Vintage custom model horse in top photo: RM Pravda (by Julie Froelich). Above right photo, left to right: Deloyer Starblazer (by Lisa Rivera), Sadamebius (by Nancy Strowger), Lunanegra (by Lee Francis), So Class Act (by Sue Rowe), and Highwayinthewind (by Judy Renee Pope).
12/22/2023: More ephemera treasures for the shelves of the Model Animal Hobby History Archive have surfaced as we continue to unpack--here's the updated list!
12/11/2023: The Winter 2023 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View is here! Its 28 pages include fair-market values of vintage customs, results of the fifth leg of the VCMEC 2022-23 Online World Championships show series, color photos galore, and more!
10/15/2023: More unpacking, more additions to the shelves of the Model Animal Hobby History Archive, including several issues of Just About Horses and the Model Draft Horse and Pony Club Bulletin. Here's the updated list!
9/17/2023: The brand-spankin'-newAutumn 2023 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View is here! Its 30 pages include fair-market values of vintage customs from July-Sept. 2023, results of the fourth leg of the VCMEC 2022-23 Online World Championships show series, a look at some transformations of the Breyer Traditional Lady Phase, and a cavalcade of color photos. Enjoy!
7/25/2023: Some more of the late Beth Andries' collection of model horse publications were found, and Alicia Vogel kindly sent them our way to reunite with the rest of Beth's extensive hobby library that was donated earlier to the Model Animal Hobby History Archive! Good gosh, there's an amazing array of the late, great Linda Walter's Model Horse Shower's Journal (yesterday the Archive had 28 issues of this seminal publication; today it's 65!), some mimeographed 1979 and 1980 issues of High Stepper's Review, and other wonderful things galore! Here's the updated list of treasures. Thank you so, so much again, Alicia...and Beth!
7/22/2023: Unpacked some treasure today: part of our original collection of model horse magazines gathered back in the day! New additions to the shelves of the Model Animal Hobby History Archive include a 1978 issue of the International Model Horse Journal, a half-dozen Equine Miniaturist issues from 1991-92, and 14 more issues of the marvelous Model Rag, spanning 1987 to 1990. Here's the updated list!
7/15/2023: What a thrill to be interviewed this week by Kelley Bell for her radio show "Horsing Around"! It was a ton of fun, covering vintage custom model horses and VCMEC, BreyerFest, Breyer horse collecting, some favorite memories from working at harness racing magazine Hoof Beats, and more! The show aired on WDLR Radio 1270 AM and 96.7 FM in Delaware & Union Counties, Ohio, and will be archived soon at https://my967.net/horsing-around/ -- give it a listen! And some more good news: The 32-page Summer 2023 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View is here! It features fair-market values of vintage customs from May-July 2023, results of the third leg of the VCMEC 2022-23 Online World Championships show series, a look at some transformations of the Breyer Trad. Hanoverian, and of course color photos galore! Enjoy!
4/30/2023: Get your downloadable PDF of the 34-page Spring 2023 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring fair-market values of vintage customs from August 2022 to April 2023, results of the second leg of the VCMEC 2022-23 Online World Championships show series, and more!
4/03/2023: And speaking of whoppers of a year...but we're back! Here's a downloadable PDF of the 30-page Autumn/Winter 2022 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring photos and results from VCMEC Live III and the first leg of the VCMEC 2022-23 Online World Championships show series! (The Spring 2023 issue is well along, and we look forward to publishing it here at the end of this month to get back on track!)
12/18/2022: This sure has been a whopper of a year! We've been busily unpacking, and have unearthed several hobby publications to add to the Model Animal Hobby History Archive. That page has been updated today!
7/31/2022: Here comes the 2022-23 VCMEC Online World Championship series! The gate opens tomorrow, and the first of the series' six legs starts September 1, so don't miss out-- download your show packet PDF !
7/24/2022: Check out the 44-page Summer 2022 issue of the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring the aggregate results of the VCMEC Online World Championships, artists who created the World Champions and Reserve World Champions, fair-market values for vintage customs, and more!
6/15/2022: We've unpacked some great early '90s model horse publications to add to the shelves of the Model Animal Hobby History Archive--here's the updated list!
6/11/2022: Check out the 32-page Spring 2022 issue of the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring a tribute to the late Elizabeth Bouras, fair-market values for vintage customs, the results of the concluding sixth leg of the VCMEC Online World Championships, and more!
