Traditional Scale (1:9)
Some years back, I saw an ad for some Zan Parr Bar bred paint horses for sale. The phone number indicated it was nearby in my area so on a whim I thought we'd go over there and take a look. In the past we've picked up breeding stock (no-spotted) paints that made nice work geldings so maybe they might have something like that available in a two-year-old or so.
The first ones I saw in the barn, were two weanlings. A filly and a colt that their owner, Carl Thurow, had been showing. It just so happened that they were home for a short break between shows. But both weanlings were the kind that made you pee your pants... pretty much those kind that look like they could be a different species entirely compared to the ones you have at home. Both were like little toys... you WANTED to take them home to play with. The prices were a bit out there for me, and these definitely deserved to be shown, something I wouldn't have time for. Much as I would have like to take both of them home, it wasn't feasible to do so, but that didn't mean I couldn't look...
The filly, "Parrs Dream Doll" was a total sweetie. Such a calm disposition, with a darling, delicately-chiselled little face...smooth curving muscles, a lively overo pattern... I knew right then and there if I couldn't take this little gal home, I for certain wanted to sculpt her.
Parrs Dream Doll, shown here as a Two Year Old
The colt, "Parrs Lazer", well, he was something else. Spunky, smart-alecky, bouncing around his oversized stall to show off... no doubt about it, he was all colt. Sporting a lovely front end and a muscular hindquarter that promised a performance horse as an adult, I could have taken this dude home in a heartbeat! Unfortunately, we have no photos of Parrs Lazer from that time.
There were a few other foals in the barn, but these two definitely were the stars. We then were invited to look over the herd sire, Ratchetts Parr, a World Champion paint halter horse himself with a nice set of credentials in working and cattle events to boot. A nice stocky individual, with good type, the Zan Parr Bar family head, sturdy bones and a genteel disposition... it wouldn't be a bad thing to have a foal or two from this stallion. A hike through the broodmare pasture to look at the mares allowed me to see what type of dams all the foals had, and they were a nice consistent bunch of muscly stock-type ladies, many of significant foundation Quarter Horse bloodlines.
There were only a few older colts on the farm, a couple yearlings and a two year old remaining from previous foal crops but none of them appealed to us as a prospective purchase.
We went out into the weanling pasture to see some of the younger foals, and given our budget, pretty much knew we had to stick with the breeding stock variety--the ones that fate had not graced with lively paint patterning. The quality and the bloodlines were there though, and the colts were cheaper...presumably those would all be geldings in the long run. Out in the pasture with the younger weanlings, I could not decide between a gangly, strapping chestnut who was rather plain but promised a lot of size and substance as an adult, and a showy little dun with 3 stockings and a blaze...
In the end we decided that we wanted a particular filly, and she, we could agree on. She cost more, but was definitely a future performance horse prospect not to mention would make a superb broodmare in time.
Although she was roan as the dickens, and in bizarre fashion as well, there wasn't a white spot to be found on the body. She's now registered by the name of "Neat Trick" and is nearly 16 hands+ as a three-year-old and well into training [at the time this was originally written].
Meanwhile, Ratchetts Parr's offspring were making themselves known in the showring, "Parrs Pretty Woman" and "Parrs Macho Man" both competed at the world show with "Parrs Pretty Woman" taking top honors in the Amateur division... not a bad legacy for a sire who is only about 10 years old...
And so, from that original silly whim to stop by and see some horses for no apparent reason, comes two new sculptures....
The filly "Parrs Dream Doll" has been sculpted largely from memory since I didn't think to get photos at the time I first saw her. The sculpture depicts an elegant, sweet-tempered, stock type weanling filly at about 6 months of age.
The colt ,"Okie Rio", whose sculpture was originally inspired by Parrs Lazer, was sculpted in the end from Okie here at home, whom I could study and photo at leisure and who became sort of the 'model' for the 'model'. This sculpture captures the alert look of a sassy stock type colt at about 7 to 8 months of age.
These two weanling foals will be ideal candidates to paint almost ANY color and pattern on-- they'll make delightful quarter horse, paint or appaloosa foal models. Their smooth finish and exquisite detail are sure to be a joy for all painters!
And yes... I picked up a couple more the following year . . .
Addendum, 2018 — nearly 20 years later, life and times change so much. At this time, I have one horse remaining: a son of the first weanling I bought: "Neat Trick", who is a wonderful 4yo palomino overo gelding I call "Jack".