tiffany!

Thank you Tiffany!

I love showing performance so much, and getting to do so at NAN, with so many of my friends, with the finest judges in the hobby and the stiffest competition… it was a blast. I was stunned and excited and proud as my entries continued to win top tens as the day went on.

Jaime - Top Ten Other English

Jaime – Top Ten Other English

Puns N Roses - Top Ten Stockwork with my new cows

Puns N Roses – Top Ten Stockwork with my new cows

Meanwhile Erin was garnering ribbons in both CM/AR performance and OF breed halter…

NAN-2016-day1-6

And Tiffany was kickin’ butt in performance with her trademark flare.

NAN-2016-day1-18

After a full day of showing we were down to the very last class- CM/AR Western Riding/Reining/Dressage. I had two entries in this class, both PHF Richard Squared and Puns N Roses. To my joy they were both announced as top tens. I was walking over to the table to disassemble my setups when they announced Puns N Roses as the Champion of the class!

I was so completely stunned, and then dizzy, and then I actually thought I was going to pass out. Folks were clapping and congratulating me and I had to sit on the floor until my head stopped spinning.

This is the face of someone who is trying to play it cool but actually cant stand up or speak coherently.

This is the face of someone who is trying to play it cool but actually can’t stand up or speak coherently.

Talk about a grand finale to an amazing day!

Packing up and heading back to the hotel is all a blur…I was so happy and hungry and excited. I have learned so much in the last few years- from my obsessive research on breeds and events, from countless blogs and tutorials, from my amazing mentors-turned-friends… and this day was in many ways a culmination of all of that.

And this was only Day One!

My performance horses with their winnings

My performance horses with their winnings

‘West & ‘Fest

2016 is going to be a big year for me, hobby wise. Through luck, circumstance, and a bit of cajoling, I am planning to attend Breyerfest and NAN in July. And because that’s not scary enough, I’m also attending Breyerwest in March.

Breyerwest is something like a scaled down Breyerfest, which takes place on the west coast. It’s a way for hobbyists who can’t regularly travel to Kentucky to get a similarly awesome event. Breyerwest hasn’t been held in a few years, but I’m hoping that if this year goes well it will become a regular thing. I’m very lucky to have Breyerwest happening less than two hours away. Like ‘Fest, ‘West is going to have live shows, demonstrations, seminars, equine guests, and more!

Champion pony Smokin' Double Dutch will be there!

Champion pony Smokin’ Double Dutch will be there!

I’m excited and also apprehensive about these big plans. These will be the biggest three live shows I’ve ever been to, with some seriously tough competition. I’ve got a mighty to-do list organized by task and priority to guide me through the preparation and hopefully maintain some sanity.

One of the things I’m looking forward to most about these events is visiting with hobbyists. I’ll get to spend lots of time with some of my favorite people, and I’ll finally get to meet folks who’ve I’ve only talked to online. Give me a shout if you’re planning to attend!

Judge Others

One of the cool new things I did this year was to start judging at live shows. I’d previously dabbled in judging for an online photo shows series, but I hadn’t yet jumped into judging at live show. I’ve now judged at four shows and am scheduled to judge for at least three shows in 2015.

If you are a live shower, I highly recommend that you get involved with judging. There are many great reasons to judge, for all different kinds of hobbyists. And the hobby needs more judges. It is a common lament of show holders that good judges are hard to find. And often the same judges are available for a region’s shows, which gives showers less variety of opinions and placings.

judging - HHL2012- Barb judging CM Mini Ponies

Why should you judge? To help the hobby. To learn more about breeds and anatomy. To save money on showing. To oogle beautiful models. To be inspired. To have fun!

To learn. I’ve learned a lot about breeds, horses genetics, and anatomy as a customizer and shower. But judging pushed me to even further learning- I have a better working knowledge of breeds and breed types, and I’ve become a better judge of conformation and biomechanics. This in turn is helpful for me as a shower and customizer, as I am better at breed assignment and making a customized horse anatomically accurate.

judging - nwe 2014

To save money. Are live show entry fees a turnoff for you? Learn to judge! Generally judges are granted free entry to the show in the divisions they are not judging. Some shows will also provide lunch and even travel stipends for judged. Save on your entry fee, and you’ve got more cash for shopping and raffles at the show!

judging - nwe 2012 cm-ar mini pony class

To oogle. There are so many beautiful model horses out there, and now you have an excuse to stare at them! It’s a real treat to see so many gorgeous pieces in one place. As a judge, you have the time and the mandate to examine them from every angle! There are some mold sand resins that didn’t tempt me… until I saw them in person! Beware: judging may effect the size of your want list :)

judging - rcl 2013 2

To be inspired. As a customizer, it’s important to see what else is out there. You can learn a lot from looking at other people’s work. I always find judging and showing to be inspiration- I got home renewed with ideas for new techniques to try, and new levels of detail to aspire towards.

judging - NWC 2013

To have fun! I was a little nervous when I judged the first time, but it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed examining and placing the models. You also get to meet and talk to a lot of people this way, since folks always have questions for the judge. Judging is a great way to really partake in the full show atmosphere.

judging - rcl 2013

Excited yet? If you’re interested in judging, there are several good ways to get started and gain both confidence and reputation. First off, you can start judging photo shows. The online shows like MHOSS and TOPSA are always seeking judges. This is a great, low-key way to try it out in the comfort of your own home.

You can also look for youth divisions at local shows. Youth divisions tend to be smaller, with fewer entries and shorter class lists. They also have a pretty wide variety of quality in terms of entries, which can make it easier to judge. These divisions are extra fun too, since you get to talk to the kids and see their beloved ponies.

judging - SOL 2014

One of my favorite entries in the “Painted by Owner” class in the Sweet Onion Live Youth Division

Another good stepping stone is to judge at a home show. Home shows are smaller and generally more relaxed. It’s a great way for a novice judge to graduate from Youth Division to Open competition. In my experience, people are really excited to have a new judge, and are very welcoming to someone who wants to learn and practice.

I am really glad that I took the plunge to start judging. I’ve learned so much and it has really helped me to improve my own work and entries. I love to talk to other hobbyists, and I love giving back to the hobby! Need a new year’s resolution? Let 2015 be the year where you go forth and give judging a try!

NW Congress 2013: Custom Minis

Robyn and I had an amazing lesson this morning- Cochise was full of energy and perfectly behaved. My last ride on him was less than positive so it was really nice to get such a great one. We spent part of the time working on shoulder-ins (which he’s never done before) and then had a blast running a gymnastic line. Just a stupendous, fantastic ride.

Cochise and Emily grazed on the lawn while I emptied the trailer.

Cochise and Emily grazed on the lawn while I emptied the trailer.

I’ve been working on models almost every day, but it’s not the most blog worthy stuff- lots of nit picky prepping. Ah prepping, the necessary evil. And since I don’t have much to blog about during that, I’ll continue posting eye candy from NW Congress!

I’m definitely not the only one who loves painting and collecting the little guys. Check out these lovelies from the Custom Mini division this year.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

NW Congress 2013: Drastic Customs

Day Two of NW Congress was slightly more relaxing since I was done with performance. But I was on my feet keeping up with classes in three divisions and trying to document all the pretty ponies that were on display.

NW Congress divides custom halter into Custom Mini, Open Custom, and Advanced/Drastic Custom. The Drastic division is usually pretty small. Personally I wish it were lumped in with the others, but c’est la vie.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.