Liz Pizzo, a former jockey known for her horse-theme art work, died Saturday after she was struck by a pickup truck while getting the mail at her Bourbon County home.
"She was an incredibly talented artist with a unique style and a great love for horses," said Lynn Morris, gift shop manager for the American Saddlebred Museum at the Kentucky Horse Park, where Pizzo's hand-painted works on glassware, tiles, ornaments and canvas were sold.
The Fayette County Coroner's office said Pizzo, 57, was pronounced dead at 4:26 p.m. Saturday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center. The cause was blunt-force trauma to the head.
She was struck by the passing truck at 11:40 a.m. at her home on Jackstown Road north of Paris, the coroner's office said.
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Peter S. Pizzo, a trainer, said his wife was returning from getting the mail to get into a car nearby where his mother, Jennie Pizzo, was waiting.
"They were going shopping. It was during a rain storm and Liz got hit by the truck's mirror," he said. "My mother saw it all."
The Bourbon County sheriff's department investigated. No one with the office was available for comment Sunday.
Peter Pizzo said his wife had been a jockey in Chicago and North Carolina and retired as a rider about seven years ago. They moved to Kentucky four years ago.
"After retirement, she got into painting," he said. "She sold her works at the Rolex events and other horse shows."
Morris said she "discovered" the artist's work at a Rolex event a few years ago at the Horse Park.
"Not only was she a superb artist of horses, she was a good, kind person. I had just given her on Thursday a $1,000 order for an upcoming horse show," she said. "I'm just dumbfounded at what has happened."
Arrangements were pending Sunday at Lusk-McFarland Funeral Home in Paris.