Monday, July 03, 2000

'Big Horse Gig' a hit in Lexington

79 equine statues across city

The Associated Press

        LEXINGTON — In a state known for its equine sports, the 79 horses scattered across this city have found a way to stand out.

        Hundreds of people walked around downtown Saturday to see the colorful creations of Horse Mania, taking pictures, touching the bright surfaces and laughing about the catchier names.

        The art project helped make for a big day downtown to kick off Lexington's Fourth of July festivities, which also included the farmer's market and the Central Kentucky Harvest Festival in Phoenix Park.

        The horse statues mimic similar public-art displays in Chicago and Cincinnati. Cows were the animals of choice in the Windy City, and pigs were the barnyard selection in the Queen City.

        “I couldn't wait to get here to see them,” said Rose Freeman of Lexington, who came with her daughter, Kim Hurley, to walk through downtown. “I wish they'd leave them up forever.”

        John and Christy Warner of Lexington, who were on a bike tour of the horses and had seen 21 by noon, said the display, which will go through Nov. 15, should be an annual event.

        “This is one of the greatest ideas,” he said.

        Many gazers picked a favorite — despite the fact that none of the horses can run.

        Chard-de-neigh, in Triangle Park, caught the eye of Susan Brown of Lexington.

        “They're more charming than I expected,” she said.

        Steve Plauche of Lexington, who came with his wife, Ningsih, to see the horses, said he liked the project even though some of the horses didn't do much for him.

        “There's some pretty ones and some ugly ones,” he said.

        Shirley Rosenbaum of Morgantown, W.Va., who was in town to visit her daughter Beth Ellen Rosenbaum and granddaughter Eliana Shapere, saw the cows in Chicago last year and prefers the horses.

        “I think these are more elegant,” she said.


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