5/19/2022: The Spring 2022 issue of the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View is nearing completion, but we've got some big news first: we'll be holding a once-in-a-century model horse show and swap meet, the Spark Plug Cup, on July 16 for all kinds of model horses (yup, not only Vintage Customs), to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first appearance of Barney Google's wayward racehorse Spark Plug in the newspaper funnies back on July 17, 1922! The show will be at the historic Iron County Memorial Building in Hurley, Wis. Check out the details HERE!
3/06/2022: We're in our new digs and getting back up to speed! We've even managed to not miss an issue of our free online newsletter; here's the 36-page Winter 2021 VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring fair-market values for vintage customs, the results of Leg 5 of the VCMEC Online World Championships, and more! (The Spring 2022 issue will follow later this spring, and then we'll be back on schedule with the Summer 2022 issue at the end of July.) Enjoy!
9/02/2021: Check out the Autumn 2021 VCMEC Model Horse Re-View! This issue of our free online newsletter is packed with 38 pages of full-color features, fair-market values for vintage customs, the photo-filled results of Leg 4 of the VCMEC Online World Championships, and more! This will be the last issue for a while; we're scant days away now from the concluding half of our big move north, and have put the Re-View on hiatus as we get settled into our new place and jobs. We'll aim to get things back underway next spring, if not sooner...see you then!!
7/05/2021: Our move north is halfway done, and here's the Summer 2021 issue of our free online newsletter VCMEC Model Horse Re-View! Its 42 full-color pages feature the photo-filled results of Leg 3 of the VCMEC Online World Championships, a tribute to the late Beth Andries, fair market values of vintage customs sold from April to June, and more!
4/28/2021: The first half of our move north will be happening next week! We'll share details of the journey in June's Summer 2021 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View--but in the meantime, here's some other fun reading material, especially if you're interested in the psychology of auctions or unusual horse coat colors: Check out what's been added to the Meet Sparky C. page!
4/07/2021: Here's a photo-filled 38 pages of vintage custom goodness: the Spring issue of our free online newsletter, the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View! Featured this go-round are tributes to the late artists Lynne Baum Von Mayr and Linda Spiesschaert, fair market values for more than 100 vintage customs sold at auction or for best offer this year, show results, and more!
1/15/2021: Happiest of New Years to you and yours! Here's the Winter issue of our free online newsletter, the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, with 34 colorful pages filled with features on the late Sherry Cook McDonald and Linda Kelly, fair market values, show results, and other vintage custom goodness!
10/13/2020: It's been that kind of year, hasn't it? But here's something we hope you'll enjoy: the 26-page Autumn 2020 issue of our free online newsletter, the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring fair market values, mold guides, show results, and more!
6/28/2020: We've been blessed with some exciting additions to the Model Animal Hobby History Archive!
6/04/2020: Surprise! Here's our second big announcement (and in record time!): the Summer 2020 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring the full-color photo-filled final results of the 2018-19 VCMEC Online World Championships! (The issue is so large, it's in two parts, each 20 pages long!) Congratulations to all the World Champions and Reserves, their owners, creators, and photographers! In the issue, you'll also find news about our third big announcement!
6/03/2020: We've got three big announcements this first week of June! First up, the 2020-21 VCMEC Online World Championships show series is a go! Entries will open June 15, with the first show to start September 1 (deadline for entries is August 30). Here's your 2020-21 show info packet PDF with all the details and classlists, as well as an FAQ!
5/17/2020: The awards are here for the 2018-19 VCMEC Online World Championships show series, and we've started work on sorting and packaging them, to hit the mail at the end of May/first week of June. Meanwhile, the Summer 2020 issue of the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, chock-full of the series' final results, is ahead of schedule and we aim to bring it to you sooner than the usual end of June--stay tuned!
4/09/2020: Calling all entrants of the 2018-19 VCMEC Online World Championships show series! Tonight, starting at about 9pm Eastern time on our Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/groups/vcmec, we'll announce the World Champions and Reserve World Champions in each Breed class of the 1960s/'70s division--live! (The full results will be in the Summer issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, coming out at the end of June.) Hope you might join us!
4/08/2020: Weighing in at 36 pages, the big, beautiful Spring 2020 issue of our free quarterly online publication, VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, is available now!
Coming up next will be the awarding of the VCMEC 2018-19 World Champion and Reserve World Champion titles from the 2018-19 VCMEC Online World Championships show series. They'll be published in the Summer 2020 Re-View at the end of June...but in the meantime, we'll count down with live video reveals three times a month, in April, May, and June! Stay tuned for details on when and where to see these vintage customs that have proven themselves the world's greatest! In the meantime, folks, please stay safe.
