Sunday, December 15, 2013

No Ordinary Bay

Yes, I am aware of the Web Special Polled Hereford Bull Marshall; as I told a friend of mine, it’s almost as if Reeves designed a Special Run specifically to punk me. (Glossy Black? Splash Spot Appaloosa? On the Polled Hereford Bull?) Throw in a $100 Gas Gift Card and a box of fancy chocolates, and that's all the Christmas gifting I need right there.

But as my time is short (again!) today, I’ll just stick to what I originally had planned: that minor variation that has recently captivated me. Here he is!

The Bay Stock Horse Stallion - with gray hooves. Terribly exciting, isn’t it? (Feel free to roll your eyes.)

The Back Story: earlier this year, an auction for a similar Bay Stock Horse Stallion entranced me. I had been vaguely aware of the variation, but I hadn't really paid much time or attention to it, until I saw THAT one. I was amazed what a difference gray hooves made in "dressing up" an otherwise pedestrian Bay.

The hooves on the earlier one were so dramatically light that it did not go unnoticed by others. I don’t think I ended up even being the first underbidder on that auction. The price wasn’t super crazy, but it seemed expensive for a Stock Horse Stallion who wasn’t a Test Color or super-scarce Special Run.

Since then I had been looking for another, with varying degrees of intensity. The very few that I did find were either overpriced or in subpar condition. I spotted this guy in a modestly priced group lot; his hooves aren’t as light or as neatly painted as the one who obsessed me previously, but the price and condition were right.

The gray-hooved version is a later, rather than an earlier variation. The earliest Bay Stock Horse Stallions had the B mold mark, and this one has a smooth, buffed area where that mark used to be. I have no idea if the gray hooves were just one of those things they did just for the heck of it, or it was an "end of the run" variation they did to boost sales.

I haven’t spotted this variation in any Breyer ephemera; all the ones I’ve seen so far have had solid black legs, all the way down. I haven’t had a lot of time recently to do deeper research, so I may well be wrong.

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