There are two divisions: Original Finish (factory-produced models made of plastic, ceramic, or other material, with no alterations to their factory finish) and Custom/Artist Resin (models that have been customized from factory-produced models, or have been cast in resin from an artist’s sculpture, or are an original sculpture). Each will each use the same classlist. Limit 3 models per class in each division. Any models beyond the class limit may be paid in for $1 each. 

1. Quarter Horse
2. Appaloosa
3. Paint
4. Other Pure/Mixed Stock Breeds, including Mustang
5. Stock Breed Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 1-5 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION STOCK BREED
6. Arabian
7. Part-Arabian, including National Show Horse, Morab, Pintabian, Quarab
8. Morgan
9. Other Pure/Mixed Light Breeds
10. Light Breed Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 6-10 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION LIGHT BREED
11. Thoroughbred
12. Standardbred
13. Other Pure/Mixed Sport Breeds, including Warmbloods, Sport Horses, Friesians
14. Sport Breed Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 11-14 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION SPORT BREED
15. Paso Fino/Peruvian Paso
16. Andalusian/Lusitano
17. Other Pure/Mixed Spanish Breeds, including Lippizan
18. Spanish Breed Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 15-18 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION SPANISH BREED
19. American Saddlebred
20. Tennessee Walking Horse
21. Other Pure/Mixed Gaited Breed, including Missouri Fox Trotter
22. Gaited Breed Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 19-22 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION GAITED BREED
23. Clydesdale/Shire
24. Belgian/Percheron
25. Other Pure/Mixed Draft Breed
26. Draft Breed Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 23-26 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION DRAFT BREED
27. American Ponies
28. European Ponies
29. Other Pure/Mixed Pony, including Miniature Horse
30. Pony Breed Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 28-31 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION PONY/MINI
31. Longear (Donkey/Mule/Burro
32. Exotic
33. Fantasy
34. Longear/Exotic Foals
35. Fantasy Foals
Judge-off of top two in classes 31-35 for CHAMPION & RESERVE CHAMPION LONGEAR/EXOTIC


Classes will be placed from 1st to 6th place. Classes will be double-judged, with one set of placings for Breed, and a second set of placings for Collectibility (in Original Finish classes) or Workmanship (in Custom/Artist Resin classes). Double championships and reserves will be named, for Breed and for Collectibility or Workmanship.

During the day there will also be three Fun Classes: Spark Plug Look-alike, Stable Mascot, and the Decapitation Derby (for horsehead objects)! 

No tack unless it is molded on. Please identify your horse with a stringed tag around one ankle. Please write your horse’s name and your initials on one side, and your horse’s breed and gender on the other side. When putting your horse in the ring, please have the tag’s breed/gender side up.

We’re currently gathering judges, and will announce them on our Facebook page soon!

Enter now!
The entry deadline is June 30, so don’t miss out! Attendee entry fee: $40 for unlimited horses (full table; if you’d also like a second full table, add $20), or $25 for up to 6 horses (partial table). Proxy entry fee: $40 for unlimited horses (full table; if you’d also like a second full table, add $20) or $5 a horse up to a limit of 6 horses (no table). To enter, please send your entry fee by PayPal to Ardith Carlton at PayPal address, and copy and fill in the items below and e-mail to Ardith at

Phone number:
E-mail address:
Is this a proxy entry? (Yes/No):
Approximate number of model equines you plan to bring:

All entrants and attendees of the Spark Plug Cup agree that the show staff and attendees, as well as the personnel and members of the Iron County Memorial Building and the Iron County Memorial Building Restoration Committee, are not and shall not be responsible for any liability loss including theft, personal injury, or property damage arising out of or in connection with the Spark Plug Cup and the use of the Iron County Memorial Building’s furnishings. 

All entrants and attendees also agree that images of their model equines or themselves may appear in social media, or in print or online publications to commemorate and promote the Spark Plug Cup.


