Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Molds Show Well: Ponies

I mentioned when discussing the typical classlist, ponies weren't always their own division. Once upon a time, you had one class to show all of your ponies. If you were really lucky, they may even split it into two whole classes.

In recent years, this trend has been bucked with the introduction of multiple new pony molds. However, there is little consistency at this point on how the pony division is split into classes. Some classes split by region, like so:

Welsh Ponies
Other British Ponies**
European Ponies*
American Ponies
Other Pure/Part Ponies

*Because there has been confusion on this in the past, the Newfoundland Pony is not a European Pony. Newfoundland is a province in Canada, and not some mysterious country in North Europe. A Newfoundland Pony should not be confused with a New Forest Pony. For those of you who think I'm kidding about this, this was an issue at NAN and Breyerfest last summer. I had a horse nearly disqualified from his class.

**FYI, I'm also the reason they've announced at the last two Breyerfests that they acknowledge that Ireland is not part of the UK, but put your Connemara's in UK Pony, anyway. Laura: the hobby's Geography Nazi.

Other shows split by general pony type. As a judge, this is one of the most confusing possibilities:

Stock Ponies
Sport Ponies
Light Ponies
Draft Ponies
Other Pure/Part Ponies

I get Stock Ponies (POAs, Paint Ponies, Quarter Ponies) and Sport Ponies (German Riding Ponies, Connemaras.) I'm iffy on Light Ponies, although I'm sure it includes American Shetlands, Hackney Ponies, and American Walking Ponies. But I'm always lost what is meant by Draft Ponies. It's not popular concept (to my knowledge) in the real horse world. I guess you could put Welsh and other British Native Ponies here. But where do Shetlands--the most popular breed--go?

I've asked this question a lot and never gotten a standard answer. If you are confronted with this type of classlist, ask your judge where they prefer to see them shown.

For this division, I prefer Flash over everything else Breyer produces. For more on potential breed assignments for Flash, see this post.

Bouncer has been very popular in the OF show ring since his release. Personally, I have a problem with the stance of this mold. When you look at him from the front, his legs are set excessively wide. If you plan to show this mold as a Welsh, be mindful of the different sections. The original release was advertised as a C ("Pony of Cob Type".) In my opinion, his body isn't heavy enough to depict a section C. I would rather see them as a section B, the lighter riding-type pony.

I also adore the Peter Stone pony. I've seen this mold be particularly successful when shown as a riding-type pony or pony/TB cross. Many pony breeds are often crossed with thoroughbreds to produce good mounts for young riders. This kind of cross will often resonate with a judge as being very realistic cross.

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