'HORSE BIOS - A-F
Abdullah was called by many the best Trakehner ever to compete in Show Jumping. Born in 1970, the great grey stallion competed internationally for 14 years, including winning the ATA Open Jumper Championship eight times, bringing home a Silver Medal for the US at the 1984 Olympics as well as contributing to the US Team Gold for that event. He passed away from colic in 2000 at 29 years old.
Breyer's portrait model on the Trakehner mold recreates Abdullah's coloring with light dappling on his fore- and hindquarters, shaded legs and face. He also wears Abdullah’s two signature dark dapples on his neck. He was the Limited Edition model for 1989.
This fellow is in
Breyer Model #817
The handsome dark bay stallion Adios is considered one of the top sires of Standardbred pacers. Born in 1940, he became a multi-time world champion and set one track record that stood for 43 years. As impressive as his track career was his career as a sire. Retired to stud at age 8, Adios went on to sire 589 offspring, including many champions. Two of his sons won the Triple Crown of Harness Racing. He enjoyed a long, happy retirement, and when he passed away at age 25, he was buried at Meadow Lands Farm under his favorite apple tree. With his name still gracing a large number of Standardbred pedigrees, and Adios will long be remembered as the star he was.
Breyer had Chris Hess create this beautiful portrait mold of Adios in 1969. While most people today assume it is a Quarter Horse mold, you can see from the photo above that Adios was the solid, rugged stallion Chris depicted. Breyer's portrait model bears Adios's two hind socks and tiny star. The release was retired in 1973.
This fellow is
Breyer Model #50
Afleet Alex is an American-born bay Thoroughbred who won eight of his twelve starts, and only finished out of the money once (he was discovered later to have been suffering from a lung infection during that race). He finished third in the Kentucky Derby, with his jockey taking the blame for not giving him a great ride, then became famous in the Preakness after overcoming what could have been a devastating accident: He was running close to the leader Scrappy T at the top of the stretch when that horse veered to the right and they clipped hooves, causing Afleet Alex to stumble and nearly fall. His jockey was thrown onto his neck and Alex's muzzle came within inches of the ground, but he managed to recover... and then pass Scrappy T to win the race by 4 and 3/4 lengths, in one of the fastest times recorded for the final 3/16s of the Preakness in history! And then he went on to win the Belmont Stakes, turning in the fastest final quarter for that race since 1969. Just as his racing career seemed destined for legend, Afleet Alex was found to have complications from the injury he sustained in the Preakness, and was retired to stud at four years of age. As of 2016, he had already sired seven Grade 1 Stakes winners.
Breyer honored Afleet Alex with this release the year he retired, 2006. As a single-year release, it's become one of the more sought-after releases on the Lonesome Glory mold.
As a World Grand Champion Standardbred Roadster horse, All Glory, owned by William and Elizabeth Shatner, was chosen as the Celebration Model for Breyerfest 2010. This handsome bay with the little star is a champion both under saddle and "with bike" (hitched to a two-wheeled cart). The Rejoice mold is a good fit to represent All Glory, as Saddlebreds were bred partially from Standardbred stock, and All Glory displays similarly high motion in the show ring.
Big Ben was a Belgian Warmblood considered by many to be "too big to jump" when he was young. However, Canadian eventer Ian Millar saw something special when he came across the seven-year-old. Ten months later, they were a team in the Olympics! From then on, it seemed there was nothing that Ben and Ian couldn't conquer. They won pretty much every event they entered, whether it was on sand, grass, or mud, and in just about every weather condition, including hail! Ben met other challenges with the heart of a trooper as well: He survived two colic surgeries and even a severe tractor trailer wreck! His good-natured sense of stardom - He loved to greet fans and even occasionally offered a hoofprint autograph - won people over around the globe, and he drew more spectators than any other jumping horse in his lifetime. Big Ben became the first horse to win two consecutive World Cup Final titles, among his many achievements. When he passed away from colic at age 20, the Canadian government honored him with induction into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame, a postage stamp, and a bronze statue in Perth, Ontario.
Breyer's portrait model was released on a new sculpt in 1996 and ran through 2004.
