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July 17-19, 2015 ยง Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, KY


By Kathleen Fallon 

Breyer Animal Creations, makers of beautiful model horses, launched its 26th annual festival for horse lovers and model horse collectors July 17-19, 2015 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY. This fun, family-friendly festival celebrates the world of horses and especially, the real horses that inspire the Breyer models. Breyer marked its 65th anniversary this year and the toy company’s biggest festival, BreyerFest, brought more than 10,000 horse lovers and 200 guest horses from around the world to Lexington.

BreyerFest’s theme this year was Vive La France, featuring and Simba du Pont de Tournay, a rare French Ardennais, one of only 15 in the U.S., as this year’s Celebration Horse. Simba, a red roan stallion weighing approximately 1700 lbs., is owned by Joyce and Gene Concklin of Florida. A limited edition collectible Breyer model of Simba was included with every three-day ticket purchase to BreyerFest.

New to BreyerFest this year was the exciting sport of Horseball, fast-paced team sport that combines aspects of polo, basketball and quidditch.  Presented by the American Horseball Association in cooperation with the International Horseball Federation, top international players from France, Spain, Portugal and Canada presented an exciting demonstration of horseball each day.

Other special equine guests included: Wismer Clydesdales six-horse mare hitch from Canada; 2011 Endurance Horse of the Year OT Sara Moniet RSI and owner/rider Crockett Dumas from Utah; Quarter Pony Supreme Champions Smokin Doubledutch from Oregon and Pinto Champion Chocolate Chip Kisses from Minnesota; undefeated National Arabian Hunter Champion Oration from New Jersey; and Appaloosa Heritage and World Champion Lil Ricky Rocker from Ohio.

On Saturday evening, BreyerFest hostedDreaming of Horses at the Alltech Arena, a special evening entertainment created by Yvonne Barteau of KYB Dressage starring Yvonne, the KYB Dressage troupe and Dan James of Double Dan Horsemanship.  

BreyerFest is an immersive experience and there were lots of things for people to see, do and experience.  There were three days of live horse exhibitions in the arena featuring breeds as diverse as Baroque breeds, miniature horses and Fell Ponies.  US National Singles Driving Champion Sterling Graburn performed, in addition to drill team and vaulters.  American Parkour experts, The Tribe, gave demos and taught kids their urban gymnastics, while Splash Dogs again hosted its Eastern Regional Championships at BreyerFest.

Going on the same weekend, America’s top young riders competed in the North American Young Riders Championships in Dressage, Show Jumping, Endurance and Eventing that weekend. 

Other activities included meet and greets with special equine guests, free pony rides and an exotic petting zoo, 65-booth Trade Fair, a mega Breyer Store filled with models created especially for BreyerFest, a Craft and Activity Center with free crafts and face painting, model horse displays and shows, workshops and free seminars. The Tonka® Fun Zone featured a playground dedicated to Tonka toys. Tickets include access to activities at the Kentucky Horse Park, too.     

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