Model Horse Shows

Hot to Trot Model Horses

A Guide to Model Horse Shows

Always wanted to go to a horse show but never had your own pony? Well now you can do all things you dreamed of doing with a real pony but with your favourite model ones instead! Ever wanted to descend the Derby Bank at Hickstead, sail over the Puissance Wall or be first in your favourite gymkhana game! Well now you can!! You can do all this and more at a model horse show, everything is possible in the model world that you can do in the real horse world.

Model horse shows are a great way to connect with other model horse enthusiasts and there are lots of forums on line as well as model clubs you can join.

There are many different types of show. Some you attend in person, some you can do from the comfort of your own home.

Postal Shows

This is when you will send the show holder your selection of horses for each class along with your payment by the closing date on the show schedule. All the entries are put into a hat for each class and then places are picked from there. This is a fun way to win placings and prizes and is often a good option for those older models that don’t always do well at live and photo shows.

Photo Shows

Decide which classes you want to enter and send your photographs of your model to the show holder along with the fee by the closing date on the show schedule. Once the show holder has all the entries in they will sort them into the separate classes and judge them from the photos.

Photographing your model. You do not need to have a scaled back drop to photograph against. Of course these look nice but are not necessary and it won’t mark your model down if you don’t use one. Having a good, clear, in focus picture is most important. Using a neutral back ground is good and you can always photograph your models outside, weather permitting!! This is a great way to show particularly if your favourite model has some damage on one side, you can always photograph his best side!!

Live Shows

These are probably the most fun of all! For this show you would pay your entry fee and make a list of the horses you were taking and in what classes they would be shown. You might even be eligible to judge some classes too so be prepared to sort out a judging list should you wish to do so.

Once you arrive at the venue you will be shown to a table where you can unpack your models.

When the show starts someone will call the classes and say what classes are going in what ring. Simply place your horse in the appropriate ring making sure the judge can see all the way around the horse and then wait and see if you place. Most shows place 1st to 6th and winners can go through to the champions and supreme Champions and may even win a large rosette! A lot of people also have breed references for their models. This would be a requirement in classes that have mixed breeds such as Warmblood or sports horse. The judge will require a breed so if your model is an unusual colour or a breed that is not very common a good photograph of a real horse with a breed description can make all the difference.

Most venues are at village halls and have good facilities but you are always advised to bring your own packed lunch. Snacks are usually available and there will be the use of a kitchen. There is often a lot of home baking and it has become somewhat of a tradition! This is a great way to meet new people and get your models off the shelf and out and about. There is often an opportunity to have personal sales out on the show ring tables at lunch where it is possible to pick up a bargain. Most show locations are up to two hours drive away unless you happen to be lucky and live within a short distance of the venue. Rules for attendance at show can vary slightly from show to show but if you have any questions it is always best to ask the show holder. Below is a copy of the show rules that Hot to Trot Model Horses uses;

Rules and Conditions

  1. This is an open live show so anyone can enter
  2. Please provide notification of breed of model for each class
  3. Please respect other showers and do not touch or move a model not belonging to you without the owners permission. You may be liable for any damage you may cause.
  4. Each horse can enter only one breed class.
  5. No running or smoking in the hall.
  6. No dogs except assistance dogs.
  7. Please take care when removing or placing models in the ring.
  8. Do not pick up anyone else’s model. If you accidentally knock a model over please notify the show holder for assistance.
  9. Poor sportsmanship will not be tolerated.
  10. The judges decision is final.
  11. Enjoy yourself!

Different Section at Shows

Shows are often split into different sections. Some shows may have all and some just one or two. Below are the different categories, at some shows they can sometimes be put together such as Custom and Artists Resin.


Original Finish – This is models which have not been modified in any way. They should be shown just as if they had come straight out of the box. Small touch ups are allowed to say ear tips or hooves.

Custom – These are models who have been either re-positioned, haired, repainted or sometimes all three!

Artists Resin – These are NOT factory produced resins. They are normally produced by small artists studios so often the particular model may only be a run of about 25. They are normally very detailed and realistic.

Artists China – These have the same requirements as for Artists Resin but are made from China instead of resin such as Animal Artistry.

Commercial China Resin – These relate to mass produced chinas and resins. Such as Breyer’s range of resins and Beswick, Royal Doulton, North Light and similar makes.

Craft Toy and Foundation also known as CTF – These relate to models which are not as realistic, and are considered more as toys such as Schleich, Papo, CollectA. Cuddly, felt and soft toys would also be included in this section and have been known to take many top prizes!

Performance – These classes imitate real horse activities such as showjumping, cross country, driving, Gymkhana, showing. Rider and props will be required for these classes with the rider being clothed in the correct attire for the class they are in. If jumps are part of your class such as cross country or showjumping the judge will be looking to see whether the horse has been placed in the correct position so that it looks like it could clear the fence and the rider should look as if they are in control and holding the reins correctly.

Breed – These classes will relate to a particular breed or type such as Thoroughbred or Cob. References are a great idea as for some classes there can be lots of different breeds within the same class such as Warmblood might have , Dutch warmblood, Hanovarian, Trakhner. It is always good to have a reference or a breed written down for each class as the judge will ask for these.

Workmanship – These classes are judged on the level of workmanship present on the model. It will primarily be related to the colour of the horse and is split into colour divisions such as roan, black, bay, chestnut etc. References are not required for this class but if your model is an unusual colour it will help. It can also be judged on how well a model have been repositioned if the judge recognises that he model was once in a different position. In this case the model will be judged on how well seams have been sanded, whether the connecting areas between existing and repositioned parts are flawless.


LSP – Live Show Quality – This model would be considered suitable to show at a live show as it has no flaws.

PSQ – Photo Show Quality – This model would be in good condition but may have a few small scratches or rubs that reduce its chance of placing at a live show.

Body – This model is too damaged to be able to be touched up and may require a full repaint which would make it a custom on completion. Body quality models are used for creating custom models that are often repositioned.