2/03/2020: With so many folks telling us they'd love to come to a Saturday VCMEC Live but are just not able to make it to a Friday show, and with no entrants to date for VCMEC Live III on Friday the 13th next month, we've decided it would be best for all to postpone this event until Spring 2021. We're sorry it will be longer until we can all get together again, but we have our eye on a Saturday sure to please, and will share the details as soon as we've got 'em nailed down!
1/25/2020: Exciting news on VCMEC Live III, coming up March 13: We're now NAMHSA-approved, meaning first- and second-placers in the Halter Challenge classes qualify for the 2020-2023 NAMHSA North American Nationals! We've also decided to double-judge the Halter Challenge classes, bringing you two shows for one: one set of placings for breed, and the other for workmanship! We've updated the show packet for VCMEC Live III, so download yours now!
1/09/2020: Download your show packet for VCMEC Live III, featuring Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress and the Senior Equine Artist Resin Championships, to be held March 13 in Addison, TX, alongside All-Con (all-con.org)! We're in the process of applying for NAMHSA approval. Hope to see you there!
1/02/2020: Happy New Year! The 28-page Winter 2019 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View is here, and you won't want to miss its feature on the journey of El Mirage Diamond!
10/16/2019: The VCMEC Model Horse Re-View is back without missing a beat! The Autumn 2019 issue marks the third anniversary of our free quarterly publication, and it includes big news galore: plans for the 2020 Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress Live show (March 13 , as part of All-Con, March 12-15 at the Crowne Plaza North in Addison, Texas)! Also featured this issue are the photo-packed results of Leg 4 of the VCMEC Online World Championships--enjoy!
8/13/2019: We're safely back in the U.S. now, and thanks to my brother's fierce computer fu, images of artists' signatures are once again visible in the Signature Guide! That section will soon be even better as it gets updated with your submissions--watch for them soon! In the meantime, be sure to mark March 12-15 on your 2020 calendar, and stay tuned for the huge news why! [Spoiler alert: Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress Live III!]
7/24/2019: One week from today, we will relocate from Japan to the U.S.--the next step in making the VCMEC Hobby House & Museum a reality! Being in Japan for 19 years, 12 of them in this house, has made for two monstrous months of sorting and packing...and we're still at it; what's left of our belongings leaves this Friday! But we've managed to shoehorn in producing theSummer 2019 issue of the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, our free quarterly PDF publication. It's 28 pages of fun, with vintage customs galore in the spotlight. Download and enjoy! (The Re-View now goes briefly on hiatus as we move and get back on our feet; we hope to miss no more than one issue, and none if at all possible!)
We've also started a Vintage Custom Model Equine Center channel on Youtube, and are gradually uploading video footage we shot of now-vintage customs (and now-vintage hobbyists, like us!) at model horse live shows in the 1990s--an ongoing time-travel trip we hope will bring back fond memories.
A note about our website: We have not yet figured out how to get broken images to appear in our Signature Guide section; there are currently no images appearing there, and we want to get this problem fixed before making any additions to that section. We've also noticed that a few photos on other pages are disappearing and reappearing intermittently. We'll give this our full attention once we're back home and reliably online--thanks for your patience!
Please wish us luck in our upcoming journey of people, pets, and parade of plastic ponies. We look forward to seeing you on the other side!
3/31/2019: Spring has sprung, and with it comes the Spring 2019 issue of our free quarterly publication, theVCMEC Model Horse Re-View! Its 26 pages include the results of the second leg of the VCMEC Online World Championships, and eye-candy galore--check it out!
Last year's VCMEC Live II saw Nancy Kelly researching the vintage custom aspect of the model horse hobby for an upcoming book--and that book is now a reality! Featuring 120 glossy pages lavished with 535 photos, "Exploring the Model Horse Hobby" delves into a variety of the hobby's facets and its history. Highly recommended! Order yours at www.fairportpress.com for $29.95 (postpaid in the U.S.)!
1/06/2019: Happy New Year! C'mon and help us celebrate with the Winter 2018 issue of our free quarterly publication, the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, featuring the results of the first leg of the VCMEC Online World Championships. Best wishes to all for a peaceful, prosperous 2019!
10/20/2018: Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress II was one for the history books--and now we've gotten the words on the page! You'll find the show report on this site's Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress page, while in-depth coverage, including photos of all the winners, fills the full-color Autumn 2018 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View--available for free download now! Enjoy!
8/26/2018: What an event! Thanks to all who helped make Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress II such a great day of memories and fondly remembered model horses! The VCMEC Museum was also tremendously honored to receive some historic donations. Watch for our report here soon, and be thinking about 2020--we sure are!
