Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Remembering the 1979 Model Horse Congress

Summer has always been a good time for a model horse event.  As collectors look forward to live shows and BreyerFest, I thought it might be fun to look back at an early large model horse show, the eighth annual Model Horse Congress in 1979.  It was organized by the young woman who came to be acknowledged as the godmother of the model horse hobby, Marney J. Walerius. 

Fortunately for us, the August 5, 1979 edition of the Chicago Tribune published a long article on the Congress, mostly an interview with Marney.  The reporter, Mary Daniels, did a decent job (for a non-collector) of explaining what was going on. (You'll see an interesting misspelling of "Walerius" in one of the captions.)

I'll show you the whole article first; then you can scroll down to read it in smaller sections and see the photos of Marney's model horses.  They show a draft horse by Francis Eustis, a Beswick Quarter Horse, an original finish Hagen-Renaker "Maverick" Quarter Horse," and a test run dapple gray Breyer Family Arabian Stallion.  

The article mentions Peter Stone, when he worked for Breyer, and other hobby resources of the time, including the Model Horse Showers' Journal published by Linda Walter and Breyer's Just About Horses.

Here's the full article.  Scroll down to read it in sections!

Here's a photo of Marney with her niece, Susan Randall,
admiring a Francis W. Eustis Percheron.


Did you ever attend a Model Horse Congress?  If so I'd love to hear your memories!  


Author Nancy Kelly has a great blog post on Marney Walerius, Ellen Hitchins, Simone Smiljanic, and the Model Horse Congress:

Nancy has written several books relating to the model horse hobby. Her latest is here:

Marney passed away in 1992, at age 43. Here's a tribute to her, from another model horse history blog:

The Breyer History Diva's blog looks back at the Breyer test run dapple grays, including Marney's In-A-Tiff: