Breyer Photo Show September 2016 - Results

September Stablemates, Mustangs Roam Free!

JUDGE: Michele Katz Grieder

The American Mustang is a free-roaming horse that descended from domesticated horses brought to the Americas in the 16th century by Spanish explorers. They are living symbols of the pioneer spirit of the west, and a great part of American history. Although some refer to them as "feral" and others as "wild," there is nothing like watching a herd of these rugged, untamed horses running free. Your assignment for this show was to try to capture that spirit in a photograph, using Breyer Stablemate models.

One of the most important things to consider when photographing your models is scale. This is particularly challenging when photographing Stablemate models because they are so small. Everything in the picture has to be tiny. The grass outside your door is in scale for a living breathing horse, so each blade is far too tall and wide to be the footing for a tiny 3" model! That's when creativity, props, and tricks with the camera come in! Having your models in focus and with proper lighting are also very important. And lastly, model choice. This show's theme is "mustangs roaming free" so it is critical that you choose models that could accurately represent mustang horses. They come in any color, but what about body type? Mustangs are typically medium sized and between 14 and 15 hands high. They can be solid looking but are not heavy. And you certainly would not see a wild mustang with a braided mane or banged tail!

I saw a lot of really creative photos that utilized clever camera angles, unique backgrounds, and several that incorporated water into the scenes. I really enjoyed judging them, and thank you for sending them in! With a little tweaking, they all could be winners!

1st Place


Allison P., NJ

WHAT I LIKE: Beautiful, serene scene of a mustang surveying its range! I like that the horse is tight in the foreground, creating the illusion of distance. I almost feel like I am seeing the environment from the horse's point of view. The background is appropriate, and the photographer paid close attention to scale with the footing! I love the overall composition and color balance of this photo with the warm tones against a cool blue sky.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: I wish the camera had been set back just a bit OR come in even tighter. The cropping works, but is a little awkward with the hooves cut off. While the calm, placid stance of this particular mold is perfect, and its color compliments the rest of the scene, I'd have preferred to see a horse with a longer, less evenly trimmed mane.

2nd Place


Anna C., PA

WHAT I LIKE: This is a fun scene of a horse frolicking in a streambed! I really love the action, and how well it was captured photographically. I wonder how many times the photographer had to splash the horse before getting this shot! The mold that was chosen is a great example of a mustang, with roan being a very common color. And even the pose of the horse makes sense. The neutral background keeps the focus on the horse.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: This is being really picky, but the volume of water coming up over his back seems a bit out of proportion. And I think if there were a couple of horses standing in the background, watching, out of focus it could even be better.

3rd Place


Hope A., CA

WHAT I LIKE: Love this scene of horses visiting a watering hole! A creative idea and I like that there is a story here! While the rocks in the background are technically way out of scale, the fact that they are not in focus makes that forgivable. I also like that the 2 horses that are the focus of this scene are of stock-type, and the photo is taken at such an angle that you can not see they have short, trimmed manes, making them seem like they could, indeed be mustangs.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The water droplets on the horses are way out of scale. The horses look like they have giant puddles on their necks and backs. The photo would have been more realistic if the horses were dry, except for their legs as they waded through the shallow water. The draft horse in the back is a not really appropriate for this theme. While mustangs did descend from and sometimes have characteristics of many different breeds, it is unusual to see one of such an obviously heavy build. I do like that he is not in focus, but I would have left that guy out of the scene.

4th Place


Michele G., ME

WHAT I LIKE: Great storytelling here! Stallions fighting over a band of mares is something that happens frequently in nature. The photographer clearly did their homework! The models chosen are perfect for this scene, and I like how they are angled differently from each other so you can not tell they are both of the same mold. The background is appropriate, and slightly out of focus to create the illusion of distance.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The footing color is too bright (it looks like indoor-outdoor carpeting, or a golf course) and if it were really grass it would be too short. A more natural looking option would be to use fine sand. Also, the glare on the horse on the left's face is a bit distracting and prevents detail from being captured.

5th Place


Amber C., MT

WHAT I LIKE: All of the models pictured make great mustangs and I love the pairing of the 2 running models in the foreground. The background creates an appropriate setting for the herd, and the footing looks pretty good.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The horses that are out of focus in the background need to be set back a bit farther so that the running pair is the center of attention. Right now it is a bit busy, and it looks a little strange that the others are so blurry when they are not that far away.

6th Place


Kaleigh B., GA

WHAT I LIKE: This is a cool scene of a galloping herd of horses. The horses are all in action poses and seem to be running at the same speed. I like how the foreground and background are out of focus, but the horses themselves are crisp. The lighting is perfect and the colors are very vibrant. I like that some foals were included in this scene!

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The trees look REALLY tall compared to the horses. I'd rather see them running in an open space more typical of the American west, but this background could have worked a little better if the photographer had zoomed in more, capturing more of the horses, and less of the background. Right now the horses seem very small, as if they are running through a redwood forest. The palomino horse is not a good mold choice for a mustang.

Honorable Mention


Lucy K., TX

WHAT I LIKE: Great scene of a galloping herd. I like that the photographer paid attention to scale with the footing they are traveling on. The earth in the foreground looks kind of neat, and gives the photo dimension.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The horses are not in sharp focus, and the lighting is off. It appears to have been taken in late afternoon sun, which gives everything a more golden tone and creates dramatic shadows. Maybe try again earlier in the day when the sun is higher.

Honorable Mention


Susan V., IN

WHAT I LIKE: A nice scene of 2 mustangs rejoining the herd! I like when the photographer creates a story! Everything is in scale, and the footing blends into the background seamlessly. The horses are in crisp focus and the scene is well-lit.

