March 28, 2008 — The John Henry Memorial committee has announced the beginning of the John Henry statue that will be part of a small park at the grave site of the legendary racehorse John Henry. He is buried outside his paddock at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky.
Bill Oster, chairman of the committee, said that “it is a unique opportunity for the public to watch an historically significant statue being created. Shelley Hunter is a world-renowned equine sculptor, and she will be creating this important piece in her studio at the Kentucky Horse Park, where park visitors can watch its progress Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”
Hunter is the executive director of the American Academy of Equine Art. The headquarters and studios of the organization are at the Kentucky Horse Park. “Having my office and studio within viewing distance of John Henry for all those years makes this very special to me,” she said.
According to Oster, the sculpture is scheduled to be finished by the end of May, and then it will take most of the summer for the foundry to cast it into the finished bronze figure. “We hope to have an unveiling on October 8, 2008, the one-year anniversary of John Henry’s death,” he said.
Two-time Horse of the Year John Henry was 32 at the time of his death and had lived his last 22 years at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Fans of John Henry are invited to contribute to the statue. Checks should be made payable to the John Henry Memorial Fund and sent to Old Friends, 1841 Paynes Depot Road, Georgetown, KY 40324. To make donations by phone, call the Kentucky Horse Park Foundation at 859-255-5727. For additional information about the memorial, call Bill Oster at 502-316-0980 or email [email protected].