The unveiling of a life-sized trophy horse at Alta Vista brought oohs and ahs from the residents and guests attending the event on a chilly morning Nov. 28. The 7.5-ft. statue stands at a permanent trot at the entrance to the independent and assisted living facility at 916 Canterbury Lane, Prescott.
In addition to members of the Levy family, owners and managers of Alta Vista, Kellye Pinkleton, director of the Arizona Humane Society, was there to talk about Wounded Knee, a rescue horse living at the Beastro Farm Yard in Chino Valley, one of Wild Horse Farm Rescue facilities.
Following the unveiling, Wayne Levy presented a check from Alta Vista to the rescue organization. Kim Meagher, founder of the rescue ranch, accepted the $5,000, which will be used to purchase panels and cover medical needs of the rescue horses in Chino Valley.
Artist Cheryl Pelly modeled her silver- and gold-colored statue on the Torrie Horse, first created by Giovanni da Bologna in the late 1580s in Florence that also stands, in a much smaller version, on top the Breeders’ Cup trophy. Alta Vista owner, Wayne Levy’s, home town is Del Mar, California, where this year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic took place on Nov. 4, he said.
Pelly was unable to be present on Tuesday, but about 50 people heard her artist statement read by Gloria Levy, Wayne’s mother, which described the statue and its journey to Prescott. The horse left Chicago as a fiberglass mold along with 19 others for San Diego. Then, in Los Angeles, it received its gilding and returned to San Diego in time for the Breeders’ Cup event, before arriving at Alta Vista for installation.
“It was important to us that the horse have color and a relationship to its natural surrounds,” Pelly’s statement reported. She adorned it with the golden color and warmth of 24-karet gold, which represents the heat of the sun, balanced by silver tones representing cool evening breezes.
Pelly applied by hand about 1,200 individual 2-inch by 2-inch gold leaves over aluminum leaf, which took two-and-a-half months. Then she added bright flowers in oil paint, dusted with gold leaf at their centers.
Members in the audience applauded as the cover was removed and the statue glistened in the sunshine. How did Alta Vista residents react to the newest addition?
“I want him up on my balcony,” said Ruth Ebbets, 95.