LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – A new jewel will soon dot downtown Paris. The home of legendary racehorse Secretariat is now honoring the horse with art and a revamped park.
“He’s our tiger woods, he’s our Serena Williams, our Michael Jordan, our Elvis,” Secretariat Park Foundation President Bobby Shiflet said. On Friday, Paris residents gathered to celebrate the first step of a new park.
“I cannot believe this community. Nine weeks, Bobby basically said in two weeks, ‘the money is just, it’s coming in we’ve got the project’ and that just doesn’t happen. You can’t imagine how hard it is to pull a community together, sculptor Jocelyn Russell said.
The donor-backed effort will bring a new design to the park, a mural, and a statue. The public was able to get its first sneak peek.
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“I hope the scale of the mural will really convey his power, his beauty, his dominance, you know just like kind of bring that larger-than-life presence right to you,” muralist Jamie Corum said.
The Kentucky native is bringing to life a 2019 piece she painted herself on the side of a downtown building next to the park.
“I just felt that it worked on the wall, I just felt that the power of him coming forward on the wall on exposed brick, I just I played around with other ideas I offered the Poynter family some other options but we all decided that that was the most exciting,” Corum told FOX 56.
Washington-state-based sculptor Jocelyn Russell unveiled the model she will use to sculpt the life-sized statue.
“I am dragging this ‘moquette’ with me everywhere I go, he’s got his own roller bag and I pack him in memory foam and he’s a blue bag with white checkers on it and he goes through the airports with me and so I’ve got probably about three or four months to finish him. He’s got a lot of work to be done,” Russell told FOX 56.
The park is set to open Nov. 11 of next year, 50 years to the day when Secretariat first arrived in his Bourbon County home.