All The Pretty Ponies Model Horse Show

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Information for New Showers


What is a live show?


A live model horse show is just like a real horse show, only model horses are being judged.  The models are judged just like real horses - the entrant assigns a breed to their model and enters the model in the proper class for that breed.  The model with the best conformation and is the best representation for that breed will be the one that wins.


Some model horse shows (including this one) are sanctioned by NAMHSA (North American Model Horse Shows Association, which is a national organization for model horse shows.  Models that win a first or a second place in their class at a sanctioned show qualify to enter NAN (North American Nationals) - a national model horse show held once per year.


How late will the show run?


That is very difficult to predict!  It all depends on how many entrants come to the show, how many models they each bring, how big the classes are, and how fast the judges judge those classes.  Normally, it is a full day affair.  We try to finish somewhere in the 5:30 PM - 6:00 PM range, but sometimes shows run as late as 8:30 PM or 9:00 PM.


Do I need to enter each horse I want to show?


Your entry fee covers you for as many models as you want to bring to the show.  If this will be your first show, I would recommend bringing no more than 20 - 25 models.  You definitely don't want to have a model in every class!  Leave yourself time to walk around and meet other people, or just to sit down for a few minutes.


Most shows use ID cards – not a list of your models and their names ahead of time.  You will need one card per horse per class, plus some extra cards for the Champ and Reserve Champ Callbacks.  The card needs to have the class name and number, horse's name, horse's breed, and horse's gender on the front, and your name on the back.  These cards are to make it easier for us to do the results, and to make the show run faster.  The judge will write the horse's placing on the card, and collect the cards of the models that placed.  That way, when we do the results, we have the horse's name and owner's name printed all nice and neat, and the judge doesn't have to spend time writing down names.  Please have your cards ready ahead of time!  You don't want to be trying to write out your horse's cards on show day.


More About ID Cards

At this show, we will be using 3 x 5 cards instead of leg tags for your models.  You are welcome to still tag your models for identification purposes, if desired.  As a matter of fact, we strongly suggest you tag your OF Plastic models, as there may be several of the same model on the judging table at the same time! 


The ID card system is really the system that is the easiest for the judges and show holders, and still be able to provide full results to the entrants.


Here are some tips for the card system! 


For each model, the entrant will provide an index card with the class number and name, model's name, model's breed, and model's gender on the front, and the entrant's name on the back; this is so the judge doesn't have to write anything down - they just write the placing on the card, and collect the cards of the models that placed in the class.  The show holders will then type the results from these cards.


A card is needed every time there is a potential for the model to get a placing.  When each breed section has been judged in each division, the first and second place horses will be called back for Champion and Reserve Champion judge-off.  At this time, your model will need another card with the model's name on the front and your name on the back.


You can hand write your cards, if you desire; or, you can print out labels using a computer with all of the information on the label.  Then, you just need to put the label on a card, put your name on the back of the card, and you're done!  Some people will also print smaller labels with their name on them for the back of the card, or use an address labels.  Another option is to buy a stamper (with the automatic ink pad) with just your name on the stamp, and then stamp your name on the backs of your cards.  Saves on a bunch of writing!


Also, it is not necessary that the ID cards be 3x5!  You can use the above template, print the page out on regular paper, and then cut the page into 2” x 4” rectangles.  Done!  And no labels or cards involved!  You can even have one of the above templates with just your name in each rectangle.  Print the page with the model's ID card information on one side, turn the page over, and then print the page with just your name in all of the rectangles on the other side of the page.  Then, cut the page into "cards" - the model information will be on the front and your name on the back.  Or, you can also buy those perforated business card sheets and print your ID cards using those.  Just so long as the ID card is big enough to be legible and not get lost, it's fine!


Can I enter my horse in multiple breed classes?


While in the "real" world, horses can be double and even triple registered with different breed organizations, in the model horse world you need to pick the one breed that best fits that horse and show it as that breed.  So, no, you cannot show the same model in multiple breed classes, you can only show your model in one breed class.


What can I expect?


There will be tables placed at the front of the show hall.  These tables will be numbered and labeled with the ring number and division name.  These are the judging tables.  There will be other tables labeled "callback" and with the division name.


The judges will be calling their own classes.  We will have a microphone and speakers, but you will still need to pay attention and listen for your classes.  All judging rings will be running at the same time, and some judges may be louder than others.


When one of your classes is called, take your horse and put it up on the table.  Make sure you are on the correct table and make sure you put the horse's ID card down for that class.  If your horse is an unusual breed, or an unusual color for the breed you have assigned, feel free to put down reference materials (like a book with the page open or a printed page from a website) on the table next to your horse.  Our judges are very knowledgeable, but they can't know everything!


When the judge announces that a class has been pinned, go up and pick up your horse and any ribbons you won.  If your horse has won a first or a second place, don't bring him back to your table!  Take him to the "callback" table for that division (if there is one designated).  Leave his ribbon on the table next to him, and leave another ID card with the model's name on the front and your name on the back.  Once all the classes for that breed section have been pinned, the judges will judge the models that won a first or second in their class and name one horse "Champion" and another "Reserve Champion."  Once the judges announce the champs and reserve champs, then you can go and pick up your model from the callback table.


At the end of the show, when the division is finished, all of the models that either won a Champ or Reserve Champ in that division will be called back and those models will be judged for Overall Division Grand and Reserve Grand Champion.  So, if your horse wins a Champ or Reserve Champ medal, don't pack him away!  He will have one more class at the end of the show!


