Here it is! I've updated and reformatted this 2005 publication detailing what constitutes "Live Show Quality," or "LSQ." It's free, so feel free to share it how you wish. You can download the PDF here.
What's curious is that ten years ago I was flamed into a charcoal briquette for publishing this Guideline, lambasted with just about every insult known to man. People were angry. Apparently it outlined "impossible standards." That had me quite confused since nothing in the Guideline was arbitrary. It was all gleaned from my own practical experience and discussions with many savvy artists, judges and collectors. In short, every tidbit detailed in the Guideline was what a winning piece already had—was supposed to have—there was nothing new here! And at the very least, it provided a goal, a baseline by which to gauge LSQ. I suppose at that point people didn't like it being formally spelled out because that made it "real." But it had to happen. There was just too much confusion about the term itself and that was leading to a lot of disappointment and frustration, especially among new showers. Not cool.
Yet much has changed since then, with the past ten years ushering in a fresh new attitude that's much more open to the current reality of showing equine figurines. Indeed, the turn towards anatomy has become more obvious and far more pressing. No longer are conformation and breed type the Kings of the County, but now anatomy has become the buzzword in winning circles. People are finally coming to understand that anatomy holds the key to realism, and we can't have one without the other. If we talk the talk, we gotta walk the walk.
The thing is, model horse showing will evolve only along its weakest link, and with the advent of the new hyperrealistic paintjobs coming out lately—which perhaps have made the issue even more pressing—anatomy now is that weak link. As such, this trend won't slow down, but will, in fact, compound as artists and collectors vie for that coveted rosette and judges become more educated on what actually constitutes bona fide realism. And hopefully with the help of this Guideline, more people will be on the same page, and that's a good thing for all involved.
So enjoy! And share freely!
"Nobody can discover the world for somebody else. Only when we discover it for ourselves does it become common ground and a common bond and we cease to be alone." ~ Wendell Berry