Real Life Breyer Horses: Rachel Alexandra’s Owner Passes Away

April 28, 2011

Jess “Stonestreet” Jackson may not be a name that everyone recognizes but you’re sure to recognize the names of his beloved horses. This well known American Wine Entrepreneur has a history in many industries but in the past five years he had the pleasure of owning two of the most well known horses in America.

In 2007 Jess Jackson made a major horse purchase that would shake up the world of horse racing. Curlin, who went on to win the Preakness and the Breeders cup , was a major player in the 2007 and 2008 racing years and was been wildly successful! Winning major races in both the states and around the world, Curlin put Jess Jackson on the map as a horse owner.

Two years later in 2009 he made another major purchase, the amazing Rachel Alexandra. This filly shook up the world in 2009 winning both the Kentucky Oaks as well as the Preakness. Her Preakness win was something for the record books being the first filly since 1924 to win the coveted leg of the Triple Crown upsetting Mine That Bird. She was also the first Kentucky Oaks winner to win the Preakness! Girl power at its greatest!

Both of these amazing horses share a connection beyond their owner, in 2011 Rachel Alexandra was retired and in her first year of retirement was bred to her stablemate, Curlin! It is a match made in racing history!

Jess Jackson will surely be remembered for a very long time with his few but amazing horses that have amazed all of us by blowing up the track and leaving so many in their dust. As Breyer does often with champions they have created Rachel Alexandra, Jess Jackson’s power filly, for their traditional line. This beautiful mare is shown in the last stretch of the race reaching for that finish line, like any champion! Her distinctive blaze and bright bay color can be recognized by any of her fans.

Truly a legend that was in the making, the racing world mourns the loss of  Jess Jackson but his legacy lives on through Curlin, Rachel Alexandra and their foal due in 2012. Who knows, maybe we’ll have another stakes winner, but only time will tell, but as always, Golden Oak Stables will be there with all the news!


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Breyer Horse Collecting: Mini Whinnies, The Smallest Scale

April 25, 2011

The smallest Breyers aren’t Stablemates as you might think, there is an even smaller scale that has just as many possibilities as their larger scale counterparts! Fun to collect and easy to acquire, Mini Whinnies are a blast to collect!

Standing at just around an inch tall, Mini Whinnies are small as can be and beautiful as can be. The Breyer Mini Whinnies line was sculpted by the talented Candace Liddy who is a well known Model Horse sculptor that has been a favorite for many resin artists for many years. Her Mini Whinnies are just as realistic as her larger pieces and just like any horse in Breyer’s lineup, Mini Whinnies are perfect little horses!

Since their inception, Breyer has created a ton of fun accessories and playsets for their Mini Whinnies line that are great for a fun time! With barns, fencing, riders and more all in one little playset, Mini Whinnies are fun as can be! Breyer also has sets of Mini Whinnies in various breeds to fill your stables out quickly! Another fun thing about Mini Whinnies is that you can find them in other Breyer sets too taking the place of a scale Breyer model for the Breyer Traditional and Classics lines!

Mini Whinnies have a ton of possibilities too! Breyer has created a Mini Whinnie Painting Kit to give you a leg up on customizing with paints and unpainted Mini Whinnies all packaged together. Mini Whinnies can be quite competitive in the show ring as well! Custom Mini Whinnies can often be seen at shows and while painting one could be a little more difficult because of the size, but can be big winners if painted with the same care as a larger scale model.

Another fun thing that can be done with Mini Whinnies and a lot of patience is Mini Whinnies performance! Creating tack that is correct and in such a small scale is quite difficult so if you do it well the rewards can be large!

Take a moment to visit Golden Oak Stables and get to know the Mini Whinnies line! They are a blast to collect and easy to acquire!  Don’t bypass this wonderful scale, they can be a lot of fun for anyone in a myriad of ways!


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Breyer Horse Showing: North American Nationals 2011

April 21, 2011

Are you a model horse hobbyist? Have you qualified a horse in the last two years for the North American Nationals? You may have and you don’t even know it! If you attended Golden Oak Stables’  New England Fall Live in the past two years and got a first or a second place you have! That’s not the only place to qualify your horse though, if you attended any model horse show in the past two years and your horse was awarded a first or a second place and was awarded a green, yellow or pink card with your ribbon that’s your ticket into the most exclusive show of the year! But don’t wait, you only have until May 2nd to enter!

