Horse Fever Races On

Carson Collins, 4, left, and his sister, Kinsley, 6, both of Crystal River, peek out from underneath Horse Fever 20/20 horse Celestial Magic by artist Michele Farrar of Beverly Hills during the Horse Fever 20/20 Family Day at the Transformco warehouse in Ocala, Fla. on Saturday, Feb. 13, 2021. Fifteen of the Horse Fever 20/20 life-size statues, that were all created by different artists, were revealed and on display for people during the event. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

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Posted March 7, 2021 | By Susan Smiley-Height, Ocala Gazette

Carson Collins, 4, left, and his sister, Kinsley, 6, both of Crystal River, peek out from underneath Horse Fever 20/20 horse Celestial Magic by artist Michele Farrar. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

There are still chances to see the 20/20 herd of painted equine statues

The Horse Fever 20/20 herd is now grazing inside the lobby of On Top of the World’s Circle Square Cultural Center at 8395 SW 80th St.

“We are honored to host the HF 20/20 herd until March 27,” said Jo Layman, co-chair of Horse Fever 20/20 and general manager of the cultural center. “Visit the herd Monday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.”

The chance to see the beautifully painted life-size works of art is free and open to the public.

There also are still opportunities to purchase a ticket for a chance to win one of three of the 15 current herd members in what is called the Giving Collection, and to bid on “Clockwork Fury,” a former herd member, during a live horse sale on March 16 at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. complex at 1701 SW 60th Ave.

Tickets for the Giving Collection raffle are $100 each. The drawing will be held June 4. The three horses are “Home Sweet Home” by Carlynne Hershberger, “Sunny Daze” by Ronda Richley and “Critters” by Bonnie Eads. They are dedicated in memory of the late Richard “Dick” Hancock, the longtime executive director of the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association, and one of the earliest supporters of Horse Fever.

“Clockwork Fury” was given back to the Horse Fever 20/20 endeavor by owners Brent and Crystal Fernung, of Journeyman Stud, to serve as an “ambassador.” The Steampunk style steed, created for the 2011 herd by Mark Hershberger, has been updated with fiberoptics and more. Proceeds from the auction of the horse will benefit Florida Thoroughbred Charities, Inc. and the Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA).

The Horse Fever public art project was launched in 2000 and was the seed of formation for the alliance, which has since provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants to area artists and arts organizations. There also was Horse Fever in Motion in 2005 and Horse Fever II in 2011.

The other horses in the 20/20 anniversary herd, and their artists, are: “Legacy,” by Derek Grimsley in memory of the late Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham; “Celestial Magic,” by Michelle Farrar; “Lurking at the Surface,” by Christopher Hershberger, “Winners Circle of Life,” by Esta Mann; “Honey Bee,” by Christian Stanley; “Kind Hearted,” by Maggie Weakley; “Hope,” by Paul Ware; “heART of Florida,” by Tyrus Clutter; “Firecracker,” by Gary Borse; “Secret Places,” by Margaret “Peggy” Watts; and “Slugger” and “Horse Cents,” both by Gene Hotaling.

“Thank you to the cultural center for hosting this unique collection,” said Laurie Zink, an organizer of the initial Horse Fever projects and co-chair of the 20/20 campaign. “I am very pleased they are safely housed in a beautiful area where the public can enjoy them. The Giving Collection and Legacy will be moving to the Brick City Center for the Arts on Monday, March 8, and people can visit them there and get a raffle ticket while they say hello.”

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