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The fundraiser began in the year 2000 and was so successful a new "herd" of polyurethane "gitty ups" were produced the following year, followed by more and even marquise sized models to paint. The New Mexico governor, Gary E. Johnson, mentioned his enthusiasm of having his state be host to such a totally new and different way of raising money which became known a the Trail of Painted Ponies. Artists painted life sized polyurethane horses which were later auction off. It brought the arts and business together as the area companies sponsored an artist and their horse.

It was a truly New Mexico project as the sculptor who created the original design is from Santa Fe. The company that cast the figures in polyurethane is in Albuquerque and the artists who transformed the horses into fabulous works of art were from all over the state. Be sure to check out the books printed showing these paintings in progress.

Star Liana York created two models of the horse form: one was standing and the other was running. Artists measured their skills, philosophy of life, symbols, imagery, and explored their connection with a basic equine who over the years of history has symbolised freedom, multi-cultural expressions, human emotions, spirit of women, earth - fire and water as well as peace. The list of effective imagery is hard to record you really need to see them.

The results were magnificent. The artists incorporated themes of memorium, mythical images, the ancestral horse, futuristic, and all facets of life. These magnificent horses are placed in many locations throughout New Mexico.

In history the "Painted Pony" meant the "war horse" of the Native Americans and many of the New Mexican artists incorporated those themes, one being the "War Pony" designed by Rance Hood. As stated in the official book, The Trail of the Painted Ponies TM, " This startlingly realistic recreation of a Comanche war pony reflects the vibrancy of mystical quality of the horses that populate this popular artist's paintings."

THEN, the numbered collectible horse statues, or figurines, were produced as replicas of the artistic collection which originated with the Trail of the Painted Ponies in New Mexico. Similar to the Cow Parade in Chicago, these animals of choice are on display throughout the city and also will be travelling the country. For over 10 years now, individual horses were adopted by well known artists, and some by unknown artists. Companies sponsored their favourites and it made for a very successful fundraiser.


WHAT DO THE NUMBERS OF THE PONIES MEAN? Each figurine is numbered when it is produced in China. The first 10,000 ponies are numbered with 1E meaning First Edition. Like 1E/2,754. They are the most wanted and sometimes you will pay more for them. IF you believe you will sell your collection someday, you will be looking for 1E numbers. After the 1E's then 2E's, 3E's are produced each having a hand written number after the /. IF you plan to sell, be sure to save the boxes, styrophome and hanging tag for complete collectible values.

WHAT DOES THE SERIES NUMBER MEAN? As the ponies are created, the Trail of Painted Ponies decides which artist originals to produce as figurines. Each group of ponies are considered a Release or Series. When they began they were released 2 times a year and now they are released 4 times a year (Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall + Christmas- 4 each).

WHEN ARE THE CHRISTMAS PONIES MADE? Each year the Christmas ponies are announced in January and shipped in the Summer. They consist of 4 Christmas designs, as well as, four ornaments to match.

WHEN & WHY ARE PONIES RETIRED? Any collectible has a production threshold and in order to keep ponies coming there have to be some retired. Usually those that don't sell well are retired. TOPP use to announce those retired but this year, Enesco the manufacturer makes fewer units and TOPP doesn't announce retirees as regularly as before. Please sign up for my newsletter to be informed of Retired & New ponies.

WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH WESTLAND & ENESCO? The company which first produced the ponies under the supervision of the TOPP (Trail of Painted Ponies) was Westland Giftware. You may have noticed their name on the boxes. They lost the contract and TOPP hired Enesco to produce the ponies. Enesco is the same company that makes the Disney character statues and is very successful. So the herd is safe and will not stop. If someone tells you the TOPP is discontinued, they are completely wrong. It is just a shift in production. The ponies will continue being made in China and then shipped to Illinois/Indiana to Enesco.

SHOULD I PRE-ORDER NEW SET? Yes, When new Releases are announced, usually 5x a year, I accept your Pre-order by receiving your email and marking you down in order of the date you write me; so you get the lowest number possible. UnLIKE many vendors, I DON't ask for payment until the ponies are on their way here. E'me the names of the ones you want, or the whole set, and I'll reserve them for you and make sure I have enough ordered. This isn't a locked in reservation, if something comes up, no problem. Also, some vendors discount the Pre-ordered price, but you are still paying sometimes months prior to delivery. My prices are very fair as I research all the vendors and keep my price even when the ponies are ready to ship.

TELL US MORE ABOUT THE 15TH RELEASE AND THE REARING PONIES. 2010 Introduced the Rearing horse design as Enesco produced a few in each group. Another NEW DESIGN is introduced in 2011 with the 21st Release and the Storm Rider. The #1 Collectible in the world is very popular and the TOPP keeps us in new designs and an entire herd of products to enjoy our horse theme. Since then they

DO YOU CHARGE FOR SHIPPING? Because I live in California and UPS shipping increases, I offer discounted shipping depending on where you live. I decided to do it this way because I don't want folks who live close to me to have to pay the same as someone living on the East Coast. Plus, I don't want to inflate my pony prices to cover shipping. NOTE: Because we ship around the world, there are time when I have to write you and tweek the amount my shopping cart charges you. Often it has to do with combining items, weights, etc. ALSO, if you combine items on Ebay, please WAIT for my invoice so Ebay doesn't overcharge you.

