It is impossible to overstate Karen's influence on the hobby although page does a pretty good job: http://www.modelhorsegallery.info/G/Grimm/KGBhome.html . She has been a collector and a dealer, a designer and manufacturer, a painter and ceramic artist. She was also a big supporter of the hobby's print publications, and her full page ads in the model horse magazines of yesteryear always made my heart go pitter patter. The horses in her Black Horse Ranch Collection seemed so much more realistic than the Breyers I owned at the time. I wanted one of each.
Karen also had real horses--lots of them. Her Appaloosas were World Champions many times over, and she shared them with the hobby at large through her annual naming contests. Oh, I tried and tried to win a resin by naming one of her foals! My names were never chosen, but that didn't stop me from trying each and every year.Eventually, I did manage to acquire quite a few BHR horses through other means. Most came to me during the early years of this decade as I began my transition away from an all plastic collection. Karen's horses were a natural first step on the road to resins and for a while they made up the bulk of my showstring.
The trotting hunter was sculpted after Karen's real horse Color Me Andrew. This is my favorite of the BHR molds and I'd love to have a custom version to go with my OF guy.
This is the Saddlebred, who was also released with molded on parade tack.
This is the Western Pleasure horse. I got mine directly from Karen in a tack-for-model trade back in 2002. I can't remember all the particulars, but I'm pretty sure I made her a pack saddle set in exchange for this horse and a Breyer sulky. I can't tell you how pleased I was that a hobby icon like Karen was interested in my tack. I really felt like I'd arrived!
This Reining Horse was released in two versions, ears up and ears out to the side. Mine was originally the ears up version. An unfortunate accident left him earless, so I did a little bit of repair work and sent him to Lyn Norbury for this lovely Appaloosa paintjob. This is probably my second favorite mold after the hunter.
I also have custom and original finish versions of the QH weanling, a loping horse resin in primer, a heavily customized Companion drafter in primer, and a partially customized Shetland pony. My shelves are filled with Karen horses, and although I've never met her in person, the hobby won't be the same to me without her.
Thank you, Karen, for both the horses and the memories.