There were thoroughbreds and foals, muscular lines and wavy manes, but all without horse trailers and with a much easier cleanup Sunday.
Saddles-n-Spurs, the 4-H horse club, held its fourth annual model horse show Sunday at the Washington County Agricultural Education Center.
Instead of riders lining up at the gate to a show ring, young girls carried their entries of model horses to the center tables and dusted them off before the judges gave the models a scrutinizing eye.
Like their real-life counterparts, the model horses were judged on the body and build of their breed, said Rebecca Lawson, a judge from Boonsboro. Then the models were judged on their condition.
The show also had a performance division, in which exhibitors displayed at least one model in a scene.
Ashley Lyons, 12, of Smithsburg, was competing in her first model horse show. Among her ribbons was one for first place in the performance division’s barn and stable category.
Developing the idea with her mom, Ashley created a barn scene with a corral and a utility vehicle dumping manure, which was made of bits of sponge painted brown, she said.
Seven youths, or exhibitors, entered the show, for those 18 and younger, which usually has had twice as many exhibitors, show officials said.
For horses that placed, judges left the youths a ribbon and a Hershey’s Kiss.
Catie Sprankle, 15, of the Smithsburg-Hagerstown area, won the overall champion with her glossy resin horse, Autumn Shimmer, a fall 2006 limited-edition Breyer horse.
Catie said she would hang her ribbons from the day in her room.
“They’re kind of taking over my room, though,” she said.
Catie’s dad, Dave, said he likes the model horse hobby because it allows kids to be creative as they come up with scenes, outfits and harnesses.
The downside is the cost, he said.
Catie said new Breyer horses can cost approximately $40 to $50 apiece. She said she bought a used chestnut horse at a yard sale for about $5, and painted it to resemble a gray-and-white appaloosa.
She received her first Breyer horse when she was 3 years old, she said. Now she has about 100 model horses, Catie said.
Emily Mawson, 8, of Hagerstown, won reserve champion with Star, a painted horse she received last Christmas from her grandmother, Debbie Kirkpatrick of Virginia.
Emily said she won reserve champion last year with her Halflinger.
This April, Emily will compete as a rider for the first time on Petey, a quarter horse her stepfather, Walter Frazee II, gave her for Christmas.