BreyerFest's horse entertainment included equines of every size, color, and breed. It definitely kept things varied! The live entertainment was done in the big covered arena, and included breed demos, drill teams, and, of course, presentations of the special guest horses.
Some of the smaller performers
In addition to the entertainment in the arena, there was an arts and crafts area (where we painted the Stablemates), a petting zoo and pony rides for the kids (and camel rides, too), and various workshops and seminars in addition to... shopping!
My mother and I browsed some of the stalls of vendors, and it wasn't long before I made my first purchase. It's a Quarter Horse done by the Ginger Horse, who have also done models in limited quantity that I've gotten in the past. There were only 500 of the matte version made of this QH made, as it was done for the Quarter Horse Congress, and so it was neat to get my hands on one.
The Ginger Horse's AQHA Congress model
Part of why I love collecting Breyers in specific is because the company really knows how to do collectibles. Unlike Ty, of the once-famed Beanie Babies, Breyer is straightforward about things. If something is "rare", it stays rare. They do a lot of models for specific events, and in very small quantities, so that while it would be impossible to own every Breyer ever made, it also means that there are always going to be more models to seek out and collect.
Renegade... one of the model's checked off of my Most Wanted list!
As for the BreyerFest event, it has its own specific special models. For one, there was Roxy-- the "Celebration Horse". A model of Roxy was given out to everyone who purchased a 3-Day ticket. For those who purchased single-day tickets, there were a handful of different small Stablemates that the attendee could receive. And, of course, there were the Special Runs... a collection of models that could be purchased through ticketed time slots. (But I'll have a whole separate article on those!)
I was a bit worried that the event would end up being like a toy store on Christmas Eve, with people grabbing and snatching and such. But Breyer did another thing right-- they made a lot of the event (particularly the Special Run situation) randomly assigned, so that what you ended up with could be luck of the draw, and you wouldn't be able to snag anything from under anyone's noses, or blame someone else for not getting what you wanted. (Of course, I'm sure a great many people were blaming bad luck at points throughout the weekend!)
Part of the big draw is the Breyer Store. There was a line to get in, which, at first, baffled me. Then another Fest-goer clued me in-- they sell various models there, but sometimes will just break out a box of extra limited editions they have lying around. You never know what you'll find there, and some of it just comes down to being in the right place at the right time. Needless to say, a big chunk of money was spent on my trip through the Breyer store...
Back of the rental car, after BreyerFest (day 1) and prior to going to the hotel room sales. (Craft material was for sprucing up a contest entry!)
BreyerFest also has events "after-hours" at a nearby Holiday Inn. Mainly, the events are a Swap Meet, Room Sales and an Artisan's Gallery. Unfortunately, I totally forgot that the Artisan's Gallery existed and so I didn't get to see it. Alas, next time!
I'd heard people sold a lot of Breyers at the room sales, literally just leaving their hotel room doors open so that others could come in and browse. I wasn't sure of what to expect, though. Since there weren't a lot of Breyer vendors at BreyerFest itself, I was hoping there would be a good number of people selling from their rooms when my mom and I eventually headed over to the Holiday Inn on Friday night (after a delicious meal at a restaurant in downtown Lexington-- DeSha's.)
I liked the decor at DeSha's restaurant!
Oh, there were a good number of people selling from their rooms, alright.
Nothing could have prepared me for the sheer number of room sales that we found upon parking in an illegal spot (with permission-- hotel staff was just sticking cars everywhere!). The Holiday Inn was huge, 300+ rooms, and most of them had sales. I quickly saw many models that I wanted. I wrote down prices and room numbers, planning to compare, to try and get the best deal. Not that I could have really retraced my steps... I kept getting all turned around and half-lost in the huge hotel, and I only saw a fraction of the rooms!
I was thrilled to find Mirror Image-- a special model that I'd never really thought I'd get the chance to own. There are two versions (though I think one is called Reflector) and the first I came across was $125. I held off... and found the other version (which I like a teeny bit more) for $55 or best offer... and I couldn't pass that up! I didn't want it to get snatched up by anyone else. I fail at bargaining, so I just offered $50... but you can bet I was ecstatic! It's worth more than that, I'd say! That's another 'Holy Grail' model crossed off my list! (And earlier in the day, I'd found a less-rare one from that Holy Grail list for inexpensive at one of the vendor booths, so hooray!) After picking up some My Little Ponies (go figure, there were some of those for sale!) and a gift Breyer for my niece, I collected my poor mother who was hiding out in the lobby, and shellshocked and a bit poorer, headed back to our hotel.
Mirror Image... with color-changing paint, depending on the light & angle!
The rest of Breyerfest was spent browsing, wandreing, doing a scavenger hunt, and exploring the Kentucky Horse Park and Lexington in general. I participated in the raffle (no luck!) and a contest (no luck!) at the event, celebrated the 20th anniversary at the big bash Saturday night, saw a lot of creative hats for another contest, and witnessed the first two models that were being auctioned off. ($500 for the first, $900 for the second! Yeesh! Though they were one-of-a-kinds.)
All in all, it was a fantastic time (for me, not for my wallet ;)Â and I can't wait to go back! Keep an eye out for the other articles, photos, and videos that I'll be posting!