Collaboration Collection Contest Winners Announced

A Very Special Thank You to everyone who submitted designs!

Artistic collaboration has been a hallmark of The Trail of Painted Ponies from our start, when, fifteen years ago, as a philanthropic public art project, artists - established as well as emerging - were invited to create original designs using a horse form created by a prominent equine sculptor as a three-dimensional canvas. Now, on the occasion of our fifteenth anniversary, we are exploring a new kind of artistic collaboration. We are selecting a number of our most popular, best-selling Painted Ponies from the past, and inviting artists to re-interpret them by changing colors, adding innovative design elements, making them over into completely new and different works of art. The most compelling designs will then be crafted into figurines as part of planned series that will be called the Collaboration Collection.

The first two Painted Ponies in this series will be "War Pony" and "Silver Lining." The original "War Pony" was created by the renowned Commanche artist Rance Hood, and has been re-interpreted by Kathleen Moody, a versatile artist/sculptor behind some of The Trail's most unique Ponies. Star York, the Santa Fe sculptor who sculpted most of our horse forms, has re-imagined "Silver Lining" as an entirely different Pony. See the originals and re-imagined versions below.

Original "War Pony," released in Winter 2003.
Repainted "War Pony," now titled "War Magic"


Original "Silver Lining," released in Winter 2006.
Repainted "Silver Lining," now titled "Tempest"


The two additional Painted Ponies that are being offered as a source of inspiration for the Collaborative Collection are "Happy Trails" and "Woodland Hunter." See below.

Original "Happy Trails," released in Summer 2003.

Original "Woodland Hunter," released in Winter 2006.

Skyridge Hunter by Courtney Moore
$300 Cash Prize
Inspired by the original "Woodland Hunter" Painted Pony

The brave hunter has no limitations. With his trusty steed, they soar with the wind to the point where the sky meets the mountains. Whether they are hunting for food or for a new adventure, man and horse were destined to be in the mountains. To always travel alongside the open fields of the sky above their heads.

"My design features incorporated elements of mountains, sky, and wind. The horse has wisps of wind along it's body. There are cloud designs at the opening of the arrow and bow sheathes. The blanket under the saddle is in the shape of a cloud. I added small wind design symbols on the legs, arrow bag, and on the small bag behind the saddle. The base that the horse stands on is designed to have the look of what you would see on a mountain trail. Large and small rocks with moss on them with small scrubs growing in-between the rocks. I incorporated wind symbols on the sides of the base to complete the image. " - Courtney Moore



Desperado by Kelly Kurtz
$200 Cash Prize
Inspired by the original "Happy Trails" Painted Pony

Any equestrian will attest to the special quality of leather... the smell, the texture, the feel in our hands. It is the strength and foundation of our sport; literally containing our blood, sweat and tears. “Desperado” features the beautiful artistic medium that is leather.

Leather is no longer the fundamental saddlery of the past, but the ultimate blank canvas for master craftsman to carve, paint, and embellish. From traditional basket weaves to complex southwestern scenes the designs are as limitless as the imagination. Sprawling vines, flower petals, oak and acorns all depicted with detailed accuracy. Carved patterns stitched together with delicate precision, so carefully laid out, your eye continuously moves over them connecting each piece into one unified work of art.

These ornate designs have become symbolic of cowboy culture, evoking the free-spirit of the American West. A finely tooled saddle is second only to the horse it adorns. Inviting you to mount up and join the adventure. Ride into myth with the likes of Buffalo Bill Cody, Theodore Roosevelt, Pecos Bill and The Lone Ranger. Standing the test of time these durable works of art will carry you towards your dreams and beyond.

"Art is the combination of inspiration and imagination. Once you find that thing that inspires you, it’s time for the imagination to take over, and run with it – my favorite part about being an artist! A feeling, a picture, a song lyric, inspiration is as limitless as the imagination. To create something out of sheer passion and imagination is a truly spiritual experience that can only be transcended by the moment you see someone moved by your art as much as you are." - Kelly Kurtz


Horse of the Nimiipuu by Julie Karnath
Inspired by the original "Woodland Hunter" Painted Pony

This horse is my interpretation and tribute to the Appaloosa, horse of the Nez Perce.

As a young, “horse crazy” child, my favorite subject to draw was horses.  In high school I expanded my subject matter and drew and painted various back drops and decorations for everything from high school plays and musicals to senior proms.  This continued through college where I was recruited for a variety of projects.

My oil painting of an Arabian horse was judged the winner of our high school art contest and placed at the district competition.

Because I work full time to support my horse habit I don’t have as much time to create art as I would like. When I do have time I paint everything from murals to wine glasses.  My largest project was painting murals on the inside of a restaurant that served Mexican-style food. I even painted scenes in the restrooms! I also enjoy creating jewelry and sculpting.

If there is a blank space on something it can be painted. The walls of my house are tempting! Art is relaxing and therapeutic for me. I am thankful that God uses me as one of the conduits for his work.
- Julie Karnath