Breyer Horse Showing: North American Model Horse Shows Association

October 19, 2009

In honor of Golden Oak Stables’ first annual NAN qualifying show, New England Fall Live, we’ll see what makes a NAN qualifying show so special!

The North American Model Horse Shows Association, or NAMHSA, was formed in the mid 1990’s when the popularity of Breyer horse shows were growing in a big way. The NAMHSA is the association that nearly all open level model horse shows apply to become a part of. Through membership into the association the show qualifies to qualify horses for the yearly show, North American Nationals, or NAN.

The North American Nationals is held in the summer each year. On years ending with an even number (Like 2010) NAN is held in Kentucky the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday before Breyerfest. On years ending in an odd number (Like 2009) NAN is held in a rotating location that is usually on the west coast to give those who don’t travel to Breyerfest a chance to attend. For years that NAN isn’t held in Breyerfest NAMHSA holds a open bidding event where locations are nominated and voted on. The years that NAN is in Kentucky tend to be very popular and even Breyerfest attendance is larger!

To qualify a horse for NAN you must first attend a member show, like NEFL. At member shows all horses that place 1st or 2nd are awarded a green, pink or yellow card depending on the class that is their “Ticket” to get into NAN for the next two years. The only exception to this is that Unicorns, Pegasus, or other fantasy creatures cannot receive a qualification card. Even if you choose not to attend NAN, your NAN cards can still benefit you. NAMHSA holds several merit programs for horses. These programs ask that you attain at least 6 NAN cards for your horse. Once you’ve done so you can apply your horse for a merit award.

Beyond NAN, NAMHSA operates in 11 regions that are divided geographically. These “Regions” are a great source of information, friends and events. There are discussion groups for each region that keep everyone in the region up to date on happenings. You can find out how to contact your regional representative on the NAMHSA site here.

Lastly, horses that are NAN qualified, customs and original finish, tend to have more perceived value in the hobby. Hobbiests tend to value these horses more and customs that qualify constantly are seen to be of Live Show Quality.

There’s many reasons to show, and many more to show at NAN shows. Whatever your reason is, just remember to have fun, it’s a hobby after all!


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