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LexArts: Vandal rode and damaged Horse Mania horses

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 18:28:26-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A snapshot from Saturday night shows someone riding one of the Horse Mania horses outside Keeneland Mercantile in downtown Lexington.

LexArts posted the photo to Instagram, which shows an unidentified person on top of a horse featuring art from Kayla Weber.

“Oh, I was very disappointed,” said Nicolas de Courten, who works downtown and stopped by to check on the horses. “I didn’t know how bad the damage was.”

Luckily, the artwork on the horses is still intact, but it’s damage we can’t see LexArts employees say left them heartbroken.

“It's just hard,” said president and CEO Ame Sweetall. “It's hard to see when people can't understand, that that really is hurting the whole community when you hurt these horses.”

She told us the person who sat on top of the Keeneland horse hurt part of the base, making the horse looser than it should be. The same person also rode the Corvette horse on Main Street near Awesome Inc. Sweetall said someone posted images of the person riding the horses online, which is how they discovered what happened. Employees at the non-profit spent Monday checking all of the horses to make sure there wasn’t further damage.

Sweetall said she knows the horses will attract attention, but LexArts is asking people to avoid getting too close to help keep the artwork beautiful for everyone. The organization is also considering installing signs reminding people not to touch or ride the horses.

“We want you to take pictures, we want you to take selfies, we want you to enjoy them,” Sweetall said. “But the horses are very expensive and beautiful pieces of art, meant for a public art installation.”

Lexington police said no one has been charged yet but the culprit could face a criminal mischief charge.