[Big Ben and Ian Millar make it look easy]
The handsome palomino Overo stallion named Big Chex to Cash has earned over $200,000 and several national reining championships. Foaled in 2002, Big Chex, who is owned by the 23 Partnership of California, seemed destined to become a reining legend. His sire, Nu Chex to Cash, earned more reining points than any other horse in American Quarter Horse Association history, and was the only horse to earn AQHA High Point honors in both reining and working cowhorse in the same year. Today, Big Chex to Cash stands at stud through Fappani Performance Horses in California.
[Big Chex To Cash; photographer unknown. Source: Pinterest]
Breyer released this portrait of Big Chex in 2008, complete with his bold dapples and hip brand.
Biko was a talented light bay Thoroughbred gelding owned and ridden by Karen O'Connor in Three-Day Eventing. She bought him as a three-year-old in 1987 and the pair rode to the highest levels of the sport, helping the US to a Team Silver in the 1996 Olympics, and landing top honors at Rolex and Badminton Horse Trials. The handsome gelding retired from competition at age 15 after an injury to both hind legs, but lived out his remaining fifteen years happily at Karen's farm in Virginia. He loved meeting people, particularly kids, and became a great ambassador for the sport.
Breyer's tribute to Biko was this lovely Limited Edition on the Gem Twist mold in 2000. The single-year release is now getting hard to find in good condition, as the mold is known to be tippy.
This fellow is
Breyer Model #1101
Black Caviar, Australia's racing sensation has been busy since she officially retired in April 2013! Black Caviar, whose nickname is "Nelly," gave birth to her first foal on September 13, 2014 - a cute bay filly with two white socks and a tiny star - by Australian champion stallion Exceed and Excel! In her unrivaled racing career, the brown mare shattered records and delivered thrilling performances on two continents igniting international excitement about Thoroughbred racing. Excited fans gathered in the thousands to watch the powerful mare with her distinctive salmon-colored silks with black dots fly down the track undefeated in 25 of 25 races.
Walter Farley's Black Stallion remains one of the most popular children's books of all time. Telling the story of an unhandleable black Arabian stallion who bonds with a boy after they survive a shipwreck together, the tale is familiar to most of us. What you may not know is that Walter Farley began writing the book while still in High School! In 1940, he was told by an editor, “Don’t figure on making any money writing children’s books.” Farley proved him wrong by publishing The Black Stallion the following year and becoming a successful author with an entire series devoted to this horse.
The Farleys were avid horse lovers themselves, frequenting race tracks and dressage competitions. They owned several horses over their lifetimes, including this handsome black Arabian stallion pictured below. His name was Magic, and yes, that's Eleda holding him at Arabian Nights in Florida in the mid 1990s!
[Eleda with Magic, the black Arabian stallion owned by Walter Farley]
Breyer created a sculpt for The Black Stallion, released in 1981 (two years after the movie came out). He is tossing his head as he walks, and usually has black feet, although some have tan hooves. He was discontinued in 1988.
Bright Zip was one of those horses that captivates people. Had he lived in the 1950s, he'd have no doubt been a star of the silver screen. He was made famous as the partner of John Lyons, the first of the modern touring trainers, who taught people a gentler way to train their horses. In an interview with the "Appaloosa Journal" in 1996, John said, "Zip is my only horse, and I've learned one horse is a great number to have. My relationship with him is as close to father-son as it can be."
At age 20, Zip suffered an allergic reaction to a medication and as a result, became blind in both eyes. With their strong bond, Lyons and Zip continued touring and teaching. In 1997, Zip was inducted into the Appaloosa Hall of Fame for his work as a breed ambassador. Zip passed away in 2003.
Breyer made Zip their Celebration Model for Breyerfest 1994. The sorrel Appy wears Zip's blaze, "Box Y" freeze brand, and alert expression. Only 2250 were made.
Brookside Pink Magnum is a champion Section B Welsh Pony stallion. Standing just 12.2 hands, he commands as much attention as "the big guys" anywhere he goes. His standout red roan color and winning personality have made him a star, and Breyer honored him with a portrait model on the Bouncer mold beginning in 2012.
