Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Breast Cancer Benefit Stablemate

Ordinarily, I'm not a big collector of decorator, or unrealistic, model horses. That doesn't mean I don't like them: in fact, some are really beautiful, and I think it's inspired to use a model horse instead of paper as a canvas for art. But with limited space on my shelves, and many of Breyer's decorator models being somewhat more expensive than regular runs, I haven't fallen enough in love with many to want to add them to my collection.

Like many other Breyer collectors, I started with Stablemates. They were small so they didn't take up much room, and relatively inexpensive enough that I didn't feel guilty spending money on them. I liked the fact that, despite their size, they were still quite realistic, and they were similar enough in scale to my Schleich horses that I didn't feel completely out of my comfort zone with them. Of course, Stablemates are like Pringles: it's impossible to have just one! So I bought myself a bunch of models, and, probably more through availability than anything else, ended up buying this guy too.
 He's the 2010-2012 Breast Cancer Benefit model, otherwise referred to as the Pink Ribbon Stablemate. Breyer has so far produced 3 different Breast Cancer Benefit model runs: one on the Traditional Andalusian Stallion mould, one on the Traditional Bluegrass Bandit mould, and this one on the Stablemate Prancing Morgan stallion mould. All 3 horses are inspired by the famous pink ribbon campaign to raise awareness of breast cancer, hence the pink colouring with pink and white ribbons on their bodies.
 I probably bought this stallion mostly because part of the money from the sale of each model was donated by Breyer to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Other than that, he was just another pretty Stablemate to add to my collection. But he very quickly grew on me and has unexpectedly become one of my favourite models. I just love him: I can't explain why.
 Unfortunately he's ridiculously difficult to photograph! For a start, he is the most tippy model I own. Although I adore it, the Prancing Morgan mould is already prone to instability due to having 2 hooves off the ground. But add to that the fact that my stallion has his foreleg bent too far out and I have to prop him up under his hind leg to even get him to stand upright! And because he's made of translucent plastic instead of the ordinary plastic Breyer uses for their models, the trick of heating the plastic to bend it back into position simply doesn't work for him.
 Which brings me to my second point. Because his body is clear, my basic camera really struggles to photograph him. It's a battle to even get it to focus on him, and then half the time it blurs his features anyway. I'm sure a better camera would probably work more effectively, but I've got to make do with what I've got. So just taking pictures of this guy can turn into a real headache. 
 Despite that, I still adore him. His mane reminds me of moulded glass, and he's got a subtle metallic shimmer to his body. His eyes, nose, inner ears and hooves have been airbrushed so they stand out from the rest of his features, and the ribbons on his body add interest to what would otherwise have been a very plain coat.
 It's not immediately obvious, but his colour is actually stronger in his body and fades out to almost clear on his lower legs and tail. He just looks like an exquisite glass horse.
 When I originally got him I thought it was a bit odd that Breyer had chosen a stallion to represent the fight against breast cancer. Surely a mare would be more suited for the model? Plus, pink is not a very masculine colour for a stallion. But the more I thought about it the less I felt it mattered. Breyer chose a mould that was spirited and elegant, beautiful and strong to represent the fight against breast cancer, and I think they chose well. Besides, breast cancer can affect men as well as women, so maybe a stallion can help to raise awareness that men can suffer too?
  Maybe I like this guy so much because I can just feel the power and spirit in him. He's so majestic and lively that it feels as if nothing can stand in his way. Breyer wanted their model to symbolise hope, and I think he does just that. So I decided to name him Courage, and his show name is The Strength to Carry On.
 I said at the start of this post that I don't normally collect decorators, and indeed Courage is my first and so far only one. But he's introduced me to a whole new sub-genre of models, and I'm very quickly falling in love with Breyer's Horse Crazy decorator Stablemates. They're much simpler than my boy, and lack any shading on their eyes, nose or hooves to pick them out. But I think Courage might just like a little herd of translucent horses to keep him company. I think he'd probably be the leader of the herd, though :)


  1. I was actually considering getting a few of the Horse Crazy Stablemates to put in my room as a purely decorative feature... (Any excuse!)

    I don't own any decorators, but I think some of them are stunning. Do you remember Romance? Stunning.

    I agree that Breyer chose the perfect mould to symbolise hope.

    1. That's kind of my thought too. I think they'd look gorgeous standing on a windowsill with sunlight streaming through them :) I kinda wish they were a little more detailed, like the 2011 Breyerfest Gambler's Choice Stablemates:
      But I appreciate that making them plainer makes them easier to mass produce.

      Romance is breath-taking. I love the idea of painting a scene onto a model horse instead of paper :)