(which means Lightning) was the appropriately-named
Thoroughbred racehorse that took Australia by storm!
Born in 1926 in New Zealand, he went on to win 32 of his
35 starts, coming in second in two of the other three.
His sudden death during a US visit at only six years old
created controversy that continues to this day. In 2000,
equine specialists concluded that he had died of acute
bacterial gastroenteritis, while in 2006, Australian
scientists determined he had died from a single, massive
dose of arsenic, fanning the speculation that he'd been
killed by American gangsters who didn't want the
Melbourne Cup winner creating havoc with their bookies.
In the short span of his life, he became an icon to
Australian and New Zealand and is immortalized with a
bronze statue near his birthplace. 20th Century Fox made
a movie about this much-loved racing icon, and Breyer
followed up with this Chris Hess sculpt in 1985. The
mold wears a "20th Century Fox" stamp and no other mold
Phar Lap #90,
"Phar Lap." Model made from 1985 to 1988.
Rex: Chris Hess's iconic Fighting Stallion mold was an
apt choice to represent Poncho Rex, favorite mount of famous Western
trick roper Montie Montana. Montie rode Poncho Rex to the top of the
Empire State Building, and was riding him when he roped President
Eisenhower during his inaugural parade. Breyer's tribute model was
made for the West Coast Model Horse Collectors Jamboree in 1999
only, and wears Rex's markings plus pinking on his shoulders and a
beautiful, glossy finish.
Fighting Stallion #702797,
"Poncho Rex." Made 1999 only.
Precipitado Sin Par was
Breyer's Limited Edition back in 1987. This gorgeous tri-colored
pinto Paso Fino was the son of El Pastor (the horse for whom this
Breyer mold was made) and Marisol Sin Par. Born in 1976, "Cips" as
he was known, stunned audiences with his brilliant coloring and
beautiful carriage. He became the first horse to win the Paso Fino
Owners and Breeders Association Championships twice when he won
back-to-back titles in 1984 and 1985. It was fitting that Breyer
made a tribute to him on his sire's mold.
El Pastor #116, "Precipitado Sin Par ("Cips")
Champion Paso Fino." Made in 1987.
Rhapsody In Black is a
well-known name in the Arabian world. She is by Thee Desparado (for
whom Breyer made a portrait model a few years ago). Born in Texas in
1994, this beautiful lady was shown sparingly but has become one of
the leading dams of winners for the breed. She became the first mare
in history to have her offspring become champions in the Egyptian
Breeders Challenge three consecutive years.
Trotting Arabian Mare #1752,
"Rhapsody in Black." Made from 2016 to the present.
amazing Thoroughbred mare Ruffian was honored with this portrait
model in 1977. Ruffian is remembered as one of the top Thoroughbred
mares of all time. When she was entered in her first race, people
laughed and called her "The Fat Filly." She changed their minds when
she won that race by 15 lengths, tying the track record for that
distance. She went on to win all ten of her starts. She lived a
short but amazing life, ending with a tragic breakdown in a match
race against Derby Winner Foolish Pleasure, a race she was winning
at the time. Surgeons tried through the night to save her, but upon
coming out of surgery, she tried to run and caused further damage to
her leg, so she was humanely euthanized. She ended her life
undefeated, and is remembered as much for her heart as her speed.
This mold is a great tribute to such a mare.
"Ruffian." Made from 1977 to 1990.
Painted Lark, son of famous Quarter Horse stallion Rugged
Lark, is a handsome bay Paint whose talents match those of his sire.
In a horsemanship display at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games
in Lexington, KY, in 2010, Lynn Palm showed off his versatility by
performing Western, Dressage, and Jumping on Painted Rugged Lark -
all without a bridle! He was an honored guest at BreyerFest 2007,
and was this model was created as that year's Celebration Model.
Only 5000 were made. It shows off his bold coloring and his cute
star and snip.
Zippo Pine Bar #711107,
"Rugged Painted Lark." Made in 2007.
This deep sorrel on the Gem Twist mold is a portrait of Sapphire,
the Belgian Warmblood mare who was the long-time partner of rider
McLain Ward. Together they were part of medal-winning teams at both
the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, and the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games
in Germany. Breyer's tribute to Sapphire shows off her neat,
arrow-head blaze and two socks, along with her ermine spots and
Gem Twist #9107, "Sapphire."