[Brookside Pink Magnum greets a fan at Breyerfest; photo credit rebedonfarm.com]
Bucephalus is one of the most famous horses in history, and even had a city named for him! He was the beloved mount of Alexander The Great, helping the man conquer land after land and impressing everyone who saw him.
Bucephalus was a huge black horse with a large star on his forehead. His name, which means "ox-head," came from an ox head brand on his hindquarter. He came from the best war horse breeding of the time, and was offered to Alexander's father King Philip II for a large sum, but since no one could handle him, the king refused. Young Alexander, around age 12 at the time, loved the big horse and made a wager with his father: If the king bought him and Alexander was unable to tame him, Alexander himself would pay for him. Handed the horse's lead, he spoke soothingly, turned him toward the sun so he wouldn't spook at his shadow, and took off his billowing cape. The horse settled down and eventually Alexander won the bet, and the horse, who became his partner for life. So much did he care for Bucephalus, that when the horse died (some say of old age at age 30; others say from wounds in battle), Alexander founded the city of Bucephala near his grave in his honor.
One of the equine stars of the Western series "Bonanza," Buck was the mount of Ben Cartwright, the owner of the Ponderosa Ranch. "Bonanza" was NBC's longest-running Western, running for fourteen years. Be Cartwright was played by Lorne Greene, who, with Buck, taught his sons morality and righted wrongs on the range.
Breyer chose the galloping Black Beauty mold to represent Buck, who took part in many "high speed chases" of the day. He wears Buck's pale color and dark muzzle and lower legs. He was only made from 2009-2011.
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's favorite Fell Pony was honored with a Breyer portrait model in 2015. The solid black Carltonlima Emma, with her steady stride and gentle temperament takes good care of the Queen, who, in her late 80's, still enjoys riding her through the park. The Breyer mold was sculpted by Kathleen Moody, who is known for her detailed "hair work," perfect for a breed with such a long, flowing mane, tail and feathers.
Chris Hess's Five Gaiter mold was chosen to represent champion American Saddlebred CH Imperator. This incredible sorrel gelding was the Five-Gaited World Grand Champion five times, including becoming the oldest horse to win that title, competing at age 12. The gelding was then retired to Kentucky Horse Park, where Perry, as he was known, enjoyed a long, happy retirement, with lots of attention from fans.
[CH Imperator - Photo Credit Shiflet]
Breyer honored Perry with a portrait model in 1994 & 1995. He wears a star, a snip, and one hind sock, and was given a glossy finish to match that of his legendary namesake.
Cherry Creek Fonzie Merit: This handsome Canadian Horse stallion is a gorgeous representative of his breed. Solid black without any white at all, Merit excels in Dressage and is an all-around wonderful horse, according to his owner Yvonne, who has trained and ridden Merit to all of his wins. His kind, willing personality match his beauty. He is now standing at stud, so expect to see his progeny winning in arenas around North America very soon!
Cherry Creek Fonzie Merit
[Photo credit: cherrycreekcanadians.ca]
Chocolate Chip Kisses is a colorful pinto pony that has made big dreams come true for his owner/rider 14-year-old Lauren Demchuk. Both his grandsire, Zips Chocolate Chip, and great grandsire Zippo Pine Bar, are Breyer portrait models! "Choco" and Lauren have become an inspiration to people of all ages and backgrounds. Lauren was diagnosed with a rare cancer called epithelioid sarcoma just a few months before the Pinto World Championship Horse Show. After receiving the news, Lauren focused on her goal of attending the World Show and once there, she and Choco excelled in class after class.
Together, they have an impressive list of titles including: 28 Pinto Horse Association of America (PtHA) World Championships, three PtHA Reserve World Championships, two PtHA World High Point 18 & Under Pony, PtHA World High Point 18 & Under English, PtHA World High Point 18 & Under Western, 4th in the nation for Junior Youth High Point and a multitude of regional and local wins. In 2014, Lauren earned her Pinto Youth Legion of Merit Award with Choco and Karen Clark was named Pinto Horsewoman of the Year and was inducted into the Pinto Hall of Fame.
