Renowned Connemara Pony Champion Banks Vanilla Joins Breyer’s Best of British Collection

In the world of British show ponies, there is the famed Connemara champion Banks Vanilla and all the rest. This striking snow-white grey mare, a grand-daughter of the influential stallion Oxenholme Marble, has won virtually every important breeding championship in Ireland and every important ridden native breed championship in England including at the Horse of the Year Show and Olympia! An outstanding record for a Danish bred Connemara pony!

Though officially retired from the show ring, Banks Vanilla will join the Breyer stable in 2016 as a Breyer Portrait Model. Banks Vanilla’s Breyer model, sculpted by the talented Sarah Minkiewicz-Breuning, will be previewed at London’s famed Olympia Horse Show this December!

Banks Vanilla has the distinction of enjoying two different phases of her show horse career. As a young mare in 2006, she became the star of Sean Dunne’s Garryhinch Stud, Ireland, for which she won numerous in-hand Supreme Championships over the next four years. “Banks” was then acquired by Noel Noonan at Manor Connemara Ponies, who recognized her huge potential and sent Banks on her travels again, this time to the UK and the prodigious young producer of ridden native breeds, Samantha Roberts. Few stood a chance under saddle against Banks. She was beaten just five times in 17 outings in 2012, culminating in victories at two of England’s most iconic shows–the Horse of the Year and Olympia. With nothing left to prove, Banks was retired to start her next career as a broodmare–to Connemara, at last.

Connemara Ponies are known for their excellent temperament, intelligence, stamina, and jumping ability. They should not exceed 14.2hh (the maximum height for a pony) at maturity. Connemara’s have short heads with slight dished profile and large dark eyes and can be a variety of colors.

Breyer’s Banks Vanilla model will be previewed in the UK at the famed Olympia Horse Show, held Dec. 15-21, 2015, at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, in Hammersmith, West London and will be widely available at toy stores and tack stores in January 2016. Banks Vanilla will be available in the USA at retail in January 2016.

For details in the USA, please contact Breyer at or call 800-413-3348.

For horse-crazy kids, there are only two kinds of horses: real horses and Breyer model horses. The iconic Breyer brand, a division of Reeves International, was founded in 1950, and is the leader in creating the world’s most authentic and realistic model horses for play and collecting. These hand-painted, collectible model horses and animals have a worldwide following, thanks to the incredible sculptures that form the foundation of the line. Today, Breyer has expanded its line to include play and craft activity sets and horsey accessories for its younger fans and its collector lines to include resins, crystal and porcelain. To see the complete line of Breyer horses, find a retailer near you, and to learn more about Breyer events and the model horse hobby, visit us at!






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