After weeks of delays, the last 10 fiberglass horses for Horse Mania 2010 were to arrive in Lexington on Wednesday night and organizers said the popular event will go off as scheduled.
About half of the 137 fiberglass horse forms were a month late getting from the fabricator to Lexington and into the hands of the artists who will paint them, said Jim Clark, president and CEO of LexArts.
Horse Mania is a public art project that first filled the streets of Lexington in 2000. The new edition is designed to coincide with the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in September and October.
"Starting in the winter when we first ordered them, it has been first one catastrophe event after another," delaying production and delivery, Clark said.
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The forms were manufactured by America's Fiberglass Animals near Shelton, Neb., the same company that created the horse forms 10 years ago.
Nebraska had a harsh winter, Clark noted.
"You can't work with fiberglass when there's no heat in your building," he said.
About three weeks ago when high winds hit the Midwest, a semi-trailer clipped a flat-bed truck loaded with a shipment of horse forms bound for Lexington. Four of the horse forms were destroyed.
"We've kept the sponsors and artists informed of the delays," Clark said. "Ones that had planned a vacation or there was some time sensitivity, we made sure they got their horse so they could continue and be a part of this."
Most artists can paint their horses in three to four weeks, Clark said. The horses will be on display for the Fourth of July festivities downtown.
Patrick Keough, owner of the American Fiberglass Animals, gave the city "a nice discount" for this year's horses because he got so much business as a result of Horse Mania back in 2000, Clark said. The price was $1,200 per horse, the same as in 2000.
In all, 80 horses will be part of Horse Mania 2010.
And 50 "foals" and seven full-sized horse forms were sent to Fayette County schools to be painted as part of Horse Play. These will be displayed in public spaces near the five public high schools.
Finding enough downtown public sidewalk spaces to display the horses has been a challenge, Clark said. Between sidewalk construction on Main and Vine streets, and the various stages that will be set up for Spotlight Lexington during the World Equestrian Games, "It's been a little bit of a dance we've had to work around," he said.
Even if all the horses are not on public space, there are private areas like the terrace of Central Bank, he said. Some will be on display at other points throughout the city.
The painted horses will be up until after the World Equestrian Games, and they will be sold at auction in December at Keeneland.