The North American Nationals (Typically shortened to NAN) are held by the North American Model Horse Shows Association (Or NAMHSA for short) and is held in conjunction with Breyerfest in years that end in an even number in Lexington Kentucky. Kentucky NANs take place the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday prior to Breyerfest and take place at Rupp Arena, the same place where those famous Kentucky Wildcats play! In odd years NAN travels the country and typically is held somewhere in the western half of the country. This year its being held in the warm and beautiful Tucson Arizona!

Taking place June 17th, 18th and 19th, model horse hobbyists will take Tucson by storm and bring some of the best horses in the nation to Arizona for some friendly competition! There are classes for just about anything you can imagine at NAN 2011! Original Finish plastic is always a favorite for all of the Breyer collectors out there and with many classes there’s a class for everything! There’s performance classes, custom classes, classes for artist resins and chinas as well as collectibility classes that will judge the rarity and desirability of your horse. Just remember, each horse needs to have a NAN card to enter!

Registration is open for the 2011 show and will remain open until May 2nd! So if you are looking for a lovely desert vacation this June and have even a few horses qualified, Tucson is your place! The competition will be stiff, but the rewards are worth it!  Visit for more information about this year’s show or to start planning for 2012!

Golden Oak Stables is always your home for Breyer Horses, you never know when your new Breyer is going to be a star in the show ring! Do you have a horse you’ve gotten from Golden Oak Stables that has been a star at a previous NAN or in the show ring? I’d love to hear about it!


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Breyer Horse Collecting: New Foals Are Here For Spring!

April 18, 2011

Spring’s here and new foals are being born each day! Breyer and Golden Oak Stables has new Breyer mares and foals  for 2011 that will warm your heart and fill your shelves with their adorable and sweet nature!

Frolicking into the pasture on a warm day are three sets of classic scale mares and foals. Classic scale is 1:12th scale and adults stand about 6 inches tall and foals stand about 3.5 inches. These are a fun scale to collect because of their size and availability, plus Breyer has tons of fun accessories! The Thoroughbred mare and foal set are reminiscent of bluegrass pastures with a mare in a  stunning, slightly metallic light gray and a foal in a dark, slate color gray.  Right off the ranch, the Appaloosa mare and foal set is a lovely set of black appaloosas that are just adorable as can be! The mare is lovely in a black blanket appaloosa. A blanket Appaloosa is when spots only appear on her rear half and the rest of the body is a solid color. The foal is a what is referred to as Leopard Appaloosa because it carries spots all over its body and no patches of solid color!  There is also a Warmblood mare and foal right off the trail to the Rolex Three Day Event! This amazing pair are just lovely with a mare in bay with three socks and a foal in a bright chestnut.

There is also an exciting pair of real life Breyer horses that have been popular as can be already! GG Valentine and Heartbreaker come in both a lovely soft matte and a bright glossy that are both gorgeous! GG Valentine is a bright bay and her foal is a lovely light and realistic baby bay with lighter points that will grow in dark as he grows up!

There are lots of new spring babies both in the pasture and at Golden Oak Stables! Take a trip and take a look and you can fill your stables with some adorable and playful new foals this spring, because what’s more fun than a new little one?


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Breyer Horse Photography: A Few Spring Tips!

April 14, 2011

Warm weather is rolling in and while storms roll in from time to time, the sun is here to stay! One of my favorite parts of spring is getting my models that I’ve gotten over the winter out and spending some time photographing them! Photographing models is a fun activity that is a great way to interact with your models that sometimes only sit on a shelf. Its also a wonderful way to get creative and take some amazing artistic shots of your models! With a few tips you’ll be taking lovely photos in no time!

The best light to take photographs in is partially cloudy light in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky. This diffuses the light a little bit so you don’t get a high bright light. A bright sunlight can cast large shadows on your models and can make it difficult to take a good photo! Its also important to play with your camera settings to see what works best for you in the light that you are using. Often you’ll have to change your camera settings from one place to another, especially when going from indoor to outdoor photography. Generally, for model horses, outdoor photography produces the best results and flash will only hurt your photograph. So turn off the flash and head outside for some natural, beautiful light!

From GOS

Photo Shot Inside, Notice the clutter and disarray in the background.

From GOS

Same photo, shot outside on a “plain” background.

Another important thing is choosing your composition well. Try to steer clear of large objects in the background which can distract your photo. Avoid buildings, telephone poles, fences or other obstructions that can make your photo seem out of scale. The more basic the background, the better. Some cameras have settings which will put the background in soft focus, this is an invaluable feature for many people and can really help your photos look beautiful!

From GOS

Background cluttered with buildings and fencing.

