In my CC Grab Bag I received one Celebration Horse, both a Stablemate and a Classic Store Special, and one Breyerfest Special Run -- "Namid."
|My Breyerfest 2016 matte "Namid"|
The primary objection to the mold seems to be the way the mare is holding her head high in the air, making her neck look unusually long. Although you can see horses making this same gesture when they are startled and ready to bolt, are trying to avoid a bit or bridle, or scenting something wafting high in the air, in real life the moment is usually brief, so it looks a bit odd when frozen in time.
|I call her "Tangi," the Oshiwambo word for "Thank you"|
Theories abound about how they can to be, but the most amazing thing about these horses is how they have adapted to survive in the harshest of conditions. There's a reason why there are no native horses in Southern Africa -- the conditions are just not good enough to allow horses to thrive. As a result, the Namib horses are surviving, but only just. The latest estimates put the entire population at between 90 and 150 individuals, and while a population of 200 would be better for genetic diversity, the environment simply cannot sustain so many horses.
This long clip from CNN's Inside Africa (about 25 minutes long) tells you almost everything you need to know about the Namib Desert Horse. Wikipedia, although not a source I would always recommend, does a good summary of the conclusions drawn in other articles about the Namibian horses that you can find on the net.
Clearly, the Namib Desert Horse is a different kind of rarity than that model horse fanciers usually talk about. In fact, the Breyerfest 2016 output of 1,600 models (800 glossy and 800 matte) far outnumbers the population of actual Namib Desert Horses in the world.
I can find no evidence that the Namibian horses have ever been re-domesticated, as many American Mustangs are. This is probably because of their extreme rarity and fragility as a population. It is noteworthy, though, that the existing horses seem to most experts to be very healthy and to have, about the head especially, the look of a well-bred saddle horse.
In fact, it's really only the head that keeps "Namid" from being a perfect Namib Desert Horse. Her head is a bit coarse, as befits a Mustang, but in all other ways, from her dark, dark bay colour to her "athletic, muscular, clean-limbed, and strong boned" body with "oblique shoulders and good withers," she fits the defining characters of the Namibian horse.
Although, as I say, my "Namid" is possibly the most expensive horse I got in my CC Grab Bag, I'm glad that I have no wish to sell her. The fact that she was a leftover, coupled with the fact that she is not a really popular mold, will probably work against her for resellers. I've seen a few appearing on eBay since the bags were shipped, and I haven't seen any of them sold, yet.
But for someone like me, who's only ever been to one Breyerfest and is usually put off by after-market prices, "Namid" is a rare piece in my collection indeed. And although I wasn't sure this was going to happen, I have to say, I'm a fan.