20th Anniversary Art Competition Winners Announced!

A Very Special Thank You to everyone who submitted designs. And the winners are...

Frosted Black Magic by Lorna Matsuda
$750 Cash Prize

Black Magic shares in the mystical beauty of the Christmas Painted Ponies, standing proud and adorned with very special Christmas morning frost. It casts a glow of glitter and diamonds against his thick black velvet coat. Celebrating this 20th Anniversary at Christmas time, Black Magic honors this special celebration with his sparkling frosted coat shinning like rare jewels, as precious as all the joy the Painted Ponies have brought to their collectors over the years.

Lorna Matsuda has spent her life devoted to her love of art and all animals, though horses are her passion. Combining her love of art and horses, Lorna creates memories and meaning in her paintings and other artistic creations. She enjoys painting realistic art to share with others, and feels very blessed to have been given this special gift.



Voices of the Wilds by Aimee Skee
$500 Cash Prize

Wolves and mustangs are popular on their own to stand for wildlife conservation and freedom, and seem to have the loudest voices. However, it's crucial to take note that these two ambassadors are not the only ones that need saving or preserving! There are species that are endangered or on the brink of extinction that need our help. With this piece, both Mustang and Wolf stand as leaders, as voices of the wilds to help us protect all wildlife.

I am a wildlife and fantasy artist who enjoys working mostly in different sculpture materials such as clays and resins. I love working in a lot of mixed media, but also enjoy discovering new mediums and techniques. I'm most well known for my Breyer horse model customs, and have had my work featured in the Breyerfest Best Customs contest. There is no damaged pony I won't tackle, and enjoy a good challenge! - Aimee Skee



Winter Solstice by Crystal Snow
$300 Cash Prize

When Christianity swept through the New World, with it came the celebration of Christmas. Today America's native peoples also celebrate Christmas but before the introduction of Christianity, they had their own winter ceremonies and still do to this day.

The sun is seen as a critical part of life by native cultures. On December 21st, in the northern hemisphere, we experience a day with the shortest amount of daylight. This day is called the Winter Solstice. Native peoples celebrate the Winter Solstice with various traditional ceremonies of feasting, music and dancing. They perform rituals observing their ancestors lives, the spirit world and our current world. One of the most important is the role of the storytellers. Winter is the perfect time for oral traditions and stories as it is not only to teach and pass along history and knowledge, but to keep the children occupied. A story teller is usually gifted with an offering of tobacco or bundle of gifts.

To the native peoples the Winter Solstice is a time of welcoming the return of light on "Turtle Island" (or the world). In the northern hemisphere, the day lasts less than 12 hours. In the southern hemisphere, the day lasts more than 12 hours. The North Pole experiences a 24 hr. night and the South Pole a 24 hr. day. The largest ancient archeological site in the USA, known as Cahokia Mounds, lies between Illinois and Missouri. It is a prehistoric native city which was the center of massive Winter Solstice festivals in ancient times. Once estimated to have covered over 6 miles, the site today consists of 2,200 acres. Winter Solstice festivals were being held here for thousands of years before Ireland's Stonehenge. Cahokia Mounds also aligns perfectly with the solar system during winter and summer solstice and the spring and fall equinox. It is no coincidence that Christmas and the Winter Solstice are so close together. It was common practice to absorb pagan rituals, etc. into Christianity to encourage conversion to the religion. When Christmas was implemented in Rome around 300 A.D., it was around Sol Invictus or the pagan festival celebration of the Invincible Sun.

While I enjoy Christmas, I also have a great respect and curiosity for ancient traditions of Native peoples. I wanted to do a Holiday Pony that honored one of the most sacred times of year to the Native Americans. Since the Winter Solstice and Christmas are so close together, I thought a blending of both in a Painted Pony design would be a wonderful way to pay tribute to each in a different way. I also thought it would be a great holiday anniversary pony, respectfully honoring the traditions of old and new in a more traditional native style Painted Pony.

My design is of a Palomino Paint using the Triumphant Form. On the front side you will see a triple mandela on the horse's side. The large mandela holds the native 8 pointed star which stands for Hope. Two smaller mandela dangle below and I adorned it with feathers and beads. On the horse's hindquarter I placed a Buffalo fetish which is associated with strength and substance as well as being the bringer of snow. You can see he has a long turquoise arrow, which represents the heartline or lifeline, starting at the mouth where breath gives life and travels through pointing to the soul or spirit where faith and inner strength preside. Facing towards the back, it provides protection from what may come up from behind. Feathers are tied on his back which is a symbol of powerful medicine.

On the horse's neck you'll see a two part yellow symbol which stands for Harmony. I also used traditional Christmas colors of red, green and gold with a touch of turquoise. The back side of the horse contains the same mendala. On the hindquarter is a Beaver fetish representing home, family and unity. Tied to his back is an offering of turquoise.

The base I designed as a snow covered iceberg of blue-green and deep dark gold. I think it is a really nice platform for the horse and the colors work nicely in the overall design. To me he represents the unity of the old and new winter traditions in a design I call... "Winter Solstice," a 20th Anniversary Holiday Pony.



The Great White by Gina Norman

The elusive Great White stallion is the guardian of the North. He only reveals himself to the purest of heart. As the mighty protector, he only seems to have one weakness. He loves to frolic in the first snowfall of the year, almost dancing as he twists and turns, catching as many snowflakes as he can. What a magnificent sight he is!

Mainly pencil drawings, some painting and some sculpting when I used to design yard ornaments.



Christmas Wonder by Emily Overman

Far off in the distance, a faint sound of jingling bells can be heard in night. The snow on the ground and the stars in the sky glisten with wonder, and the town below sleeps soundly as they await Christmas morning. Galloping through the snow, a white horse arrives to help spread the magic of Christmas to all that believe. Her tracks in the snow leave behind traces of stardust. Some can even catch a glimpse of her on Christmas Eve night as she journeys across the land, and many continue to keep watch for her each year.

As a child, I always found Christmas to be a magical time of year. I first discovered the Trail of Painted Ponies company when I was about 7 years old. I remember going to a Hallmark store in my local mall and seeing the figurines for the first time.  I was in awe of the beautiful Christmas horses, and I was amazed at the beautiful details of each design. I received my first Painted Pony ornament that year, the Poinsettia Pony. I have been fond of the company ever since, and I continue to look forward to the Holiday collections each year. Each figurine contributes to the magic of Christmas, and "Christmas Wonder" is inspired by that special feeling at Christmas time. I hope this design brings the magic of Christmas to all that believe the tale of the enchanted white horse.
I have always enjoyed drawing, and I am passionate about creativity. Currently, I am in my junior year as a graphic design major at the University of South Alabama. I aspire to one day be a full time illustrator, and I have recently begun to work with digital media to create art. 



Leilani by Kathleen Longueil

I don't really consider myself an artist, however, I did win a few art awards in school. I am creative and I love Hawaii so my Pony is named "Leilani," which is Hawaiian for "Royal Child."