The last little tip is about “footing”. Whatever you photograph your model on, be sure that your horse is stable on it and won’t fall over! A gust of wind can easily knock down a horse on a shaky surface and you don’t want to risk damage to your model! One of the biggest mistakes when photographing models is photographing them in grass. Avoid this at all costs. No matter how short the grass is cut, your model will always look out of scale. Choose something flat and neutral. Sometimes the color can effect the photograph though, so play around a bit to see what works best for your horse!

From GOS

Model on neutral footing.

From GOS

Model on blue footing, notice color differences with model.

So grab your camera and your new horses from Golden Oak Stables and head outside for a fun spring project! Then you can share your photos here or make a video for the Golden Oak Stables video contest out of your photos! Photographing your model is a fun and easy way to get some “play time” with your models! Young and old, its a great activity!


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Breyer Horse Collecting: Its All In The Eye Details

April 11, 2011

One of the most wonderful things about Breyers is that they are hand painted and each Breyer is different than the next! Variations in models happens all the time and some folks get great joy out of collecting variations! One of the first place to look for variations is in the eye details! Details on Breyers can be very interesting and beautiful and its easy to see why these can really complete a model and make them stand out in the crowd. In recent years Breyer has really taken a big step forward in creating some exciting details that make models stand out and put them into the realm of fine art!

One of the first place to look for interesting details is in the eyes. Many Breyers have hand detailed eyes that create life like realism. There are several different “Eyes” that Breyer does.

The first one that can be found is a simple black eye. This may seem a little boring, but sometimes simple works best for a model. The black eye features no detailing beyond a little gloss from time to time and helps to create a big “Doe Eye” look. It often helps indicate a gentle nature and calm demeanor.

From GOS

The most common detail that you can find on many modern models is Eye Whites. These are thin white paint lines that can be found in one or both corners of the eyes. This gives a realistic and interesting look to the model and gives the model more expression! Careful placement of an eyewhite can change a kind model to one that is concentrating or frightened.

From GOS

The last and most detailed is commonly referred to as “Tri-eyes” which is when the model has a painted iris, eye and eyewhite. These are the most detailed of the eyes and mostly found on harder to find and limited models due to the time needed to create this look. Tri-eyes can be very beautiful if painted by a talented painter and can really bump the model into a new realm of realism!

From GOS

Eyes are just one of the details you can find on Breyers and they just keep making them better and better each and every year and Golden Oak Stables brings them to you as always! Breyer continues to bring themselves into new realms of beauty with each and every little detail!


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Breyer Horse Events: Equine Affaire Ohio 2011

April 7, 2011

Breyer is in Columbus Ohio this weekend at one of the largest horse expos in the country to bring the world of model horse collecting to the world!

Equine Affaire is an equestrian expo that is held in three locations each year, California, Ohio and Massachusetts. Taking place in the spring is the leg of Equine Affaire that comes to the midwest town of Columbus Ohio at the Ohio State fair Grounds. Filling multiple buildings with vendors, breed associations, demos, performers and more, Equine Affaire is a horse lovers paradise!

Presenters this year include dozens of talented riders and horse people. Ranging from world class athletes to veterinarians, these presenters are well worth their weight in gold! Some of the presenters should be recognizable for avid Breyer collectors, Breyer has honored many of them by creating their beloved mounts in the form of their own Breyer horse! The title presenter, John Lyons, had his beloved horse Bright Zip honored as one of the first Breyerfest horses! John Lyons has long been a favorite amongst Breyer collectors and horse lovers alike for his training methods, so he’s sure please! Al Dunning is a famous western horse man who was produced in portrait for the exclusive “Breyer Gallery” in a portrait with the horse “Expensive Hobby”. This western rider will be presenting his training routine and methods to attendees!

Breyer will also be present this weekend with a special run available for purchase and a sneak peak at all of the Breyerfest models for 2011! This year’s theme is “Fairytales” and sticking with this theme Breyer has created some lovely models for those lucky enough to visit the Kentucky Horse Park that wonderful weekend in July!

Equine Affaire Ohio 2011 will truly be a treat to anyone who has the privilege to attend. From world class performances that can only be seen there to shopping for you and your horse that needs to be seen to believed, Equine Affaire is a wonderful place to spend the weekend! If you can’t make it to Columbus, don’t fret! There’s always a horse event going on somewhere! Next up on my calendar is the Rolex Three Day Event where I’ll get the chance to see world class eventing and some of the WEG superstars! Golden Oak Stables has a calendar full for those who live in New England! This year’s events aren’t to be missed, so take a moment and visit Golden Oak Stables to see what they have in store, next up, an open show that will delight and challenge entrants!


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