Made from 2010 to 2012.
the little bay Thoroughbred who surprised everyone by becoming a
champion, was foaled in 1933. Showing little promise as a youngster,
he was eventually sold for $8000 to Charles Howard, who saw the
potential in him. With Red Pollard aboard and a new training
schedule, Seabiscuit started his rags-to-riches story that has
become the subject of several books and movies. He symbolized the
struggles of the working man during the Post-Depression years,
trying to get ahead in a tough world, and racing fans loved him! By
the time he retired in 1940, following a serious injury and
impressive comeback, he was the top money-earning Thoroughbred in
history. He enjoyed seven years of retirement at stud before he
passed away, having sired 108 foals.
Breyer licensed Maureen
Love's Stablemate model in 1975, but it wasn't until the 2003 movie
came out that Breyer gave him a portrait model on a Traditional
mold. This release was discontinued in 2008.
"Seabiscuit." Made from 1976 to 1990.
Ask anyone to name the world's most famous horse and the answer will
most likely be Secretariat. His true story is still the stuff of
legend. His astonishing 31-length victory in the Belmont Stakes,
accomplished after winning the first two racing jewels in the Triple
Crown, has yet to be repeated. In the Kentucky Derby, Secretariat
set a speed record of 1:59 2/5, and he captured the Preakness Stake
with ease, securing the Triple Crown win for 1973. Secretariat was
the son of Bold Ruler out of Somethingroyal. Known as "Big Red", the
large, beautifully conformed chestnut ran in the blue and white
checkered colors of Meadow Stables. He made it on two "Athletes of
the Century" lists for his accomplishments. It has recently been
discovered that the secret to Big Red's success was his remarkable
way of running, which is more like a dog than a typical horse. With
his extremely flexible back and hindquarters, he could tuck and
spring forward, resulting in two periods each stride where no feet
were on the ground, as opposed to one, which is the norm. He was
truly a remarkable athlete!
"Secretariat, Famous Race Horse." Made from 1987 to 1995.
Sherman Morgan: The most famous
son of Justin Morgan, Sherman Morgan sired Black Hawk, who became a
foundation sire for the Standardbred, Tennessee Walking Horse and
American Saddlebred breeds. More than just a fancy saddle horse,
Sherman was famous for his trotting speed, holding speed records
that went unbroken in his lifetime. The original Sherman Morgan
tribute model, sculpted by Jeanne Mellin Herrick, is this red
chestnut with one right hind sock and a stripe. He was available
only from 1987-1990, when damage to the production mold caused it to
be discontinued. (It was later fixed with the addition of a
different tail and is now back in use in different colors.)
Sherman Morgan #430,
"Sherman Morgan, Son of Justin Morgan." Model made from 1987 to
Nicknamed The California Comet, Silky Sullivan was a sorrel
Thoroughbred famous for his come-from-behind racing style. He was
born on February 28, 1955. Famous jockey Willie Shoemaker said of
Silky Sullivan that you couldn't tell the horse how to race. You
just sat there and waited for him to make his move, and when he did,
"then you hold on for dear life." In one race, he was behind the
leaders by 41 lengths, then ran the last quarter in 22 seconds,
finishing with a win of three full lengths! He was known to be
extraordinarily smart, and a gentleman as well, letting children
walk under his belly and sit on him bareback. Silky Sullivan passed
away in his sleep at age twenty-two and was buried at Golden Gate
Silky Sullivan #603,
"Silky Sullivan." Model made from 1975 to 1990.
Simba du Pont de Tournay: This
rugged bay roan on the Roy mold is a portrait of Simba du Pont de
Tournay (which translates as Simba from the bridge of Tournay), an
Ardennes stallion currently standing stud in the US. The breed is
rare even in their native Belgium, but it is believed there are
fewer than 30 in the US currently. This handsome fellow is a great
example of his breed, rugged and hardy, able to endure cold
temperatures and hard work. They are often used for forestry work
and other agricultural efforts. Simba is a bay roan with a little
Roy #711216, "Simba du Pont de
Tourney." Made in 2015.
Smart and Shiney: The Smart Chic
mold was the obvious choice to use as a portrait of his son Smart
And Shiney. This handsome Palomino Quarter Horse, owned by famous
musician Lyle Lovett, was the Celebration Model for BreyerFest 2013.