In the meantime, Nancy Kelly's fine four-page feature on the show has been published in the Summer 2018 issue of Model Equestrian: Horse Collecting and Hartland News! Within the U.S., the issue is $6 postpaid via PayPal or $5.50 by check. Get yours by contacting editor and publisher Gail Fitch at email@example.com. Thank you so much for the spotlight time for VCMEC, Nancy and Gail!
The world's greatest vintage custom model show horses have been crowned in the 2016-17 VCMEC Online World Championships! Featuring entries from seven countries, the culmination of this 18-month competition stuffed the Summer 2018 VCMEC Model Horse Re-View so full, the issue burst into two halves, what with our site's uploading size constraints! Be sure to check out both Part A and Part B of this photo-filled issue!
Yep, a lot has been going on--and the excitement continues with the soon-to-start 2018-19 VCMEC Online World Championships! The entry deadline for the first of its six legs is September 8, so don't miss out--a link to its show info packet is on our Event Page. Let your vintage custom herd take on the world!
4/29/2018: The first in the VCMEC Museum's planned series of vintage customizers' oral histories will be recorded this Saturday, May 5, at the Red Roof Inn & Suites Battle Creek. Featured will be artist Beth Peart of Canada. The next day will be Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress II at Battle Creek's American Legion Captain Oscar Brady Post No. 298, where in addition to the day's events, author Nancy Kelly will be on hand to photograph vintage stars for possible use in her upcoming book on the model horse hobby. This weekend will be a great one for vintage customs, and we hope to see you there!
4/11/2018: Deadline day--the fateful April 15--is nearly here for Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress II, coming up on May 6 in beautiful Battle Creek, Michigan. Be sure to see the link to the show information packet on our Event Page!
3/15/2018: A good read awaits in the Winter 2018 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, our free quarterly publication that's available for download now! And don't forget, Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress II is coming up quick, May 6 in beautiful Battle Creek, Michigan. The entry deadline is April 15, and you'll find a link to the show information packet on our Event Page!
2/14/2018: Just placed a big order with Hodges Badge Company for the awards for this May's VCMEC Live and the recently concluded 2016-17 VCMEC Online World Championships--our valentine to the hobby we love! Also, you may notice broken image links in our Signature Guide...we're currently moving some images, and they'll be back soon.
1/31/2018: Happy New Year! The official show packet for Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress is ready now--a link to the PDF is on our Event Page! The entry deadline is April 15, so don't miss out. Hope to see you and your vintage custom herd there!
12/31/2017: Plans are underway for the next Vintage Cus-tom Model Equine Congress live show, to be held in Battle Creek, Michigan, on May 6, 2018--watch for the official show information packet here on January 31! In the meantime, the 28-page Autumn 2017 issue of our free quarterly publica-tion, the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, is available for down-load now! It features the results of the fifth leg of the VCMEC Online World Championships, a look back at the epic estate sale of the collection of the late Marney J. Walerius, and more. Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy New Year!
9/18/2017: It's been an exciting summer! In July we were honored to attend NAMHSA's No NANsense model horse event at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky, where we spoke about VCMEC and our mission, and distributed VCMEC brochures (the new VCMEC 2017 Brochure page has a downloadable version). Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig's A Good Vintage IV vintage custom showcase was part of the festivities, and future residents of the VCMEC Hobby House & Museum not only captured two of the five divisional championships, but also one of the show's top accolades: a special award from the Senior Curator of the Smithsonian American Art Museum! A report on the fun and fellowship in Lexington is among the goodies in the 30-page Summer 2017 issue of VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, our free quarterly publication that's available for download now!
6/04/2017: The Spring 2017 issue of our free downloadable quarterly publication, featuring the results of the third leg of the VCMEC Online World Championships and a tribute to the late Marney J. Walerius, godmother of the model horse hobby, is available now! Download yours on the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View page.
3/20/2017: We've just received a donation of four historic vintage customs from Laurel Orrin! Read all about them on our new page for Donated Vintage Customs! Thank you so much for your kindness, Laurel--the Museum is honored to welcome this wonderful quartet.
3/18/2017: The Winter 2017 issue of our free downloadable quarterly publication, featuring the results of the second leg of the VCMEC Online World Championships, along with a look at seven vintage customs rescued from a flea market and what they've gone on to accomplish, has been uploaded to the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View page!
