Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What Molds Show Well: Foals

I'm starting a new series based on the question I get asked the most often: Which molds show well and what should I buy?

During this series I will present the molds I've seen be successful in the show ring. However, I can't repeat this mantra often enough: Collect what you love, show what you collect. If you don't like the Proud Arabian Mare, no number of ribbons will ever make you love that mold anymore. Having said that, it is helpful (especially to those of you with large and varied collections) to know which of your models to bring with and which to leave home.

These mold suggestions will apply both to original finish models and simple customs. Moderate and drastic customs are often altered to the degree that their flaws have often been eliminated.

I've split this series into breed groups with the intention to go class by class, following the typical classlist I outlined previously. I'm breaking it down this way because successful molds are predicated on the class they show in. There are some molds that are fine by themselves, but they may not win often at a show because there are better molds that they must compete against. On the flip side, there are molds that only show well because the competition in their class is so scarce.

Stock Foals

In a stock foal class, the Peter Stone Weanling reigns supreme. She was cast from the original resin Parrs Dream Doll by Carol Williams, also a very popular mold. There is very little to nitpick on this mold and she is a wonderful accomplishment by the sculptor.

If Breyers and Stones are shown together in OF or custom, the weanling is your best bet. However, they are split out or you are showing at a Breyer only show, you may consider the classic Mustang Foal, who is making a resurgence in popularity. The G2 foals (including the Running, Scrambling, and Scratching Foals) dominate this class in the mini division and can also hold their own when shown against traditional.

Paint weanling

Stock foals are show their distinctive large butts at an early age

Light/Gaited Foals

As with the stock division, I highly recommend Stone's option, the Arabian Yearling, over anything Breyer produces. For Breyer only, you can consider the Saddlebred Weanling, who has both his fans and detractors. The classic Arabian Foal, like his mustang counterpart, has come back in fashion with the increased popularity of Maureen Love's work. The Trotting Foal is also popular in both mini and combined divisions.

Arabian foals are light boned with high action

The twin foals, Amber and Ashley, show best in this division when shown as Morgans or a similar medium body breed. I've seen them have some success as stock foals, but--in my mind--they don't show any of the type I want to see in a stock foal at this age. Honestly, I don't really care for either of them as show models (I own a few and don't show them), but I that's not a hobby wide opinion.

Morgan foal

Morgan foals tend to look a bit generic
Sport Foals

At the moment, this class is a crap shoot. I've seeing showers win with any of the breed I listed above for Light and Stock with odd breed assignments. Some are creative and make sense, but others are hard to believe.

I've seen a lot PS Weanlings shown as sport horses (often sport crosses, warmbloods, and even Thoroughbreds). I hate this assignment, but it's common and may win this class because of limited competition.

What is ideal in a Sport foal is often a fault in a Stock horse (and vice versa)

My favorites for this class are, again, the Running, Scrambling, and Scratching Foals. I think of them as the Rorschach test of model horses: whatever breed you see them as probably says more about you than the foals. They weren't sculpted to depict particular breeds (to my knowledge), plus their drastic movements and scale obscure any hints of type.

Outside of the minis, the new classic Warmblood foal is my favorite. His type his very obvious to me, although his conformation isn't completely perfect. But I'm mostly biding my time until Breyer releases Galen in plastic.

A very typical warmblood foal

Sport foals are easiest to identify by their action

Draft Foals

The Clydesdale foal.

...you wanted more? No one remembers the last time this class was won by anything else. It's not as much as testament to the mold's quality (his legs are way too short) but to the lack of competition.

Pony Foals

The most popular molds in this division are any of the above shown as one of the "near horse" breeds. By "near horse", I mean breeds that are short versions of standard horses such as the Quarter Pony, the POA, the Paint Pony. You can also through breeds like the Connemara, which has a high percentage of thoroughbred mixed in, to this category.

As in the Stock Foals class, the Weanling and Rorschach foals are very popular.

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