DO YOU SELL ON EBAY? Yes, my eBay name is Bauerplus; and my Estore is 1E Ponies Plus Equine Gifts. However, due to eBay fees, the prices there will be slightly higher. Feel free to ask me via email for ponies you see on Ebay. You can Search my site also to find ponies. ALSO, on eBay I place the name of the pony along the left edge of the gallery picture, so you know it is me.

WHAT IS THE CELEBRITY COLLECTION? There is also a Celebrity Collection, which is designed by celebrity artists. It began with Shiloh, a ceramic pony, designed by Tony Curtis. In the 1st Release, there is Karuna which was designed by Ali Magraw but it isn't a particular part of the Celebrity Collection. Others have been made by Barbara Eden and Dolly Patton. Ride on over and see more...

WHY CAN'T I FIND PONIES AT DILLARD'S ANYMORE? Dillard's no longer carries the ponies. Please visit my site and order with confidence as I value each and every customer.

IS THERE ANYPLACE THAT SHOWS ALL THE PONIES MADE? The Official Website is And at their site there is a Collector's List that you can print and check off the ponies that you have in your collection. At my site, a good page to BookMark is my Pony Home Page. That is where I put Updated news and new links.

DO YOU DISCOUNT LARGER ORDERS? YES, Email me the ponies on your Wish List and I'll quote you a price. I can discount some that I have a large quantity of but if I only have a couple their price goes up. IF my shopping cart overcharged you for shipping, please know that I will reimburse you the unneeded amount. I hate it when folks charge too much for shipping.

CAN I CALL AND ORDER? Yes, if you would like to place an order to charge on your card or send a money order, just E'me or call me. 559-645-4111 in California. Hours are generally all the waking hours, but not too early. I accept all the credit cards & Debit cards too. AND IF you are confused with the online process, I can customise your order and send you a PayPal invoice. Just E'me or give me a call. NEVER send your credit card numbers via an email. It is not a secure manner of communication and it could fall into the wrong hands.

ARE PEOPLE MAKING FAKE TOPP'S FIGURINES? There have been a few imposters. To date, I have heard there is a fake Go Van Gogh. To be sure a pony is authentic, be sure the bottom of the pony has the artist's name and looks like this.

HOW SOON DO YOU SHIP? DO YOU SHIP INTERNATIONALLY? I ship items out a day or two after you order. I ship mostly USPS Priority Mail and UPS Ground. If I am away on vacation, I'll post a message on my main Pony Page. If you'd like faster shipping please let me know. YES, I do ship Internationally and will email you with postage. Sometimes the online fees are higher and you get money back. (Those prices do change according to USPS). Either email me and ask what the total would be. OR make your purchase, and I'll send a supplementary invoice via PayPal to make up the difference.

WHY ARE 1E PONIES MORE EXPENSIVE? The best way to get the 1E is to Pre Order when a Set is introduced (usually notified in my newsletter). I do not require you to pay before the ponies are ready to ship because I don't think you should give up your money months before the ponies are ready. When a pony has been out for a while and the 2E's are instock, the 1E ponies increase in value as they were the first made. Just like when an artist signs their prints 1/500 being the first of 500 printed. When a pony is retired, 1E's are even harder to find so they are more expensive. See above to learn more about the numbers.

WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO GET RETIRED PONIES? I am told which ponies are going to retire from the TOPP as an avid seller. I alert all my customers via my newsletter, so you can check your collection and see if you would like some from that group. I HOLD MY PRICES for 2 weeks to give you time to get them before they increase in price. Sometimes when a pony retires, I can't get more inventory so I may sell out of them quicker than usual. Occasionally, collector's sell me their ponies so contact me when you are looking for certain older ponies. Also check my Main Page for notice of "Older Ponies".

I NOTICED ANOTHER SELLER OFFERS FREE SHIPPING WHEN MY ORDER ADDS UP TO $75.00. DO YOU DO THAT ALSO? No. I research pony prices and offer them for less than most sellers. Because my ponies are less than those who offer free shipping, I ask that you look carefully and see that my reasonable shipping fee plus lower priced ponies, plus great personal service and information, is a winning combination. Especially with you as my customers. Since I am located in California, I don't think it fair to charge the same postage for East coast orders as for California orders. Small order will sometimes go in flat rate boxes so I try to watch out for you pennies as much as I can.

ARE YOU ON FACEBOOK? DO YOU HAVE A NEWSLETTER? Yes, if you search for Betsy's Painted Ponies, I believe you will find me. Or click FaceBook and add me as your Friend. Yes, I do have a monthly newsletter and always inform everyone when ponies are announced and retired as well as all the other TOPP news. Please sign up on my Main Pony page.

WHAT IS THE HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR? When Westland lost the contract to make the TOPP, they created a line of Native Indian ponies called the Horse of a Different Color. I carry them and they are very beautiful. Each pony will only be made in quantities of 10,000. So they will all be 1E's. My first orders have been under 1000 in number. They do not make 2E, 3E's etc.

IF YOU HAVE A question for me, please send it over and I'll follow up with you Thank you for reading about these great ponies.

Betsy Bauer

We are very excited to bring these spectacular
equine items to you.