So far we’ve meet our Live Show Manager, Michelle; today we’re going to meet our Youth and Children’s Show Managers, Eleanor Harvey and Kim Bjorgo-Thorne!
Eleanor began collecting model horses after years of pleas for a real pony fell on deaf ears. Her parents caved and gave her a glossy dapple grey Running Mare, only to watch in disbelief as she grew the herd to its present state, numbering over 2000 models.
She did finally begin riding horses in Virginia when she was 9 years old, and eventually rode hunter paces and combined training in Connecticut on a Welsh pony named Buster, and progressed to second level dressage under Elizabeth Madlener at Maryland Horse Center. Her riding career went on hold as graduate school, marriage, a career, and two kids absorbed most of her time, but the model horse hobby became a more important part of her life, and through the hobby she has made some of her closest friends.
She began showing and judging model horses in the 1980s. Her specialties are English performance, harness, and collectability. She has attended most BreyerFests since 1993, and judged the Children and Youth shows for many years before becoming co-manager of the shows with her good friend, Kim Bjorgo-Thorne.
When she's not playing with her model horses Eleanor is an art museum curator in Washington, DC, where she organizes exhibitions and writes books about American art.
Eleanor Harvey’s partner in crime for the BreyerFest Youth and Children’s Show is her fellow manager, Kim Bjorgo-Thorne!
Kim started her collection of Breyers with a pair of woodgrain models given to her by her mother. Rumor has it that she wasn't all that impressed with her new baby sister, and that the models were an attempt to redirect her energy. Those woodgrain models went everywhere - to the beach, in the pool, the yard, etc. As Kim's carpet herd grew she learned about the model horse hobby and Just About Horses.
She attended her first live show at a local hobbyist's house at age 12, and 6 years later, held her first "live" show. Fast forward through college and graduate school, and Kim is still active with the model horse hobby. She holds a show every year in Columbus, Ohio and participates in several online model horse-related communities. Kim has attended all but the first two BreyerFests. Her collection is an eclectic mix of Breyer clinky models, and a few draft breed artist resins.
Kim has ridden hunter jumpers and three-day horses since she was seven, but the draft breeds hold her heart. She is a lifetime member of the Clydesdale Breeders of the USA.
In "real life", Kim is a professor at a small liberal arts college, where she teaches vertebrate zoology, ecology, and environmental-related courses. Her advanced work is in fisheries, biology, and spatial ecology, and considers horses her avocation rather than vocation. Kim also works with the local 4-H equestrian group and teaches about horse form and function.
Through life's ups and downs, successes and triumphs, the one constant in Kim's life has been the model horse hobby, and she finds great fulfilment through the deep and lasting friendships made as a result of the hobby.
The Youth and Children’s Model Horse shows at BreyerFest welcome all skill levels! You can read more about the Youth and Children’s Show and sign up on our website here.
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Part two of the Guide to BreyerFest from the Planning Team covers the various types of activities that happen during BreyerFest.
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