Photos by Ralph Lauer
According to the Chinese zodiac, the horse symbolizes enthusiasm and energy. Star signs aside, we think that’s a fitting description for all equines. Horses have long been the subject of public art, from petroglyphs to sculptures. Fort Worth is home to a new piece, An Uphill Battle, located in the Alice Walton Cowgirl Park. And a sculpture of cutting horse legend Buster Welch, 91, and his horse Little Peppy recently was unveiled during a ceremony at Dickies Arena. Artist Kelly Graham lives in Weatherford and is a former cutting horse trainer. The piece eventually will move to a permanent spot at one of the entrances to Will Rogers Memorial Center. Here are a few more of our hooved favorites. — Meda Kessler
This replica of the famous Venetian horse statuary at St. Mark’s Basilica was cast in 10 sections in Italy by sculptor Ivo Stagetti. The horses are depicted in a quadriga formation (four abreast to pull a chariot or carriage), unbridled and with broken bits to portray unleashed strength and speed. Find them at the Greenwood Memorial Park entrance, 3100 White Settlement Road.
Artist T.D. Kelsey’s bronze sculpture is more cattle than horse but worth mentioning for its size. The lone cowboy on horseback herding seven steers was cast in 900 pieces, and it once was considered the largest piece of bronze cast in the nation. Kelsey, who also was a rancher, gifted the sculpture to the Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America. It sits in the Stockyards on North Main Street across from Billy Bob’s Texas.
Red Steagall, Always Ridin’ for the Brand
The life-size statue of the multi-hyphenate (poet, musician, actor) honors the man whose annual Cowboy Gathering this year celebrates 30 years in the Stockyards. Of course, Steagall is depicted on horseback. The 8-foot sculpture is by artist Bruce Greene. Find it in front of the Cowtown Coliseum, 121 E. Exchange Ave.
The Brand Inspector
Located in front of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association building, the work of sculptor Jim Reno pays homage to riders who have served the cattle industry by keeping a diligent watch for cattle theft. The brand being inspected is of the legendary 6666 Ranch. Find it at 1301 W. 7th St.
Riding Into the Sunset
Philosopher Will Rogers sitting atop his horse Soapsuds at the Will Rogers Memorial Center is an enduring sight for Cultural District visitors. The sculpture by Electra Waggoner Biggs was commissioned by Amon G. Carter. The artist used Soapsuds and a police horse as her models.