My Collection: Honoring Expensive Hobby

Charles Brooks

The Collector: 

Al Dunning, Scottsdale, Arizona

The Collection:

“Expensive Hobby was a very special horse,” Al Dunning recalls. “It’s cool to have a collection that honors his legacy.”

The 1971 buckskin gelding left his mark in the arena with Dunning in the saddle. At bottom left: a limited-edition porcelain version of the Breyer Horse made in Hobby’s honor. A friend painted the horse’s likeness in front of the cactus hedge that lined Dunning’s first training barn. The bridle is Hobby’s show headstall, equipped with a bit that belonged to another Dunning favorite—Pink Pony. The sketch of Dunning stopping Hobby has appeared on everything from stationery to blankets. The photo is from Hobby’s hackamore class win at an A to Z show in the ’70s where Dunning recalls, “All the greats were there.” And the tooled-leather bridle hanger was made by a friend and holds Hobby’s headstall in Dunning’s office.

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