Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy, horsey day

What a wonderful day I've had! I went riding at a friend's house this morning. I've been so busy with kids and house stuff and tack orders that I hadn't been to the barn in two months. The weather was perfect and it felt really good to be out there playing with the horses. I rode an Arab mare that I hadn't ridden before and she was a good match for me. I very much like little, sensitive, zippy horses and she is all of the above!

Riding at Fran's house comes with an added bonus--the chance to visit her extremely impressive model horse collection. This is just a small sampling of her "horse room". I spent the remainder of the afternoon watching the ABC broadcast of four Breeders' Cup races on Tivo. I would have loved to have seen the headline events, but was thankful to get as much as I did. For some reason I'd been under the impression that all the races were on cable. So nice to be wrong! I love watching races at Santa Anita. I grew up right at the base of those purple mountains so it's like getting a glimpse of home. Even better, the races were exciting and all the horses came home safely.
I'd planned to do a tutorial on how to tack up your model race horse today, but somehow I seem to have lost my racing tack... Sigh... So instead, here is a little bit of information about racing number cloths. If you watched the races today, you may have noticed that all the horses were wearing purple number cloths with white numbers. The cloths were decorated with the words "Breeders' Cup" and a smaller, circular logo. You'll see that kind of thing at the big, marquis races, but not during a normal race meet. Instead, it's far more likely the color of the horses' number cloths will be determined by their post position. Here's a chart for post positions one through twelve.

Post Position...........Color of Cloth......... Color of Number
1 & 1A.............................. Red.................................White
2 & 2B..............................White..............................Black
3........................................Royal Blue......................White
4........................................Yellow.............................Black
5........................................Kelly Green....................White
6........................................Black................................Yellow
7........................................Orange.............................Black
8........................................Pink..................................Black
9........................................Teal/Turquoise..............Black
10......................................Purple..............................White
11.......................................Light Grey......................Red
12.......................................Lime Green....................Black

I'm not certain when this color coding became standard practice. I suspect it's a relatively recent development. I took a lot of pictures at Santa Anita in the early 1990's and in most of them, the horses were wearing black cloths with white numbers.Because of this, I would never fault a live show entrant whose number cloth did not match her post position. However, I'm the sort of person who loves getting all the little details right. My horses will always be color coded. Before I go, I want to give a shout out to Alison Bennish for providing the hobby with correctly shaped racing irons. Before these were available the most tedious part of making a racing set was customizing the stirrup irons to give them this rounded shape. It is so much easier to use these. Like all of Alison's castings, they require very little clean-up and they look far better than my customized irons ever did. You can see them and so many other neat things at Alison's eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/The-World-of-Model-Horse-Collecting

5 comments:

  1. Oh, Jennifer, I have the rest of the Saturday Breeder's Cup recorded at my house! We need to have you come over and make me work on some sculpting projects again...

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  2. That would be great! I can't this week because the kids are on Fall Break, but pretty much all of November is open.

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  3. I need to order some of those stirrups! I've been using the customizing english stirrups method for too long.

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/65487_825259860668_20702962_44959995_6074852_n.jpg

    That is my most recent racing saddle... I think it needs those nicer stirrups!! :)

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  4. What a cool saddle! I love what you did with the seat. :)

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  5. I hope that you do a tutorial on how to put the race saddle on some time soon because I have no idea how those things work!

    Devon Comstock♥

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