"Bobby Jo" the stock horse mare is sculpted as a working cow horse, and has quickly become a favorite among Breyer performance showers. She is in such a dynamic pose with lots of movement, which makes her perfect for events where speed is of the essence. But speed events isn't all she can do! Bobby Jo can excel in a variety of events if a little imagination is used.
The most obvious of the divisions that you will see Bobby Jo in is the Western division. Any class for events with speed and tight turns will feature at least one of her. Western speed games, stock work, reining and possibly trail are all classes you can use her in.
Two speed games that work really well for Bobby Jo are barrel racing and pole bending. For barrel racing, she is perfect for a tight turn to get around a barrel and race for home.
Pole bending is a little trickier, because you usually see horses weaving in and out of the poles or making the straight shot for home. However, there is one pole at the end where horses have to make a sharp turn before either turning for home or diving back into the pattern. This is the perfect spot to place Bobby Jo.
Bobby Jo also makes an excellent working Western horse. She can be boxing a cow along the fence, working a cow from a herd, or helping in group penning. I’ve chosen to show her working a cow along a fence. The basic idea for a boxing horse is to have complete control over the cow you are moving. Your horse has to be able to follow the movements of the cow without letting it get away.
Here she is again, this time cutting a calf from a herd and making sure that the little guy doesn’t make it back. Again, she has to be quick and adjust to any movement that the calf makes to try to escape.
Another possibility for using Bobby Jo is in western trail. She is moving a bit fast for this event, but depending on what else is on the table you may be able to pull it off - I’ve seen it done! During certain trail patterns, a horse is required to move into a square of poles and spin. Use documentation and reference material for your entry.
The class that I find is the most fun to use Bobby Jo in is the reining classes. This can either be a specific pattern with normal western attire, or it can be freestyle reining. The freestyle version can be done with costumes, bridleless, and even bareback!
Below is a picture with a rider and one without. Sometimes a doll can really make a set up, and other times it can completely hinder. She can easily show without a doll and give you a blue ribbon. Bobby Jo is performing a spin move that occurs periodically in a reining pattern. The horse must start spinning in one direction up to 4 times. Most reining patterns require one right spin and one left spin.
Freestyle reining is done to a song of the rider’s choice and can even include a few dressage moves! Costumes can be worn in this class, and they can be very detailed. This class is always fun to see at model horse shows because it is amazing how both the dolls and the horses can be dressed up.
English Games/gymkhana is perhaps the only class you can use an original finish Bobby Jo model in. With her long, flowing mane and high-speed movement, it is hard to compete against other models more suited for English riding. There are speed games in English that she could be used in, sometimes the same ones used in Western games - such as doing a turn around a barrel, the English version of barrel racing.
The most creative classes that you can use Bobby Jo in are the Other Performance classes. This division is for entries that do not fall into English or Western events. The sky is practically the limit with these classes - whatever you can put your mind to! With proper documentation, you can get really inventive.
One of my favorite setups to use for Bobby Jo is my circus set up. Circus horses perform any number of tricks while in the ring - from jumping through flaming hoops to balancing on platforms, circus horses can be almost any model you have. Bobby Jo does the same spins from reining, but in the ring for circus fans.
I always say that you can use any model in the performance show ring. Standing, sliding, turning, it really doesn’t matter! The most important thing is to have documentation supporting whichever model you chose. The possibilities are really endless - all you need is some creativity and supporting facts. As you step into the deep waters of the performance pool, just remember to have fun with your setups!