Were you like me and had Breyer horse models as a kid? I remember going to Village Drug in Lake Oswego, Oregon with my mother and longingly looking up at the window sill where all the Breyer models were displayed. On those rare occasions when my savings allowed me to indulge, I would purchase the only type of horse I was allowed to own as a child. Of course the very first one I bought (you won't be surprised to hear this! ) was a pony - Misty of Chincoteague!
A friend apparently still has Breyer models on her mind because she exclaimed with enthusiasm when she discovered that there is a Breyer model of a Fell Pony. The Breyer model is named Carltonlima Emma, after Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite riding pony. It is a part of Breyer’s “Best of British” series.
The path to this first Fell Pony Breyer model began in 2000, according to Mary Jean Gould-Earley of Laurelhighland Farm in Pennsylvania. (1) It took several years, but eventually sculptor Kathleen Moody created a clay model in 2014 based on the Fell Pony stallion Waverhead Model IV owned by Laurelhighland. (2) A year later, resin copies colored in bronze and black were created of the model, and Breyer bought the rights to the sculpture. (3) Breyer then worked with Her Majesty to name the model after the Queen’s pony. In January of 2016, the first Fell Pony Breyer models went on sale in the United States (2015 in England).
Live Fell Ponies are a part of Breyerfest, the annual event at the Kentucky Horse Park. Littletree Tia Maria of Scalfell Pike Fell Ponies and Littletree Born Supremacy owned by Alison Wolfe are annual attendees, with other ponies occasionally joining in.
Of course, to the practiced Fell Pony eye, the Breyer model is a bit of a conundrum. It’s odd to see a stallion’s body with a mare’s name on it. Apparently Breyer removed the obvious male parts when they decided to name the model after the Queen’s mare. It also appears that limited edition versions of the model were produced in other colors not representative of Fell Ponies – chestnut and silver dapple – and were still called Fell Ponies. Seventy six of the chestnut were made for an event in 2016 called Chasing the Chesapeake, a collector’s event. Only one of the silver dapple was made for Breyerfest 2017.
The good news is that, regardless of gender or color, a portion of the proceeds of sale from the Carltonlima Emma model are being donated to the Fell Pony Society in England.(Her Majesty is Patron of the Fell Pony Society.) Girlguiding, another of the Queen’s favorite charities, also receives donations similarly. In the Autumn 2018 edition of the Fell Pony Society magazine, our Secretary reported, “We are continuing to receive royalty payments on sales of the Breyer model of the Fell Pony ‘Carltonlima Emma’ the pony that HM The Queen rides.” (4) You can see the most recent pictures of Her Majesty riding Emma by clicking here.
All the benefits of Breyer’s choice of a Fell Pony to be a model and to include Fell Ponies in Breyerfest are still to be discovered. At present, at least, the choices speak highly of our breed’s position in the equine world. And that our Society is receiving payments from sales of the model is a benefit for which we can all be grateful.
Email to the author from Mary Jean Gould-Earley dated 11/29/18.
Wilkinson, Katherine. “Secretary & Treasurer’s Report – Autumn 2018,” The Fell Pony Society Magazine, Autumn 2018 – Volume 37, p. 10.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2019