2021 Design Contest Winners Announced!

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

Forest Spirit by Emily Overman
$600 Cash Prize

Every person has a connection with nature. A simple walk in the woods can be rejuvenating for the mind, body, and spirit. Nature displays God's many wonders to the world in various ways, such as towering forests and vast, flowering meadows. Horses have long since held a special place in people's hearts, and our bond with them keeps us connected to our natural world in many ways. They remind us of our longing to be a part of nature, such as wild rides out in open fields, or long trail rides through shadowy forests. Horses always have a way of fulfilling our need to connect with nature. 

A wild stallion rears up towards the sky, just before racing through a field of wildflowers. The wind whips through its golden main as it gallops into a nearby forest. Wild spirits dance throughout the woods, and the sounds of nature fill the air. At home with the wolves and the deer, the stallion embodies the spirit of nature. 

I have been drawing since a very young age, and I have become more passionate about art as I've gotten older. I am currently attending college for graphic design, and I have an interest in illustration. - Emily Overman



Lord of the Plains by Vickie Knepper-Adrian
$300 Cash Prize

Acquiring their horse from the Spanish, the Comanche quickly transformed from a hunter-gather society into a mobile war machine and quickly dominated the southern plains to become the Lords of the Plains. The horse defined the Comanche way of life and quickly became their super weapon, as they had no equal in horsemanship. The bison provided all their needs and The People prospered until warfare, disease and starvation decimated them. The US Calvary eventually forced them onto reservations.

When 2,000 Comanche refused to relocate to reservation lands, the US government launched a series of battle known as the Red River War in 1874. The breaking point for the Comanche was their defeat at Palo Duro Canyon. This defeat spelled the end of the Comanches as the Lord of the Plains.

This piece called Lord of the Plains shows their defeat after this battle, the end of the Comanche way of life and the move to reservations. The base represents the Llano Estacado, a barren stronghold of the Comanche. The beautifully decorated spear is representative of one owned by the last great Comanche leader, Quanah Parker.

One of our All-Star Painted Pony artists whose creative genius, artistic talents and love of the Native American culture has produced several of the all-time bestselling Painted Ponies figurines. Vickie's day job involves research at the University of Iowa.



Spirit Bear by Lorna Matsuda
$150 Cash Prize

Native Americans myth and legends hold a great significance in the spirit bear. It's believed it held great power of strength, family, wisdom and courage. It was seen as a healer and protector. Bear Spirit Pony brings honor to this belief while embracing protection and healing to all that provide a home for it.

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.



Coyote by Kelly Kurtz

Long revered in Native American legend, Coyote, has been known by many names & wearing many faces. Given the gift of squas-tenk, the power to shapeshift, Coyote is cunningly resourceful. While sometimes appearing as a trickster, in many myths he is creator & teacher, acting as a wise guide; a hero figure to humans & his fellow animals. Coyote bestowed upon each animal his name, as well as a magical feather that granted them their own unique form of magic -- keeping for himself the feather that gave him his squas-tenk.

In this form, Coyote proudly prances, displaying all his positive attributes - intelligence, playfulness, and unyielding spirit. Many of the same attributes that we revere in our horses. Dressed in his best, from the time of "the naming," he wears decoration of bead & bone. He is adorned with his magical feathers which bestow upon him his powerful abilities. Yellow eyes proudly gleam, an unconquerable spirit traveling the wild mountain terrain.

Art is the combination of inspiration and imagination. Once you find that thing that inspires you, run with it. A feeling, photograph, or song lyric, inspiration is limitless. To create something out of sheer passion & imagination is a truly spiritual experience that can only be transcended by the moment someone is as moved by your art as you are.

Horses were my first inspiration point & are a general theme in most of my works. Over the years I have explored many avenues of the arts. Inspired by European myth & legend, as well as the style of the French Romantic artists Eugene Delacroix & Auguste Rodin, many of my original works feature fantasy or old-world flare.

Over the past few years I have been working as a commissioned artist, building my own art & design company, Kelleigh Kreations. I create various forms of art using reclaimed pieces & bespoke works. However, the main portion of my art includes horse portrait models, & commissioned & artist original Trail of Painted Ponies. Some of my favorite customs are whimsical & Fabergé inspired designs, incorporating metal work & intricate detail into truly unique art pieces.



Snow Queen by Risha Moczar

This design was inspired by the lace-like pattern of snowlakes and the jewel-like look of icicles.

I have studied equine anatomy, drawing and sculpting. - Risha Moczar



Krampus by Aimee Skee

Do not be afraid of his appearance,
He is a friend of Saint Nick,
Krampus gives toys to good children
And switches the bad with a stick.

I am an artist who works in various media, some of which include sculpture, marker, and resin. My subjects usually include horse, canine, vulpine, and fantasy creatures. One of my favorite things to do is to fix well loved sculptures and breathe new life into them by turning them into something new. Some of my past work has even been seen in the Breyerfest Customs Contest!



Flight of the Butterfly by Kathleen Moody

A horse and his canine friend frolic together in the warm sunshine, chasing butterflies and enjoying each other's company.

The Trail of Painted Ponies is pleased to add Kathleen Moody to its stable of contributing artists. A phenomenal equine designer and sculptor who has spent more than 26 years creating animal sculptures for Breyer, Hartland Collectables, DaBar Enterprises,and Safari  Ltd. as well as her own line of resin horses. Kathleen is the designer and sculptor behind a number of Painted Ponies, including many in the Beauty of the Breed Series.