DEL MAR — The city will be home to at least four life-sized sculptures of the equine that sits atop the winner’s trophy, and one will become a permanent part of Del Mar’s public art collection.
Council members at the June 5 meeting approved permits for three statues that are part of the Art of the Horse program, created to generate enthusiasm for the Breeders’ Cup.
The trophy features a bronze reproduction of the original Torrie horse created in Florence by Giovanni da Bologna in the late 1580s.
Fiberglass Torrie horses, standing 7 feet high at the head and 7 feet long, are being decorated by artists and will be displayed throughout the county beginning next month.
The cost is $7,500 to sponsor a horse, which will be auctioned off during a dinner that will be held as part of a Breeders’ Cup festival, a weeklong celebration leading up to the Nov. 3-4 event.
Proceeds will benefit community events surrounding the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and local charities.
The Del Mar Village Association is sponsoring one sculpture that will be placed at the southwest corner of 15th Street and Camino del Mar in front of Americana Restaurant.
Should the DMVA be successful in its current effort to sponsor a second horse, it would be located across the intersection on the southeast corner of 15th and Camino del Mar just north of the Tasting Room Del Mar kiosk building.
The Public Works Department reviewed both locations and deemed them safe, with sufficient room for pedestrians to pass by.
For $15,000 sponsors can pull their sculpture from the auction and donate it, which is what Del Mar attorney Bing Bush Jr. did.
The horse is being decorated by Cheryl Pelly with real silver and 24-karat gold composite leaf that, according to the artist, represents the “shimmering, golden-hued California coast at sunrise and sunset, with the silvery coolness of the ocean in silver and the warmth of the sun in gold.”
It will be temporarily placed in the planter area just south of the sign at Seagrove Park. That location was selected “after extensive evaluation of potential alternatives,” the staff report states.
The spot is prominently located in the community, large enough to accommodate the horse and base and adjacent to a street, which makes installation easier.
That location also will not disrupt lighting conduit or irrigation or impact useable park space.
Additionally, plants surrounding the 6-by-3-foot base of the sculpture will create a deterrent for climbing, although signage will also be used to help prevent climbing on all the sculptures.
Notices were sent to residents who live within 300 feet of the three sculptures that required city approval. No objections were submitted in response.
After discussing the Art of the Horse program at two meetings, the Parks and Recreation Committee approved Seagrove Park as a “very temporary” location only, Mayor Terry Sinnott said. City staff is currently looking for a permanent home for the piece.
Council members agreed it should be removed a week after the Breeders’ Cup is over.
Two other temporary sculptures will be located at L’Auberge Del Mar near the driveway on Camino del Mar and at Del Mar Plaza, on the street level between the stairs and Smashburger.
Neither one required city approval because they will be on private property.