Breed Assignment

Unlike in the real world, where a horse may be registered to several different associations or registries, model horses are given just one breed that they represent the best. You might be familiar with more common breeds, such as Quarter Horses, Thoroughbreds, Clydesdales and Arabians, but your model might be a better Belgian than a Clydesdale! The way to find out what breed your model most looks like is through a bit of a research.

The first step to breed assignment is to determine what general type your model falls into: draft, stock, light, sport, pony or long-ear. This will give you some guidance – although it’s not a foolproof method, as some models can reasonably fall into another category. However, most moulds are not breed specific, so you can have a bit of fun with your assignment. An example of a breed-specific mould is the Breyer Traditional mould, Midnight Sun – he cannot really be assigned any other breed than a Tennessee Walking Horse, due to his gait.

The next step is to look at the colour of your model. The colour variety in some breeds is limited by genetics – that is, some colours just cannot occur in a pure horse of that breed. (Have you even seen a spotted purebred Friesian, or a red dun pure Arabian?) To find what colours are acceptable in different breeds, you can look at the breed standard used in the registry. The wrong colour on a breed can disqualify your model, so assign carefully.

To help you learn about different breeds and narrow down your choices, flick through books of horse breeds. Look at the photos and see if you can find a few that look like your model. Try and match known features of that breed; for example, a straight face, high leg movement or specific muscling. Breyer often releases its models as portraits of specific horses or specific breeds. You won`t go wrong to stick with that breed for your own model, but you can get creative and probably find another breed (or breeds) that are equally appropriate.

When a judge is assessing models in a breed class, they are looking for models that are the best representative of the assigned breed – a model that best fits the breed standard. A winning model should have as many breed-identifying features as possible, be a legal colour, and be in excellent condition with no flaws. The other factors that a judge will consider are anatomy, biomechanics and conformation.

Breed comparison 1

The Stablemate model above is sold as a `North American Spotted Draft`. Due to his colouring (black tobiano) and docked tail, there are only a few pure breeds that he can be shown as. He would not be suitable to be shown as a Clydesdale, Shire or Belgian, for example, as the colour is not appropriate, among other factors. The real horse in the photo is a North American Spotted Draft.

The Traditional model above is sold as a Thoroughbred. While he makes a good Thoroughbred, he also makes an excellent stock breed, as he has a stocky, compact appearanceand powerful hind end. The real horse in the photo is a Quarter Horse.

The Stablemate model above is sold as a `Hanoverian`. Warmbloods are a little tricky when it comes to breed assignment; at first glance, many of them are fairly similar. The breed standard for each registry will identify key characteristics. It`s very important to differentiate which breed your model is; `Warmblood` is just a type and not a breed in and of itself.

The model above makes a good full-blodded (or pure) Marwari. The colour, palomino, is found within the breed. The model displays breed characteristics, such as a straight profile, upright head/neck carriage, curved ear tips, large eyes, and a slender, athletic and compact body.