The connection between horses and orchestral music is celebrated through art that makes up the charity venture, Horsetails 2010.
Music historians tie the use of horsehair in bows to the first known instances of bowed instruments traced to the 10th century. The practice continues today.
"It's really quite fascinating when you think about it. The component of the orchestra that sets the orchestra apart from a band is the string section," said Sara Lord, co-chair of the event. "Without the horse we wouldn't have a string section."
The 54 works of art — we're giving you a sneak peek — will be for sale during the FEI Alltech World Equestrian Games in September. Each piece features a violin-shaped base and real horsehair. They will be exhibited at the Maker's Mark Bourbon village and the Crossgate Gallery during the games. Some other installations are in the works.
The first Horsetails was created in 2000 and initiated by Maria and Peter Kucirko, the philharmonic's executive director. Since its inception, the program has raised about $118,000. Proceeds go to the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra's Partners in Education, a program that benefits children in high-risk areas of Kentucky through music education.
Each work in the 2010 exhibit is professionally float-mounted on a linen-covered board and framed in a 13x17 wood shadow box. This year the effort extends beyond Thoroughbreds to honor the many breeds represented at the games, said Lord.
Previous years have featured a live auction, but details of the 2010 sale are still being developed.