Now on the road to recovery, Lauren and Choco have proved that hard work, dedication and a little bit of hope can make dreams come true! A portion of the proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
Breyer honored Choco with a portrait model in 2015 and invited him adn Lauren to be special guests at Breyerfest the same year. Here's a photo of them at Breyerfest, meeting fans.
Contrary to popular belief, the record-breaking Thoroughbred Cigar was not named for the tobacco product of that name. Instead, he was named for an intersection on navigational maps used by aircraft. These intersections are often given five-letter names to aid in navigation, and his original owner was the former owner of Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation who frequently used these navigational locations as names for his horses.
After a slow start to his career, Cigar hit his stride his five-year-old year, winning all ten of his starts, all of which were top-rated stakes races. In his six-year-old year, after winning a stakes race at home in the US, he traveled to Dubai for their first-ever Dubai World Cup, an invitational race for the world's greatest racehorses, with a purse of four million dollars. He was the victor by a narrow margin, making him the highest-dollar earning Thoroughbred in history up to that time. He also managed 16 straight victories against top-rated stakes horses, tying the record held by Citation. He was awarded Horse of the Decade title for the 1990s and inducted into Racing's Hall of Fame in 2002, the first year he was eligible for that honor. He was tried at stud, but when he proved infertile, he was retired to Kentucky Horse Park, where he enjoyed wonderful care and the attention of adoring fans for his remaining days. He passed away in 2014.
[Cigar enjoying his retirement at KHP. Photo credit: bloodhorse.com]
Breyer's tribute model was sculpted by Susan Carlton Sifton in 1998 and was discontinued in 2005.
Breyer's Horses in History series featured Civil War General Ulysses Grant's horse Cincinnati. The huge bay Thoroughbred, a gift from an admirer, was General Grant's favorite among his beloved horses. A horseman since childhood, he was an excellent rider and cared deeply for his animals. The photo below shows three of the General's horses: (left to right) Egypt, Cincinatti, and Jeff Davis (taken from Jefferson Davis's farm during the Vicksburg Campaign). Cincinnati stands taller than the rest at 17 hands, and was a son of Lexington, the fastest four-mile Thoroughbred in the world and influential sire, who is mounted and on display at Kentucky Horse Park, where he is still revered. Photography was still fairly expensive and took a long time to produce at that time, so for him to commission a photograph of his horses is impressive. For them to stand still while it was taken says a lot about them, as well!
Breyer's tribute to Cincinnati was done on the John Henry mold and was only a two-year release in 1999 and 2000. He is a dark bay with solid legs and a star.
Citation was the first racehorse in history to win over a million dollars in his career. Born in 1940, the solid bay was amazing right from the start, winning his first race, breaking the Arlington track record (5 furlongs) in his third race, and winning 8 of his nine starts.
After winning his first four starts in his three-year-old season, his jockey died during a fishing accident and Eddie Arcaro took the reins. While getting used to each other, they lost their first race together... but it would be Citation's last loss in almost two years! They went on to win the Kentucky Derby, and Arcaro gave part of his winnings from the race to the widow of Citation's former jockey. Citation followed the Derby with the Preakness and Belmont, becoming the 8th Triple Crown winner in history. He raced until age 6, and was retired to stud after breaking the $1 million mark. He was named 3rd in the list of Top 100 Thoroughbreds of the 20th Century by "Blood Horse" magazine, following Man 'O War and Secretariat. The Breyer portrait model was discontinued in 1990.
Chris Hess's Fighting Stallion mold was chosen to bear the color of the Quarter Horse stallion Conclusion Two Jack. Known by the nickname "Clu" around the barn, no one is sure why Breyer chose to shorten his name differently and call the model Clue II. Not famous like many of Breyer's portrait models, it's believed that he came to Breyer's attention through their 1995 essay contest. Clu was a dark palomino who worked as a trail horse, lesson horse and barrel racer. He was born in 1990 and passed away in 2011.
Together with his owner Peggy Taylor, Clu attended Breyerfest 1996 as a special guest.
