Breyer Manco Capac, 2010 Spring Collectors Model

Breyer Manco Capac, 2010 Spring Collectors Model

Manco Capac is the 2010 Spring Collectors Choice model.  This is a Peruvian Paso Fino, rendered as "a dark red roan with dark head and legs."  The Collectors Choice line is shaped by Breyer fans - Breyer takes submissions for model suggestions from the public, then allows fans to vote on the models to choose which will go into production.

Manco Capac uses the Peruvian Paso Stallion mold, which was created by Linda York in 2002.  The standard Peruvian Paso model that most of us recognize is a dapple grey stallion, which was in production from 2002 through 2004.  However, this mold has also been used for several BreyerFest special editions over the years, and has proven to be popular.

I suspect that this model will prove to be a hot seller.  In fact, I found many outlets which were selling pre-sales, which have already sold out!  This despite the fact that technically Manco Capac will not be shipped for some time.

Is it just me, or does the name "Manco Capac" look like it ought to be a palindrome (a word or phrase that reads the same backwards and forwards, like "a man, a plan, a canal: panama")?  A little bit of digging turns up the information that Manco Capac was named for an Incan god and emperor of the Incan empire.  He was a child of the sun god Inti, and was himself worshiped as a god of the sun.  

Manco Capac is a Promethean figure in Incan mythology, having emerged from the earth with a staff of fire.  The Temple of the Sun was built where his staff sank into the ground, which formed the origins of the Peruvian city of Cusco.  Manco Capac ruled over the newborn city of Cusco for about forty years.  Among his accomplishments he outlawed the practice of human sacrifice, and established a code of law.  (In some versions of the legend, Manco Capac came to power by slaughtering all of his older brothers in order to attain the throne through succession.)

That's not a hard name to live up to, is it?

Using the name of an Incan god is geographically appropriate for this breed, which originated in Spain from the Spanish Jennet, the Barb, and the Andalusian.  The foundation stock was brought to Peru in the 1500s during the Spanish Conquest.  The Peruvian Paso was bred to be an "easy keeper" under difficult circumstances, which meant that - like the Morgan - it was a small but sturdy horse that could travel long distances under a heavy load, and needing relatively little feed.

The Peruvian Paso is a naturally gaited horse, which means that they not only walk, trot, and gallop, but also perform a fast four-beat gait called, naturally enough, the "paso."  Its smooth gait has helped forge its reputation as an outstanding trail horse.  This ambling gait is similar to the rack of the American Saddlebred, and the tolt gait of the Icelandic pony.

As a side note, there is very little similarity between the Peruvian Paso and the Paso Fino.  The Paso Fino is a relatively new breed, which originated in Columbia and Puerto Rico.  To add to the confusion, the Paso Fino is also a naturally gaited breed.