WEG Inspires Horse Mania in the Bluegrass

WEG Horse statues

"Lady Godiva's Horse" by Jean Isaacs Bramlette and Audwin Price, sponsored by Kirkpatrick & Co.; Medical Rehabilitation Centers Inc.; Radwan, Brown & Co.; West Jefferson Place; Wilmes & Associates Architects
WEG Horse statues

"Black Blossom" by Breckinridge Elementary School, sponsored by Dean Dorton Ford.
WEG Horse statues

"Teacup" by Kimberly Comstock, sponsored by Powell Walton Milward.

Colorfully decorated fiberglass horses are appearing all around Lexington, Ky., in preparation for the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). LexArts Horse Mania 2010 kicked off July 15 with 82 horses, an increase over the 79 statues displayed in the inaugural Horse Mania display in 2000. Regional artists were selected for the opportunity to paint and decorate the life-sized statues, which are sponsored by numerous local businesses and organizations. The horses will be on display through Oct. 15, and then they will be auctioned off for charity Dec. 11 at Keeneland racetrack. A portion of the proceeds will also go towards LexArt's public art programs.

The brightly adorned horses can be found "grazing" and taking in the scenery downtown, on the University of Kentucky's campus, at the airport, and in several other places in Lexington. An interactive map of the horses' locations is available on the Lexington Herald-Leader's website, Kentucky.com.

Horse Mania 2010 also includes a new companion project, Horse Play for Arts Education. Horse Play, which debuted on July 1, added seven horses and 50 foals to Horse Mania's sizable herd. However, what makes Horse Play unique is the age of the artists; rather than having professionals design these special horses, Fayette County public and private school children completed the embellishments.

Stu Silberman, Fayette County Public Schools superintendent, said he was happy to report 100% participation in the project among the county's public schools, adding praise for its success by saying, "I'm also very, very proud of the work that our kids did; the horses and the foals really came out great."

The Horse Play horses and foals are on display at the Lexington Public Library's six locations until October, and they will go to auction in February 2011. Proceeds from the sales will be divided between the corresponding schools' arts departments and local art-in-education programs such as Lexington's Youth Arts Council. Enhancement of arts programs is a priority for schools, said Silberman, but he expects further benefits for students, such as exposure to WEG and the community's equine industry. The introduction of an agro-science program next school year, featuring an equine component, will also facilitate students' exposure to the horse industry.

The smaller foals, decorated by elementary and middle school students, are corralled inside the libraries, while the larger horses, created by local high school students, are pastured outside. Silberman reported that students and faculty seem attached to their creations. "There's a real ownership with the horses," he said.

Location information for Horse Play horses and foals is available at www.LexPubLib.org, and visit Horsemania2010.com to find more information about both Horse Mania and Horse Play.

About the Author

Courtney LeMay, Editorial Intern

Courtney LeMay was editorial intern for The Horse for the summer of 2010. She attends Asbury Univeristy, planning to graduate in 2013 with a double major in Journalism and Media Communications. She is currently the senior staff features writer for her school paper, the Asbury Collegian, as well as a member of the swim team.

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