WHAT NEEDS IMPROVEMENT: The giant blurry spot on the left is very distracting. I would have preferred a background a little more remote, that didn't include houses.



One (1) Picasso (Item 1742; ERV $46.99) will be awarded to one (1) first place winner.

By submitting an entry, you agree to be bound by the following contest rules.

*Official Rules:

    1. This is a skill-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of the winner. Many will enter, but only one (1) will win.
    2. Contest is open to all legal U.S. residents of any age. Parental consent is required for entrants under age 18, if selected as a potential winner. Void where prohibited or otherwise restricted by law.
    3. All entries must be original and entirely created by the entrant, and must not violate any applicable local, national, and/or international laws or regulations.
    4. Contest begins at 2:00pm EST on 8/2/16 and ends 9/1/16 at 11:59pm EST. All entries must be received via email at [email protected] by 11:59pm EST, 9/1/16. No other method of entry will be accepted.
    5. To enter, email (or have your parent or legal guardian email, if under 18) no more than one (1) digital photograph of your original Stablemates Mustangs Roam Free Breyer model photo scene to [email protected] All entries must be in digital form, JPEG format in 72 dpi (PFD, PSD, BMP, etc. will be rejected), no larger than 1MB in size. Image size no larger than 1500 dpi x 1500 dpi. Image must be attached to the email and not sent embedded/inline. Image must be named as follows: [YOUR LAST NAME].Sept.Photo.Show.jpg. Only emailed entries will be eligible.
    6. Only Breyer model horses should be used to create photo scene; other props and accessories are acceptable.
    7. Your entry must include the subject line "September Stablemates - Mustangs Roam Free," your digital photograph, name, age, mailing address, telephone number, and email address as well as a statement of parental consent if under 18. Entry and/or statement of parental consent must be submitted in English. Any entries missing the above requirements will be immediately disqualified.
    8. Limit one (1) entry per person and email address.
    9. Contact and shipping information collected will be used for the purposes of this contest only and will not be used for email marketing or other purposes.
    10. Entries will be judged by Michele Katz Grieder. Each entry will be judged on creativity, composition, lighting, accuracy and adherence to the theme: Stablemates Mustangs. Six (6) entries will be chosen and pinned for places first through sixth; the first place entry will become the potential winner, as determined by the judge in their sole discretion. The decisions of the judge will be final and binding in all respects.
    11. We will contact the potential winner by email on or about 9/28/16. The selected potential winner must confirm receipt of email and verify valid contact and shipping information to Sponsor by email (email address will be provided to potential winner in notification email) within five (5) business days or he/she will forfeit the prize and an alternate potential winner will be selected. The first name, city and state of the prize winner will be listed on the website ( on or after 9/30/16.
    12. Prize will be awarded in the name of the parent or legal guardian if the winner is a minor.
    13. Prize: one (1) Picasso (Item 1742; ERV $46.99). Winner is responsible for all taxes on Prize.
    14. Noncompliance or return of prize notification as undeliverable, whether by email or telephone, may result in disqualification and selection of an alternative potential winner.
    15. Sponsor may substitute prizes of equal or greater value.
    16. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.
    17. Prizes will ship on or about 9/28/16.
    18. Sponsor employees, retailers, and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.
    19. All entries become the sole property of Breyer Animal Creations a division of Reeves International, Inc. ("Sponsor") and may be used or reproduced in any manner and for any purpose by Sponsor without additional consent or compensation, including without limitation for commercial purposes, and will not be acknowledged or returned.
    20. Various entries may be periodically posted on Sponsor's website ( This does not guarantee that they are or will be winners.
    21. By participating, Contest entrants: (1) represent that they have complied with these Official Contest Rules; (2) grant Sponsor the right to use his or her name, city, state, and likeness; (3) release Sponsor from any and all liability in connection with this Contest, and (4) agree to execute an affidavit of eligibility/prize acceptance form and publicity release if requested to do so, all without further compensation. Entry into the Contest constitutes complete permission for Sponsor to use, edit, or modify all submissions (including names, pictures and likenesses) for purposes including without limitation advertising and trade in any manner or medium whatsoever. Entrants over the age of 18 and the parents or legal guardians of participating individuals and primary contacts for participants under age 18 agree to defend, indemnify and hold harmless Sponsor, its officers, directors, agents, subsidiaries, and affiliates where situated against claims, losses, penalties, causes of action, damages, liability, costs, expenses (including but not limited to reasonable attorneys' fees) or claims caused by or resulting indirectly from entrants participation in the Contest, without limitation or exception, including entrant's violation of any third-party's rights, including without limitation, infringement of any copyright, trademark, service mark, trade secret, right of privacy or publicity or any other third party right).
    22. Sponsor is not responsible for lost, late, illegible, incomplete/incorrect or misdirected entries.
    23. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify anyone who attempts to tamper or otherwise interfere with the proper functioning of this contest and/or its email server and/or website.
    24. Sponsor reserves the right to modify or cancel the promotion in the event of a malfunction beyond Sponsor's control.
    25. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
    26. The Sponsor is: Breyer Animal Creations, a division of Reeves International, Inc. located at 14 Industrial Rd, Pequannock, NJ 07440.
    27. For a copy of these Official Rules or the Winners List, send a stamped, self addressed envelope to Sponsor at the above-address; Attn: Breyer Photo Show Contest - September Stablemates, Mustangs Roam Free. Please specify which item you are requesting.