He is done in a slightly metallic Palomino with four socks and a
broad blaze. Several muzzle variations have been seen. Only 5,000
were produced and "BreyerFest 2013" is printed on their bellies.
Smart Chic Olena #711157,
"Lyle Lovett's Smart and Shiney." Made in 2013.
Stud Spider was bred and owned by
actor James Brolin. He had a successful racing career in California
and was honored with a Breyer portrait model on a brand-new mold in
1978. I believe it also marked the first time Breyer used masked
Appy spots rather than splatter spots. He is a black blanket
Appaloosa with large spots, a right front sock, and an "S" shaped
Stud Spider #66, "Stud Spider."
Model made from 1978 to 1989.
Swaps: Ranked 20th in the list of
top US Thoroughbreds of the 20th Century (by Blood Horse Magazine)
Swaps was a California-bred racehorse nicknamed the California Comet
who, despite numerous injuries, became a successful competitor. He
won the 1955 Kentucky Derby, beating out the favorite, and then sat
out for the Preakness and Belmont with a split in his hoof wall.
The following year he was named Horse of
the Year, but while training in October, fractured his left rear
cannon in two places. His racing career was over, but his owners
cared enough to save him. A week later he banged his cast in his
stall, causing more bone damage. The trainer of the horse he beat in
the Derby sent a special sling for him, and he had to be lifted and
lowered every 45 minutes while his leg healed... His trainer Mesh
Tenney stayed with him for the first 36 hours, seeing to him
personally. As a result of such good care, Swaps survived to enjoy
his second career as a stud. He is buried at the Kentucky Derby
Museum at Churchill Downs.
Swaps #604, "Swaps."
Model made from 1975 to 1990.
who became world-famous as the star of the equine live performance
show "Cavalia," started out as anything but a star. The Lusitano
stallion was bred on a farm in Spain owned by the Delgado family and
sold as a yearling. However, after three years, he was returned to
the Delgados, who have a policy that allows buyers to return any
horse if they aren't happy with him. Templado was a challenge to
train, which is why he was returned, but his proud bearing and
intelligence inspired trainer Frederic Pignon to learn new ways of
training such horses... Training at liberty, which would become the
basis of "Cavalia." Templado's performances in the show took them
around the world and brought tears to many eyes, as his relationship
with Frederic was evident during their performances.
Andalusian Stallion #1244, "Templado."
Made from 2005 to 2008.
Terrang: One of California's
most famous Thoroughbreds in the 1950s, Terrang was often ridden by
famous jockey Bill Shoemaker. The pair set a course record for
one-and-an-eighth at Santa Anita in 1957. Breyer's tribute model of
Terrang shows off his solid bay coat and gorgeous neck.
"Terrang." Model made from 1975 to 1990.
Theodore O'Connor was an
amazing fellow. At only 13 -3/4 hands high, he was technically a
pony, but this exceptional athlete competed - and won - at the
highest levels in the eventing world. The handsome sorrel, whose
breeding included Thoroughbred, Arabian, and Shetland Pony, rose in
the ranks of the eventing world, beating much larger horses so often
he earned the nickname "Super Pony." He came in third at the Rolex
Kentucky Three-Day Event, which qualified him for the Pan Am Games.
Amid a field of more experienced horses, Teddy astounded the world
by taking home the Individual Gold Medal (as well as Team Gold)!
Phar Lap #1330, "Theodore
O'Connor." Made from 2008 to 2009.
A pioneer of tv Westerns, actor Bill Boyd starred first as the
character Hopalong Cassidy in feature length films. When "B"
Westerns began going out of style, the forward-thinking Boyd
realized they might have a future with tv, and bought the rights to
the brand, a move that made him a millionaire when Hopalong Cassidy
became the very first TV Western series. The character of Hopalong
Cassidy was originally the star of books written by Clarence Mulford
(who happened to live in Fryeburg, ME, just two towns north of us at
Triple Mountain!). Mulvins set aside most of the profits from his
books for charities.
Hopalong's horse is a large white fellow called Topper. Topper was
known for being kind and patient, and remained Boyd's close
companion throughout his life. Topper passed away in 1961 at age 26
and is buried respectfully at the Los Angeles Pet Memorial Park.
