NEW COMPETITION! The Collaboration Collection

Artistic collaboration has been a hallmark of The Trail of Painted Ponies from our start, when, fifteen years ago, as a philanthropic public art project, artists - established as well as emerging - were invited to create original designs using a horse form created by a prominent equine sculptor as a three-dimensional canvas. Now, on the occasion of our fifteenth anniversary, we are exploring a new kind of artistic collaboration. We are selecting a number of our most popular, best-selling Painted Ponies from the past, and inviting artists to re-interpret them by changing colors, adding innovative design elements, making them over into completely new and different works of art. The most compelling designs will then be crafted into figurines as part of planned series that will be called the Collaboration Collection.

The first two Painted Ponies in this series will be "War Pony" and "Silver Lining." The original "War Pony" was created by the renowned Commanche artist Rance Hood, and has been re-interpreted by Kathleen Moody, a versatile artist/sculptor behind some of The Trail's most unique Ponies. Star York, the Santa Fe sculptor who sculpted most of our horse forms, has re-imagined "Silver Lining" as an entirely different Pony. See the originals and re-imagined versions below.


Original "War Pony," released in Winter 2003.
Repainted "War Pony," now titled "War Magic"


Original "Silver Lining," released in Winter 2006.
Repainted "Silver Lining," now titled "Tempest"

To add another perspective to the conversation about the Collaboration Collection, I, Rod Barker, Founder/President, asked the two artists who were invited to "artistically re-interpret" two Painted Ponies, for their thoughts.

Kathleen Moody, who re-interpreted "War Pony, had this to say: "Breyer does this all the time. Retires a piece, then brings it back at a later date in another style/color. It's an efficient way to get more life out of old molds. Some people liken it to a "Conga Line" which refers to pieces that come from the same mold that are painted in new and exciting colors and with different mane/tail treatments. Collectors love 'um. It's accepted, even expected. With Painted Ponies, this is a new thing. Your collectors are not used to seeing multiples of a favorite Pony in different colors, with different designs. They don't know what to do with this idea yet. It will take some time for them to get used to this, as it does with all innovative ideas that upset the "established pattern." But it's new ideas that keep a company going. And I, as an artist, love the idea of re-interpreting old designs. Of using MY colors and giving a Pony a whole new look. Of refreshing an existing piece with an entirely new interpretation. Besides, there are so many Painted Ponies that have been retired that I would love to have if only they were still available. This is a fun way of accomplishing that."

Star York, who re-interpreted "Silver Lining," an original Painted Pony that she created, chimed in: "It surprises me that there would be a negative reaction to this new direction, given the whole initial idea behind The Trail of Painted Ponies was to create different aesthetics on the same basic image that was used as a blank canvas. The charm behind this idea is that it is an extension of that original concept. I was thrilled to be able to take my "Silver Lining" and apply a different sensibility than my first approach. To me, it was like seeing actors play different roles."

The two additional Painted Ponies that are being offered as a source of inspiration for the Collaborative Collection are
"Happy Trails" and "Woodland Hunter." See below.

Original "Happy Trails," released in Summer 2003.

Original "Woodland Hunter," released in Winter 2006.

Competition will run from February 1, 2018 through March 31, 2018. Winners will be announced on
April 2, 2018.

Submissions: Designs may be presented on one of the two outlines featured below.

Standing Form Appplication for a design
inspired by "Happy Trails," Click Here >

Standing Form Appplication for a design
inspired by "Woodland Hunter," Click Here >

Submissions can be emailed to:

Paper design submissions can also be mailed to:

The Trail of Painted Ponies
Attn: Design Competition
PO Box 41517
Phoenix, AZ 85080

You may enter as many designs as you would like.

1st Place - $300 cash prize
2nd Place - $200 cash prize

Email your questions to:, or call: 1 (623) 580-9389.

Good luck to everyone!

Judging Criteria

Designs will be evaluated for beauty, the skill with which the design is rendered, the creative use of the horse form, the originality of the design and the concept or story behind the design.

Important Information

We assume all entries are original and are the works and property of the entrant, with all rights granted therein.  We are not liable for any copyright infringement on the part of the entrant.

We regret that we cannot return any submissions. 

Questions? Please Email: or call 1 (623) 580-9389.

Happy Trails and Happy Holidays!