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3 Larger-than-Life Equine Sculptures

We all know the horse is a work of art–but some sculptors took that knowledge and built on it. And we mean built BIG.

 

Top photo from Flickr via Creative Commons.

The Kelpies by Andy Scott, Falkirk, Scotland

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Completed in October of 2013, The Kelpies opened to the public in April of this year. Designed to be a monument to Scotland’s horse-powered heritage, the two horse heads sit 30 meters high (that’s just shy of 100 feet).

Each structure is built of steel with a stainless-steel cladding, weighing in at 300 tons apiece. The Kelpies have their own visitor center and a miniature version of the sculpture has toured around the world. Media response has been varied: The Kelpies have been called both “amazing, dramatic, impressive and stunning” and “bizarre and terrifying.”

 

The Confederate Memorial Carving, Stone Mountain, Georgia

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The largest bas-relief in the world, the Confederate Memorial measures 90 feet by 190 feet for a total area of about three acres. It’s carved into the north face of Stone Mountain in Georgia, not far from the city of Atlanta.

The carving depicts three great Confederate leaders from the Civil War mounted on their favorite horses, including president Jefferson Davis and “Blackjack,” General Robert E. Lee and “Traveller” and General Stonewall Jackson and “Little Sorrel.” The mountain is set within Stone Mountain Park which is owned by the state of Georgia.

 

The Crazy Horse Memorial, the Black Hills, South Dakota

The Crazy Horse Memorial as it stands today. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Crazy Horse Memorial as it stands today.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

The Crazy Horse Memorial is still under construction and will be for decades–work began in 1948 by Korczak Ziolkowski and has been inherited as a project by his family. If the sculpture is completed it will be the world’s largest.

The sculpture depicts Crazy Horse, an Oglala Lakota warrior, mounted on a horse, pointing into the distance; the piece was commissioned by Lakota elder Henry Standing Bear to show the world “that the red man has great heroes too,” in response to the carving of Mt. Rushmore into seized lands that were previously protected by treaty.

The carving of Crazy Horse has created controversy among Native Americans, some of whom believe that the carving of Crazy Horse’s likeness goes against the great warrior’s spirit and defaces a sacred mountain. Crazy Horse is said to have claimed, “my lands are where my people lie buried” and is sculpted with his arm outstretched to represent the claim.

A scale model of the planned Crazy Horse Memorial with the mountain in the background. Photo from Flickr via Creative Commons.

A scale model of the planned Crazy Horse Memorial with the mountain in the background.
Photo from Flickr via Creative Commons.

The finished sculpture is planned to be 641 feet wide and 563 feet tall. For a sense of scale, Crazy Horse’s head will be 87 feet high in comparison to the presidents of Mt. Rushmore at 60 feet.

Know of any more massive equestrian sculptures? Share your favorites in the comments.

Go riding!

Follow Kristen on Twitter at @KristenKovatch.

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