March 6, 2006. I walked into the casino ballroom where the Las Vegas Live model horse show was being held. And there, on the Breyer representative’s product display table, stood the very first copy of model no. 703, Tregoyd Journeyman, the Cleveland Bay. I had delivered the sculpture in February 2005 and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it. I was given no advance notice about the Vegas debut and just happened to choose to attend that show!!
Thus began the most fun, satisfying, and precious ten years of my life as a Breyer collector and equine sculptor. I can’t explain why having a sculpture in Breyer’s line of model horses means more to me than any of the work I’ve created in ceramic. After all, ceramic is my chosen art medium! But I was a Breyer model horse collector first—from such a young age—and I guess that will always be where my heart is.
March 6, 2016 marks the ten year anniversary for the CB Breyer model. Being the mold’s self-proclaimed biggest fan, I need to mark this anniversary year, for myself if nobody else. Though I think I am safe in saying that this mold has been a really popular and successful model for Breyer Animal Creations.
The photo collage at the top of this article shows all the colors this model has been released in since the original dappled bay color in 2006. (Not including the one-of-a-kind Breyerfest auction colors and test colors that exist.) I hope for many more appearances in the line!
Here are my photos and notes from some of the best parts of these past 10 years…
The clay sculpture, early in-progress shot
The resin master sculpture, which the model is molded from
The Las Vegas Live debut
The first time I held the Breyer model!
The first time I held a CB model in my hands, at the Las Vegas Live show, March 2006. (They wouldn’t let me take it home but I sure wanted to!!)
The original packaging, including the sticker with my name. The stickers were only found on boxes for the first 6 months or so.
I met Tregoyd Journeyman, aka “Joe”, the real Cleveland Bay horse the model is a portrait of. Breyerfest 2006.
Dozens of the first models in the Breyerfest store, July 2006.
The first time I find them in a local retail store, PetSmart in Boulder CO, my home at the time. Huge thrill!
Several times over the years I’ve had the privilege of invitations to the Breyer company painting shop, to work up color ideas for the CB and other models. The colors I’ve designed on the CB include Jazz Fusion, Limerick, and Tunbridge Wells. The two pictured here are in my own collection.
In 2009-10 my husband Paul and I, and my two dogs, lived for a year in England while he was on a work assignment. I was invited by the UK Breyer distributor to spend a day at their sales booth at the London Toy Fair in January 2010, demo-ing sculpting and talking to toy industry buyers. The CB was just released in its 2nd regular line color, named O’Leary’s Irish Diamond. They kindly gave me my first copy that day. It was such a great experience!
I met the real O’Leary’s Irish Diamond at Breyerfest 2010.
In 2015 the sculpture was released in the Crystals series, a Breyerfest special run. That’s a horse of a different color!
When I got the assignment to sculpt this model, I was determined that it would be be “performance friendly”. It is absolutely my tribute to all the friends and model horse hobbyists who love to show models in performance, and to those who create the amazing scale tack and props. The equine miniaturist aspect of this hobby in all its facets is truly something special. I have also been an avid performance shower and tack collector over the years. The model has proved to be super popular in performance classes, which makes me very happy.
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I have been thinking hard about what kind of special thing I could do this year to celebrate the 10th anniversary. A party?? A CB model “reunion” where we see how many models we could get together all in one place at Breyerfest this summer?? I really wish I could have commissioned a special LE color.
Then, last year I was delighted to be able to give another horse sculpture to Breyer to become a model. It is debuting in their 2016 Premier Line this year. I can’t think of any better way to celebrate my first Breyer than to have another one arrive in the world right on the 10th anniversary! I hope this new one will be as successful and beloved as the CB has been, and that they both are in production for years to come. A Breyer model that I created is the closest thing I’ll ever have to a legacy… and it couldn’t be more perfect that it is from the hobby that has given me such pleasure for my entire life, and grew into the opportunity to work as an equine artist.
I will never tire of the pleasure of seeing young collectors with their models. I was that girl once, dreaming of horses all the time… and still am.
Thank you so much for joining me on this trip down memory lane!
P.S: I am attending the Breyerwest event this month, the weekend of March 18-20 at the Northwest Horse Fair in Albany, Oregon (south or Portland). On Saturday, March 19th I’ll be in Breyer’s show area (in the Santiam building) signing CB models and demonstrating sculpting a horse, all day (9-5). Please stop over and keep me company! Here are links to the event: