Our first Store Special is truly a real-life horse hero!
Zipped in Black Magic’s story starts way back when owner Billie Palumbo first saw our Stud Spider model and she immediately fell in love with his black and white coat. A few years later Billie had the opportunity to breed her Appaloosa mare (Kelly’s Star Fire) with the legendary Black Magic Zippo and her dream horse was born soon afterwards. Zipped in Black Magic lived up to all of Billie’s hopes! But with such outstanding breeding and coloring Billie felt that she needed to sell him to someone who could raise, show, and breed her Stallion.
Life had other plans though…
When ‘Zip’ was 3 ½ months old one of his tendons contracted in one of his front legs and Billie was faced with a tough decision between surgery and lameness. Luckily Zip healed beautifully and recovered well but unfortunately the buyer was no longer interested in him. Billie ended up keeping him and raising him as her dream horse despite a few challenges along the way.
Zip was ridden on trail rides and showed with Billie’s kids at the local 4-H shows. He also competed in Appaloosa Shows and earned a ROM (Register of Merit) in Most Colorful at Halter. Life took another turn for Zip when blindness ended his show career.
Billie researched countless options for her dream horse and found the perfect home for him at All Riders Up in Pennsylvania. Zip now takes part in equine-assisted activities, which are led by certified therapeutic riding instructors. Riders with physical, cognitive, or emotion difficulties work with Zip on the ground and ride him to work on their balance, core strength, social interaction, and concentration.
When All Riders Up’s executive director Marcy Laver was asked about Zip she said, “He, like our participants, has had to adapt to a difficult alteration in his ability to interact with the world and those around him. Yet, he has done so in such a kind, tolerant, and willing manner that his remarkable achievements in the face of his own disability serve as an inspiration to all.”
In honor of his incredible work, Zip received the 2017 Pennsylvania National Horse Show Foundation Therapy Horse of the Year award, and was inducted into the 2018 EQUUS Foundation Hall of Fame.
Zip is the first of our Store Specials at BreyerFest 2019 and his model will be available in the Breyer Store throughout the weekend. Zip and Marcy will also be at BreyerFest to meet guests, sign models, and take photos!
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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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