Breyer Horse Showing: Secrets of Collectibility Judging

One of my favorite divisions to both show and judge is the Collectibility division, in which the  judge ranks horses in rank of what horse is the most collectible. But what does that mean? Many people find this division not only the hardest to judge, but also the hardest to understand. What makes a horse place first and what makes a horse place sixth? Why didn’t my horse get a ribbon at all? Here’s a bit of the secrets behind Collectibility judging!

Golden Oak Stables’ shows have the most extensive novice show lists in the nation, including collectiblity classes, and for those of you who’ve attended, you know it is my favorite division! I also get the most questions on this division. “Why did I get first?”, “Why did I get last?”, “That horse looks exactly like mine, why did it win?”, “How do you know what all of these horses are?”. These are all very valid questions that many people have, and its also important to remember that all judges will judge a little differently, but here are the things that I look for.

1. Rarity/Desirability

2. Age

3. Color/Variations/Ect

4. Number Produced

Now, this list may seem a little ambiguous (and it is), but this is the running list in my head of how certain Breyers rank on my scale of Collectability. I don’t use this list all the time and I’m not going to give it to you in full (it’s far too long) but here’s a generalized version:

1. Vintage Extremely Rare Horses

2. Test Run and Very Limited Run Horses (Age indiscriminate)

3. Special Run Horses

4. Variation Vintage Horses

5. Variation Newer Horses

6. Regular Runs

This is *NOT* an absolute list; each and every horse deserves individual consideration, which it will get when I judge. There are times when a regular run horse is rarer than a hard to find vintage horse, or that a hard to find vintage horse is just not a good example of the model due to condition or just poor painting at the Breyer factory. It truly all comes down to what is on the table at the time.

An easy way to think about it is that I pick the model that is the most desirable on the table, or the one which most people want. This becomes convoluted when there are dozens of models on the table, but as a collectibility judge, I try very hard to place your rare models properly and honor them with the honor of having a good day at the show!  Keep on bringing out your rare, hard to find, special run, regular run and vintage pieces!


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