Breyer Horse Showing: What is “Live Show Quality” ?

LSQ, and NANed  may seem like a  foreign and confusing language to many collectors even if you’ve been in the hobby for a long time, because determining the quality of models is subjective. One person’s opinion can vary immensely from another, but there are some things to look for when choosing to describe your own models or when purchasing second hand.

LSQ is short for Live Show Quality; that’s the easy part. The difficult part comes when we begin to decide what that means to each of us. Many beginning collectors feel this term is a fail proof indicator of the quality and show-ability of a model, whether it is a custom or an original finish, when in all reality, the term really doesn’t have much to do with how it will do on any given day.

When we think of the term “Live Show Quality”, in its simplest terms it means that the person selling the model feels that its a nice enough model, whether in condition or quality, to be taken to a live show. This is where the water gets muddied. One person’s “mint” is another person’s customizing quality. Many times, the difference in a class between shows varies hugely, because placing is always dependent on what else is on the table. At the Golden Oak Stables‘ shows, I’ve seen amazing models that have won big at one show and then at the next not done so well, because the competition is different and there were better models than it that particular day. NANed can sometimes be a little bit of a better indicator of the quality of the model. If a model has quite a few NAN cards, you can assume that it is one of the better examples of that model. NAN cards are admission cards for the North American Nationals Show which are awarded to first and second place horses in NAN accredited shows. These are normally held with high esteem.

When purchasing models it’s more important to consider condition, not a term. Ask about specific flaws, ask where rubs are, shiny marks and any mold flaws. Ask about the showing history of a horse; they might be a consistent placer if the seller shows quite a bit. Because judging is very subjective, there are cases where rubs don’t matter as much as the quality of the model. Many judges will look over small flaws in an exceptional horse.


Multi Champion and NANed Stablemate Morgan Stallion. Even with rubs he continues to show well because of his age, rarity and exceptional markings.


Multi NANed Elegance Dressage Horse. Has small factory flaws but still shows exceptionally well.

LSQ is a subjective term and it shouldn’t be taken as the end all-know all of quality. Ask for good, high quality photos and ask questions about the model. Most importantly, buy what you love, and if it doesn’t win a ribbon, who cares? Because you love it!


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