1/29/2017: If you haven't done so already, just over two weeks remain to enter the VCMEC Online World Champion-ships! In this quarterly series, anyone anywhere can compete with a photo of their vintage custom model equine, and have a chance to win a vintage custom Traditional Breyer that was repainted by the legendary Nancy Strowger! The entry deadline is February 15, so don't miss out!
1/07/2017: Happy New Year! Hopefully you've already seen these on our Facebook page in recent months, but, we've finally worked out how to post PDFs of this size on our own website now...sooo, check out our brand-new page for our free downloadable quarterly publication, the VCMEC Model Horse Re-View! The Summer 2016 issue has photo-filled coverage of May's Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress live show, while the colorful Autumn 2016 issue features the results of September's first leg of the VCMEC Online World Champions. The results of the second leg, held in December, make for an exciting Winter 2017 issue--watch for it soon!
8/06/2016: Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress and the VCMEC Online World Championships each have pages of their own now, so be sure to check 'em out! Coming up next will be the first issue of our downloadable quarterly publication, VCMEC Model Horse Re-View!
7/31/2016: We're pleased to announce an epic new event, the VCMEC Online World Championships! In this quarterly series, anyone anywhere can compete with a photo of their vintage custom model equine, and have a chance to win a vintage custom Traditional Breyer that was repainted by the legendary Nancy Strowger! Click here to download your copy of the 9-page 2016-17 VCMEC Online World Championships show packet PDF!
7/24/2016: What a wonderful time we had at the first-ever Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress on May 7, with entrants from eight states filling Battle Creek's American Legion Captain Oscar Brady Post No. 298 with more than a thousand model horses. (We had so much fun, it's taken a while to recover...!) The premiere issue of VCMEC's quarterly online newsletter, VCMEC Model Horse Re-View, will have the full show report and photos--stay tuned!
5/05/2016: The June 2016 issue of semi-annual maga-zine Equine Collectibles has come out, and it's exquisite in every way! We're honored that several of our Museum's vintage customs, including work by Cheryl Abelson and Cindy Derreseau, Michelle Belisle (DeSpiegelaere), Elizabeth Bouras, Julie Froelich, Kathleen Maestas, Beth Peart, Nancy Strowger, and Carol Williams, were selected to appear in Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig's epic feature. If you aren't already a lucky subscriber, grab your back-issue quick at Blackberry Lane Press!
4/15/2016: We've got wonders in the works for the first-ever Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress, coming up May 7! If you haven't yet entered, act fast--the entry deadline is today!
3/19/2016: We're thrilled to unveil the VCMEC logo, designed by Sue R. Sudekum! The Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress page is just the first of the places you'll be seeing it. Thank you so much, Sue!
3/10/2016: Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress, coming up May 7 in Battle Creek, Michigan, is now officially a North American Model Horse Shows Association-approved qualifying show for the prestigious North American Nationals! All 1st- and 2nd-place horses in the VCMEC Breed Challenge classes will receive NAN cards qualifying for the 2017-2020 NAN shows. Click here to download the VCMEC 7-page show packet PDF!
3/06/2016: Check out the new Facebook group for Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress! https://www.facebook.com/groups/VCMECongress/
2/29/2016: The show packet for the first-ever Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress, to be held May 7 in Battle Creek, Michigan, is available now as a downloadable 7-page PDF! Click here to download yours!
2/16/2016: Lots underway, and there's huge news: Our first-ever Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress will be held Saturday, May 7, in Battle Creek, Michigan! Complete details and a downloadable show packet will be ready by the end of February--stay tuned!
We're also looking forward to the June 2016 issue of Equine Collectibles, the exquisite new magazine from Blackberry Lane Press, featuring Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig's epic opus on vintage customs! We were honored to be invited to contribute memories and photos for this historic article.
7/14/2015: This summer's a busy one, getting renovations underway and finding ways to pay for 'em. In the meantime, we're excited to have a full-color ad in the inaugural Model Horse Directory, coming out at BreyerFest 2015 at the Kentucky Horse Park this weekend!
5/16/2015: There's a slew of additions to the Signature Guide today! Thanks so much again for your submissions!
4/22/2015: Added a sub-page for the Society for the Preserva-tion and Appreciation of Kazari-Uma Ningyo (SPA-KUN). The SPA-KUN collection of antique Japanese battle-horse dolls will be one of the features at the VCMEC Hobby House & Museum!
4/14/2015: The Signature Guide is off to a nice start--and now, with our acquisition of the home-to-be for the VCMEC Hobby House & Museum, the website is going live!
12/20/2014: The birth of our website, in the Year of the Horse, of course! It won't be ready to go live by year's end, but today is the first step of the way!