Showing your Breyer horses can be equally fun and a little scary the first time because you might not know what to expect. Even after a few shows you might still be wondering, “Just what does the judge do?”. It can be a little foreign for anyone to see plastic horses winning ribbons, but you might be surprised at how its done!
Model horse showing is very close to real horse showing, with modifications made because they are plastic after all! The key elements to judging stay the same though. In Halter classes a judge is looking for the horse that best matches the breed standard set forward by the breed organization. In performance the judge is looking for the horse best performing the sport it is portraying. The one exception to the connection between real horse and model horse showing is in two divisions, Workmanship and Collectiblity. These are specific divisions that exist in the model horse hobby to reward horses that are created with great craftsmanship and those that are very rare and desirable.
Judges often will take a first look at the class and count the number of entries in the class when first approaching the table. From there the judge will begin to inspect each entry for their standard of what they feel should be winning the class. Many model horse judges are very talented and knowledgeable horse people and bring a great deal of knowledge to the show ring. Even then, many judges value things on different levels and any judge will agree that classes will place differently for any judge. There is no rule book, but that’s one of the most fun things, one day your horse might not place but the next show he might win a championship!
Judging is very subjective and each and every judge does have some personal preferences just like in real horse showing. If you ever have questions about your horse and its placings most judges welcome questions and are happy to explain why a horse placed where it did. It’s best to wait until after a class is finished to ask though. When a judge is judging her class try to not distract or speak to her. Save all questions until after the class.
No matter how you place, it’s always fun to get out to a live show. The next time you visit a Golden Oak Stables one you’ll have a better idea of just how and why your horse placed where it did. And if not? Don’t be afraid to ask!