Student’s work to be displayed at Kentucky Horse Park

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By Molly Haines

One Owen County High School girl has been given the chance to show her love of horses and her artistic talents to thousands of people who will pass through the International Museum of the Horse this spring.

Felisha Riddle, a 16-year-old sophomore student in Bethany Taylor’s art class, was one of 25 students in Kentucky chosen to receive a 17-inch fiberglass horse to decorate for the “Desert Treasures, the Arabian Horse” art competition, sponsored by the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park.

The International Museum of the Horse is a Smithsonian institute.

Students participating in the contest were required to design their horse on paper, along with a concept statement describing their horse and why it symbolized the Arabian horse.

Riddle has loved horses ever since she was a little girl, said her mom, Melissa Fugate.

“My brother had a horse that nipped her (Riddle) when she was just little bitty,” Fugate said. “She and that horse are practically soul-bound now. If she calls for the horse now he comes right to her.”

Fugate said Riddle has collected Grand Champions, a brand of toy horses, since she was 2.

“They’re all over her room,” Fugate said. “She just loves them. She has always loved horses.”

According to Riddle’s statement, her horse resembles Pegasus, a winged horse from Greek mythology.

“The wings from that of a Pegasus symbolize the beauty and majesty of the Arabian horse; as does the horn,” Riddle’s statement said. “The white coat symbolizes purity. The darkness of the chest plate and the black gem shows the dark past of war and violence the Arabians endured.”

Riddle’s horse will be displayed, along with 24 other horses created by Kentucky art students at the International Museum of the Horse at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington and throughout the Bluegrass during the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.

Riddle said she received help on her project from Ellie Chandler and Laura Perkins.

The horses will be judged and eight of the 25 will win cash prizes, which go to their school art departments.

First place will receive $1,500; second place $1,000; third place $750; five honorable mentions will receive $200.

A stipend of $50 will be awarded to the student artist of each of the 25 horses.

Award-winners will be announced April 26.

Riddle, who worked on her horse all last week said getting the horse completed was her main focus.

“If you put your mind to do something you can get it done,” Riddle said. “All you have to do is have a little faith in yourself.”