Most importantly, HAVE FUN, talk to people, walk around and look at all the pretty models, and don't be afraid to ask questions!  We will have newcomers and people who have been showing for years and years!  So, don't be upset if your horses don't win prizes in every class!


More About Breeds and Judging



Original Finish Plastic, Original Finish China & Original Finish Factory Resin:


An original finish plastic, china, or factory resin is a mass- produced plastic model in its original state as released by the manufacturer. Models may be repaired or restored to the original state, although a judge may penalize any visible repair at his/her discretion. Any alteration to a model be-yond original state disqualifies it from the OF division; this includes, but is not limited to, added gloss on eyes, hooves, mane/tail, or any other part of model; added, “improved”, or altered markings; and any substance applied to change or enhance the original color or texture.




A custom model is a one-of-a-kind created by altering an OF model, whether plastic, factory resin, china, or other material. Any alteration from original factory finish means a model is customized. A custom model may be repainted with or without hair or sculpted mane and tail, repositioned, have body parts re-sculpted or replaced, be created from two or more OF models – equine artists are amazingly inventive

Artist Resin/Original Sculpture:


An artist resin is a casting of a unique work. Artist resins may be finished by the original artist or by another artist; may be altered from the original casting; may have sculpted or hair manes and tails. Regardless of who finished the model or how altered, if the underlying body is an artist resin, the model should be shown in the Artist Resin division. An original sculpture is a unique figure created by an artist from raw materials; although it may be based on a wire (or other material) armature, no mass-produced model or artist resin, regardless of how altered, is used as a base or armature. An original sculpture may be the prototype for an artist resin or may exist as a single, standalone work of art. If you are unsure whether your model is a custom or artist resin, ask the Registrar for assistance.


NOTE: All Animal Artistry resins, whether painted at Animal Artistry or elsewhere, are shown in Artist Resin Halter and CM/AR/OS Performance. They may not be shown in OF China/Factory Resin Halter or OF Performance.


Custom Glaze/One of Kind China:


China/porcelain/pottery models finished in a unique glaze job must be shown in the Custom Glaze division, regardless of where the unique glaze was created. This includes one-of-a-kind models created at the factories of Pour Horse, Horsing Around/Horse Gallery, etc. The OF China classes are restricted to horses glazed in regular production colors. Animal Artistry/Alchemy china’s and Horsing Around china’s in standard colors are shown in OF China/Resin; Custom colors, whether special ordered by a purchaser or offered on a sales list by the maker, must be shown in the Custom Glaze Division. If you have any question about classifying your china or resin model, please contact the Registrar




Every model MUST be assigned a breed.

Assign a Specific Breed:


You must be specific on model breed assignments. An actual breed, rather than a general type of equine, is required. NAMHSA has provided a list of breeds by division for NAN and a cross-referenced alphabetical list of breeds to guide you with online registration. Both documents are on the NAMHSA website under NAN.


The appropriate section for Welsh Ponies – A (Welsh Mountain Pony), B (Welsh Pony), C (Welsh Pony of Cob Type), or D (Welsh Cob) – is required. “Welsh” does not identify the correct standard required to judge the model.


The appropriate breed is required for all Warmbloods/sport horses, such as Trakehner, Dutch Warmblood, Friesian Sport Horse, etc. Neither “Warmblood” nor “sport horse” identifies the characteristics and standard required to judge the model. Mules must be identified as miniature, saddle, or draft; Donkeys as miniature, standard, or mammoth. The Registrar may request additional information on any model not specifically identified.


Mixed Breeds/Grades:


It is recommended that you include the exact makeup of your horse’s breeding, if known, to enable the judges to evaluate it more accurately. For every mixed breed or grade horse, you must specify TYPE (e.g. “Stock Type”). NAN has multiple mixed/grade classes, and the NAN Committee wants your entry in the correct class. In most cases, a mixed breed falls into the same type as at least one of its parents. For example, a Morgan (light breed) x Quarter Horse (stock breed) cross might be either a Light Type or a Stock Type. Occasionally, a cross of two non-sport breeds may create a Sport Type horse. Choose the type based on the horse’s appearance and what you believe a horse of this kind would be used for.


Provide Extra Information If you have a horse of an extremely rare breed not listed among the choices online, select the Other class for the your model’s type (e.g., Draft, Light, Sport) and put the breed name in the Other entry field. Please bring documentation of the breed to NAN.



  1. Above all else model showing is supposed to be fun
  2. Don’t get wrapped around the ribbons, winning isn’t everything and every judge has their own opinion and ideas, so if your model horse does not win under one judge doesn’t mean it won’t win with another judge.
  3. Spending a lot of money on models does not guarantee a winner, see above. Find a horse you like, make sure it is clean and has no scratches.
  4. A note on breed selections, just because Breyer or Stone produces a Quarter Horse mold does not mean you have to show it as that breed. Go online, check out breed standards and find one that matches your horse.
  5. Last note on breeds, because a model is in a mold such as a Quarter Horse mold and it has spots such as a pinto, Paint or Appaloosa coloring, do not show it in the Quarter Horse class.

Links with More Information

Website links with more information about showing model horses:


NAMHSA's website with links to NAMHSA's blog and Facebook page:


Laura Skillern's blogs Showing 101 and Don't Eat The Paint (look for showing 101 posts in the archives):


IMEHA (International Model Equine Hobbyists Assoc, Inc) (a photo showing association with lots of great showing and judging information):


Positively Perfect Performance (great performance showing information in the Dear Eddie Blog and under the Oh Joy Farms tab):


Article from JAH Magazine:

ABCs Of Showing.pdf