[Photo credit Fiestafilly,www.breyermodels.wikia.com]
Breyer's portrait model features Clu's dark palomino color, two hind socks, and stripe. He was produced only in 1996 & 1997.
Comanche was widely renowned as the only surviving horse from Custer's command at the Battle of Little Bighorn. He was found wounded on the riverbank and nursed back to health by farrier Gustave Korn, who became his caretaker and friend for life. Comanche was considered the beloved mascot of the 7th Cavalry, and official orders were written that he be cared for well at the cavalry base for all his remaining years. He was given free run of the base - literally: He joined the men at the mess hall, visited the officers' quarters for sugar cubes, and trotted over to take his place at the front of the line each time the bugle sounded, calling the men to formation. When he passed away, he was given the honor of a full military funeral... One of only two horses to-date to receive that honor (the other being Blackjack, the famous "riderless horse" at the JFK funeral and over a thousand others). A wonderful history of Comanche can be seen here.
[Upon his death, Comanche was mounted so that he could continue to be honored, and today resides at the KU Biodiversity Institute and Natural History Museum at the Univiersity of Kansas, where his exhibit is the most visited in the museum.]
Breyer honored Comanche with this release on the Hlla-Bolya mold in 2001-2003. While the living Comanche was a buckskin, many old photos (due to the photography process of the time) make him appear darker. Breyer split the difference and made him a dun! He wears the US mark on his shoulder and his I 7 brand on his left hip, which stands for (letter) "I" Company, 7th Cavalry, and came with a VHS copy of the movie "Comanche," about the horse.
Cortes 'C' is a splendid black Belgian Warmblood with one hind sock and a tiny star. The champion Jumper, shown by America's own Beezie Madden, has a unique style over fences: He crosses his front legs in midair! Following a year full of victories both in the US and abroad, Cortes 'C' was named the US's International Horse of the Year in 2014.
Believe it or not, this pair are portrait models! There is really a mare and foal with this pattern, named Cupid and Arrow. Cupid was a rescue, and her new family didn't realize she was in foal when they adopted her. They named her Cupid for the heart-shaped star on her forehead. When Cupid gives birth, everyone is astounded to find that her baby is a pinto with the image of an arrow on his rump! This amazing true story became an award-winning book, written by Cupid and Arrow's owner, called "Cupid's Secret." What an adorable pair!
Breyer created portrait models of Cupid and Arrow that ran from 2002 to 2008 bearing their very special markings.
The Pacer was done in dark red bay as a portrait of one of the most famous racehorses of early last century, and one of the most renowned Standardbreds of all time. Dan Patch remained unbeaten throughout his career, holding the Pacing record of 1:55. So amazing was this horse that rarely do you see his name without "The Great" in front of it. The country loved him, and Dan Patch was a rockstar: He had toys, household goods, even a washing machine use his name and likeness!
This Breyer portrait model was the 1990 Limited Edition, available only for that year. He wears Dan Patch's deep coloring and half-Moon star.
Flash is a sweet bay Morgan gelding owned by Kathy Aranosian of Double Clear Farm in Warner, NH. Kathy runs the area's Pony Club, and her clubbers nominated Flash to become the Breyer portrait model commemorating the US Pony Club's 50th anniversary in 2004. With everyone working together, Flash got his model! In gratitude, Kathy now sponsors a perpetual trophy for Teamwork with an annual Pony Club essay contest.
Breyer gave this guy his very own sculpt by artist Susan Carlton Sifton. This release was made from 2004-2007 and carries Flash's hind socks and tiny star.
The bay 2004 Standardbred gelding is owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC and JJK Stables LLC, and has been driven by Yannick Gingras to many of his victories. His trainer, Ron Burke, is also a record-setter: he's the first harness racing trainer to earn $100 million in purses!
At 11 years old, Foiled Again is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, he paced the fastest mile of his career at 10 years old! With lifetime earnings of over $6.9 million and counting, his "richest pacer" title is the only thing about him that's going nowhere fast.
Breyer honored him with a portrait model in 2015, wearing his trademark yellow halter.