  • Silver Street Motel (0.2 miles from show hall), 100 Silver Street, Hurley, WI 54534; phone 715-561-2324. 
  • Days Inn by Wyndham Hurley (1.4 miles), 13355 North US Highway 51, Hurley, WI 54534; phone 715-629-9731. 
  • Clarion Inn Hurley (1.4 miles), 1000 10th Avenue N Building A, Hurley, WI 54534; phone 715-329-1275. 
  • Econo Lodge Hurley-Ironwood (1.4 miles), 1000 10th Avenue N Building B, Hurley, WI 54534; phone 715-329-1357. 
  • Timberline Lodge (1.4 miles), 105 W. Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; phone 906-364-7181 
  • Budget Host Inn (1.4 miles), 1447 W. Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; phone 906-932-1260. 
  • Cedars Motel (1.6 miles), 777 W. Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; phone 906-932-4376. 
  • Royal Motel (1.6 miles), 715 W. Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; phone 906-285-9467. 
  • Quality Inn (1.6 miles), 210 E. Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; phone 906-932-2224. 
  • Indianhead Ironwood (2.3 miles), 823 E. Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; phone 906-932-2031. 
  • AmericInn by Wyndham Ironwood (2.5 miles), 1117 E. Cloverland Drive, Ironwood, MI 49938; phone 906-932-7200. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

I have never entered a live model horse show this something a beginner can do?
Absolutely! Feel free to either post any questions you may have on our Spark Plug Cup event discussion page on Facebook,, or contact Ardith at

Is this show only for vintage models?

Nope, all model horses can enter!

Can I enter my mini-size model horses?
Sure, model horses of any size or scale are welcome!

My horse makes a good Morgan and a good Morab! Can I enter him in both the Morgan class and the Part-Arabian class?
We’re sorry, but breed classes are one per horse; no cross-entering. We ask that you please pick one for your horse and stick with it.

Can I proxy-show my friend’s horses?
You may proxy-show someone else’s horses, from your own table (no additional table space), for $5 a horse up to 6 horses. Please mark this clearly on the entry form. If more than 6 horses, the proxy entrant will have to pay the regular $40 entry fee and a table will be given.

Can my friend and I team up as a stable entry?
We’re afraid fee sharing or entry sharing is not allowed. You must personally own the horses you’re showing, unless they’re being proxy-shown. 

Can I bring horses to sell?
You bet! If you only want to sell, the entry fee is the same.

I want to enter--can I give you my entry fee and entry form the day of the show?
We’re sorry, but we really need all entry fees and entry forms by the entry deadline of June 30. It unfortunately won’t be possible to accommodate walk-ins.

Oh no, I can’t make it! Can I have a refund?
If you let us know by July 9, we can refund your entry fee. After that, we’re afraid there are no refunds; your entry fee will become a donation toward the costs of the show.

Thanks for your interest, and we hope you’ll help us celebrate the mighty Spark Plug’s centennial at the Spark Plug Cup!

​​​​Once upon a time, on the comics page of newspapers July 17, 1922, Barney Google was given a ragamuffin racehorse named Spark Plug. Sparky was a gentle soul with no “human” thoughts at all, just question marks popping out of his head as he tried to fathom what Barney wanted. When Barney wanted him to race, that Sparky understood… and throughout the Roaring Twenties and into the Thirties, despite the rickety legs hidden under his blanket, despite the odds heaped high against him, despite the fancy rivals he faced…somehow, desperately, and more often than not, Spark Plug managed to win!

Today, although creator Billy DeBeck and his successor Fred Lasswell have passed on, Spark Plug still visits the funny pages every so often in “Barney Google and Snuffy Smith,” now drawn by John Rose. 

With our dear favorite and inspiration Sparky about to reach the big 1-0-0, we’re going to celebrate this once-in-a-century milestone in our favorite way: with a model horse show and swap meet! Held in the beautiful Iron County Memorial Building in Hurley, Wis. (“Where 51 ends and the fun begins!”), right next to Ironwood, Mich., the Spark Plug Cup is an all-halter extravaganza you won’t want to miss. Hope you’ll join the celebration!

The entry fee for attendees is $40 per person for unlimited horses (for which you’ll get a full table), or $25 per person for up to 6 horses (for which you’ll get part of a table), whether you show or sell, or show and sell! A second full table is available for $20, as long as our limited supply lasts. (Proxy entries, to be shown by your proxy shower, may enter for $5 a horse up to a limit of 6 horses [no table space] or $40 unlimited [with a table].

​The Spark Plug Cup is a NAMHSA-approved qualifying show for the North American Nationals, so 1st- and 2nd-place equines also earn NAN cards qualifying for the 2023-2026 NAN shows!

Vintage custom model horse in top photo: Rattlesnake Shake (by Julie Froelich).

THE Spark Plug Cup model horse show & Swap meet ~ July 16, 2022

Vintage Custom Model Equine Center