When Topper died, Boyd said he'd never ride another horse - There
was only one Topper.
Western Horse #1177, "Hopalong Cassidy's Topper." Made from 2003
of Class, known to friends as Miss Kitty, was a 16-hand
bay Thoroughbred mare who showed the boys how it's done. Easily
recognized by her dainty build, she was anything but dainty on the
jumping course! After a brief, unspectacular career in racing, she
was bought and trained as a show jumper and found her life's
calling. She and her primary rider, Joseph Fargis, were on the
Nation's Cup teams that brought home four big international wins
around the world. They then qualified for the 1984 Olympics,
becoming part of that year's "Dream Team," and making history.
During the Olympics, Touch of Class became the first horse in
history to jump two clear rounds, and ended with 90 of 91 jumps
clear, bringing home two gold medals. Her performance earned her the
title of USOC Female Equestrian Athlete of the Year... The first
time that award had been bestowed on a non-human! She went on to
have a successful breeding career as well, and was inducted into the
Show Jumping Hall of Fame in 2000.
Touch of Class #420, "Touch of Class." Made from 1986 to 1988.
Tregoyd Journeyman: The
Cleveland Bay is a heritage breed that's considered critically
endangered by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy and the Rare
Breeds Survival Trust. The Cleveland Bay is believed to have
originated in northern England, where their strength, stamina and
kind personalities made them marvelous coach horses that have been
enjoyed by the Royal Family for over 200 years. Despite their
attributes, the breed's numbers are dwindling. In 2005, when
Journeyman attended BreyerFest, only 46 foals were born worldwide!
Journeyman, known as "Joe," is a great representative of his breed,
and was brought to the US to help increase awareness of this
gorgeous breed. The dark bay stallion has won multiple
championships, both in the US and UK.
Cleveland Bay #703, "Tregoyd Journeyman Cleveland Bay." Made
from 2006 to 2008.
Trigger: One of the most famous and
recognizable horses in history, Trigger was known as "the smartest
horse in the movies." He was Roy Rogers' constant companion in life
as well as in movies, for as long as he was able to safely travel
and perform. Trigger not only starred in movies and the Roy Rogers
Show on TV, he even had his own comic book series. He sired some
beautiful horses, including Trigger Jr., who played Trigger in later
movies after his dad had retired. When he passed away, Roy had him
respectfully mounted so he could still visit with fans, and Roy
himself mentioned more than once that he wished he could be mounted
when he died, so he could join Trigger at their museum. Little known
bit of trivia from Eleda: When I was in 6th Grade, we had to do one
of those "Who's your hero" essays. I believe I was the only one in
the school's history to make an animal the subject of that essay...
Of course, my project was on Trigger!
Western Horse #758, "Roy Roger's Trigger." Made from 2000 to
Spotted: One of the founding sires of the Appaloosa Sport
Horse Association, Wap Spotted changed what everyone thought they
new about Warmbloods. Also registered with the American Warmblood
Society and Appaloosa Horse Club, this stunning stallion turned
heads everywhere he went. He is now a legend in the sport horse
world, with his name found in many champion pedigrees.
Secretariat #1114, "Wap
Spotted." Made from 2000 to 2001.
Mount is easily the most famous American Paint Horse in
history. Foaled in 1964, he became APHA's first Champion just two
years later. This red dun pinto stallion excelled in everything! He
was a 2-time APHA National Champ in Halter, Reserve National Champ
in Western Pleasure, and held ROMs in Barrel Racing, Calf Roping,
Racing, and Reining, along with points in Trail... Not to mention
being named APHA Supreme Champion in 1970. He also won APHA National
Champion Get of Sire a whopping 5 times and got the Reserve another
3 times! APHA made him their "poster boy," using prints of a
painting of him by Orren Mixer in promotional material for the
tribute model ran from 1970-1987, showing off Yellow Mount's
beautiful markings so well that the Adios mold is often referred to
as Yellow Mount these days. One thing missing, though, on most of
Breyer's renditions is a dorsal stripe, making him a sorrel pinto
rather than a dun. Early versions show a white marking on his right
foreleg which went missing in later models.
Adios #51, "Yellow Mount, Famous Paint Horse." Made from 1970 to