29 June 2011
Posted in Articles
New Breyer Horse Model for 2011: Kripton-Seni II, PRE Stallion
Like many little girls who love horses, Nancy Latta loved Breyer models when she was growing up. In fact, because she wasn't allowed to have a real horse of her own, she had to satisfy herself with the tiny versions and her imagination. That little girl never dreamed that one day she would be looking at a model of her own horse on her shelf.
Nancy, her husband Joe, and their daughter Amanda had just returned home from seeing their beloved Pura Raza Espanol stallion, Kripton-Seni II, honored as one of the 2009 top five USEF Horse of the Year finalists when there was an email in Nancy's inbox from Breyer telling them their horse had been selected to be a model. "I answered them right away," Nancy recalls. "The thought of one of my horses being a model was really exciting for me."
The decision was an easy one for Breyer, too, once they found Kripton. "There are a lot of different factors that go into the creation of the line at Breyer," explains Kathleen Fallon, Vice President of Communications at Reeves International, the parent company of Breyer Animal Creations. "Things like diversity of breeds and a mix between portrait models and unnamed models that are just beautiful horses. When we were thinking about portrait models for this year, we knew we wanted an Andalusian. We have a variety of molds for each breed, and we knew we wanted this model. We keep extensive files on all the breeds and consider the proposals people sent us. We look at competition records, whether it's a stallion, gelding, or mare, if their color is striking and would make a pretty model. And, of course, we want to know if the owner is interested, if they would take the horse to Breyerfest, and if they would help promote the model. It's a big process. Kripton is an extraordinarily beautiful horse and exemplary for the breed standard, he has an incredible show record, and it's a bonus that he has a nice temperament. We feel really honored to be able to do him. He just seemed like the obvious choice."
Over the next several months, Nancy worked with Breyer to perfect the look of Kripton's model, requiring many photos and consultations to make sure they had it exactly right. "They wanted pictures of him from every angle," Nancy recalls. "It took a couple of months of the artist sending renderings, and I would tell them to adjust the color or a marking. They eventually got it exactly right, even his dapples. I was very pleased at the way it came out."
Kripton's Breyer model debuted in December of 2010, and Kripton will appear at this year's Breyerfest, July 15-17 at the Kentucky Horse Park. "We will make daily presentations in the main arena to show what he can do, and there will be autograph signing sessions and meet and greets," Nancy says. "I'm looking forward to it."
Breyerfest will not be Kripton's first appearance promoting his model. "We went to Equine Affaire in February, and we had him in the California Andalusian Horse Alliance (CALAHA) booth," Nancy recounts. "It was amazing how many young people came up and said they'd seen the model or were going to get it or already had one and wanted it signed. We would be walking around the vendors and there was Kripton on a shelf. I remember being a young girl who lived and breathed the thought of being near a horse, but I didn't have one until I was an adult. The look in the eyes of the kids when they walked up to him was incredible--you could see them melt inside. I was so glad to be able to put a smile on their faces."
To Nancy, Kripton is the picture of what drew her to the PRE breed 20 years ago. "They're very versatile. they can do just about anything, and they're they happiest when you give them something new to learn because they become bored easily. Kripton is conformationally correct and very talented; he has done very well in halter, hunt seat, dressage suitability, dressage hack, and western, and we're adding show hack this year and driving next year. I consider him to be the epitome of the PRE breed, because he excels at every discipline. That's why he was top five in 2009 for USEF Horse of the Year: his ability to be multi-disciplined, where others tend to be really good at just one. He does it all, and he does it well."
Breyer model enthusiasts often collect all of the different versions of the same model and attend Breyer "horse shows." These models are collectable and most people will hold on to them for a long time. "I have one of Kripton's models on my desk, and it always puts a smile on my face," Nancy shares. "The wonderful thing about this is that he'll be immortalized forever."
Since the Lattas imported Kripton from Spain in 2004, this beautiful and talented stallion has won 12 national championships, eight national reserve championships, 14 regional championships, and four regional reserve championships. In addition to being a finalist for the 2009 USEF Horse of the Year, he won that honor for the International Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Association in 2008.
Since Kripton's main rider, Nancy's daughter Amanda, is pregnant, the stallion's season will not be as busy as it usually is. "We'll go to Breyerfest, and then the CALAHA regional show in August at LAEC, and that will be the last show this year," Nancy explains. "I will probably have to do more riding at regionals than I usually do, and Sandy Shields, our trainer for 20 years, will probably ride as well."
Kathleen says that Breyer enthusiasts connect strongly with their line of "portrait models", which are all based on real horses. "Our specialty is realism, and we want every model to look exactly like the real horse. We're honored that the people who own these great horses are willing to let us make portrait models of their great champions. That means a lot to us."
Ever thought of what it would be like to have a Breyer model made of your horse? While it's possible, the chances are slim. The company receives hundreds of letters every year making suggestions on horses for their line. While these are sometimes considered, many of the staff members at Breyer are horse people who watch the show and racing circuits and read all the magazines for prospects. "Sometimes it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time," Kathleen explains. "We're always looking for good stories as well as beautiful horses. Every model has to have some kind of mass appeal."
Kathleen's closing thoughts sum up what has made Breyer a favorite among many children and adults alike. "One of the amazing things about Breyer--and I hear this over and over again from people who have them--is that Breyer is what they can have when they can't have the real thing. For all those little girls who wish they were getting a pony for Christmas, who want a horse but can't have one, Breyer fills the gap."