Written By Suna and Tina
Going to a model horse show takes almost as much preparation as going to a real horse show…
First, you have to select your models, fill in the entry form and send it off. Then you have to carefully wrap each model and put it meticulously in its designated box – tacking up and preparing those models and riders for the performance classes. There’s food and drink to think about, items to contribute to the raffle or auction (if there is one), and work out what ridiculous time you have to get up to leave in the morning. Last, but definitely not least, you have to remember to put the directions somewhere you can find them.
If you’re like me – careless - you have to find a friend, a fellow fanatic, or a willing parent to transport you to the show. As a general rule, shows are always in hard to reach places! I have a friend who is a fellow collector and shower (we often come in pairs) who is generous enough to cart my horses and I all over the country. I have even gone to Germany with fellow fanatics!
After the alarm goes off and you think, oh, no, not again! followed by a cup of strong coffee and a biscuit, it’s the usual hunt for the directions and off on the road. In my personal experience it’s always useful to travel with snacks and drinks to keep you inspired on the way.
When you finally arrive, after the traditional ‘missing the turning’, it’s cheery to see familiar faces as they mutter a sleepy hello and unload their boxes from the car. Often you have the chance to help set up the tables (under instruction from the show organizer) and then find your own table for the day.
You carefully unpack your precious models and wait for the classes to start. It’s also a good idea to put models that are going in the same class next to each other on your table so that you don’t forget to put them in the ring. If you enter performance classes, you’ll be busy – and probably frustrated! – setting up your entries. Once the performance classes are over, there’s a chance to go and have a look at everyone else’s models between the halter classes. It’s always great to meet other people and talk about their models, but remember – you must never touch someone else’s model with out their permission. Keep your ears open and listen to the steward for the classes you have entered, because once the judge has started judging it’s too late to put your model on the table.
Always check the schedule to see if lunch is provided or if you have to bring your own – there’s not always somewhere nearby to buy lunch. Lunchtime is another opportunity to catch up with old friends and to meet new ones. People usually bring sales models to put on the tables at lunchtime, and there are sometimes fun classes to think about.
In the afternoon the classes continue, and usually the supreme championship is held last, with the champions from sections through the day competing for the honour.
At the end of the show, all those carefully packed horses are thrown back in their wrapping and boxes and there always seems to be spare bubble wrap left over! Time to help put the tables away and thank the show organizers, pack the car and begin the drive home – supplies of snacks and drinks at the ready!
A day at a show is fun and the best way to see a variety of models - original finish or those unique models customized by fellow enthusiasts. It helps open your eyes to new breeds, disciplines and ideas about horses, and can inspire you try new and exciting creations for your own models. It is also a brilliant way to meet new people and make friends.