For several years in the 1990s (until NAMHSA's North American Nationals began; we chaired the first NAN), we held one of the world's largest model horse shows, Central Model Equine Congress (CMEC), in Ohio.
Today the fun continues with Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress Live--a gratifying get-together of enthusiasts and their vintage custom models to compete in person for prizes. From the people's-choice Vintage Custom Showcase contest to the judged showings of the Halter Challenge, it's a day full of ways to celebrate these survivors from the 1960s to the 1990s!
Plan to join us October 1, 2022 for the third Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress Live, when we'll again get together to make hobby history as well as revisit it!
The first-ever Vintage Custom Model Equine Congresswas held May 7, 2016, in beautiful Battle Creek, Michigan. Hobbyists from eight states filled American Legion Captain Oscar Brady Post No. 298 with more than a thousand model horses!
Judges Lisa Shepard, Teri Steele and Ardith Carlton awarded the VCMEC Breed Challenge's top honors to Grand Champion Veiled In Gold, a 1990s creation by Lesli Kathman that's owned and shown by Julie Propes of Illinois, and Reserve Grand Champion RM Spring Snow, a 1980s work by Julie Froelich that's owned by Lisa Wickham of Texas and proxy-shown by Deb Carlson of Minnesota.
In the popular-vote Vintage Custom Showcase, emerging as the Grand Champion was *So Viktor Alexi, a 1980s legend created, owned and shown by Sue Rowe of Minnesota. Reserve Grand Champion was The Tick, a 1990s work by Pat Sinnott and Marge Para that's owned and shown by Sue Sudekum of Michigan.
Those four returned in a people's-choice showdown for the Supreme Championship of the show--and taking the top spot was RM Spring Snow. Reserve Supreme Champion in the voting was *So Viktor Alexi.
In addition to beautiful commercial awards, the class winners and champions won gorgeous tile prizes created and donated by Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig, with one-of-a-kind creations going to the Supreme Champion and Reserve Supreme Champion.
VCMEC 2016 was a North American Model Horse Shows Association-approved qualifying show for the hobby's prestigious North American Nationals, so all 1st- and 2nd-place horses in the VCMEC Breed Challenge received NAN cards qualifying for the 2017-2020 NAN shows.
The full VCMEC 2016 show report and photos galore are available in the Summer 2016 issue of VCMEC's free quarterly online newsletter, VCMEC Model Horse Re-View.
Entrants from seven U.S. states and Canada made the trip to Battle Creek, Mich., for Vintage Custom Model Equine Congress II, held at American Legion Captain Oscar Brady Post No. 298 on May 6, 2018.
Originally planned to offer two competitions--the VCMEC Breed Challenge (judged largely on confirmation and breed type, with allowances made for age and condition) and the VCMEC Vintage Custom Showcase (with winners determined by people's choice)--this edition of the Congress added an exciting third element shortly before showtime: the VCMEC Customizers' Cash-Back Constellation of Stars, with judged classes for the work of 17 artists who donated prizes in appreciation for the creations' caretakers!
In addition, marvelous tile awards were created and donated by Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig, thrilling the VCMEC Vintage Custom Showcase's top placers and its Grand and Reserve Grand Champions, and VCMEC Supreme and Reserve Supreme Champions. Sarah also sent a trio of lovingly lavished tiles so that judges Cheryl Monroe and Ardith Carlton, as well as Nancy Kelly, who served as Keeper of the Showcase while also gathering stories and photos for her upcoming book on the model horse hobby's history, could bestow a special honor on their favorites.
In the VCMEC Breed Challenge, 1980s overall champion Rastaman, created by owner Beth Peart, was named Grand Champion. Jason Ross work Dakota Shyster, the 1980s overall reserve champion to Rastaman, was the Reserve Grand Champion for owner Lois Bennington.
Rastaman also grabbed the Grand Championship in the VCMEC Vintage Custom Showcase, winning the popular vote for the title after taking the 1980s class. 1990s class winner SMF Waltzng Matilda, hailing from Diane Capwell's Spotty Mule Factory, was Reserve Grand for Deb Carlson.
With double-Grand Rastaman automatically VCMEC II's Supreme Champion, all voted to see whether Dakota Shyster or SMF Waltzing Matilda would be the Reserve Supreme Grand. Just one vote separated them at the finish, with SMF Waltzing Matilda on top!
For the full VCMEC 2018 show report and photos galore, be sure to see the Autumn 2018 issue of VCMEC's free quarterly online newsletter, VCMEC Model Horse Re-View!
Thanks so much to all for helping make this event possible with your kind support and passion for vintage customs. The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic, but let's do it again in 2022!
Vintage custom model horse in top photo: Chirin's Bell (by Judy Renee Pope).