ROCKBRIDGE COUNTY (WDBJ7) It’s a special day. It's the delivery of the first of a planned 30 fiberglass horses to be painted by local artists for HorseMania, a fundraiser for Blue Ridge CASA, which supports abused and neglected children in court.
“It is finally come," says Rosanne Facciolo Mackey, Chairman of the HorseMania Committee. "After all the planning and excitement to see an actual horse delivered to our first artist.”
A delivery that Justin – the horse in residence – is pretty excited about.
“I hadn’t really thought that he would identify this figure as another horse, but he did," says Justin’s owner, Barbara Ferguson. "And I think he welcomes him.”
Justin has been the Ferguson’s since they rescued him in 2011.
“He was in a garden patch, No shelter," Barbara remembers. "Starving.”
And he’s pretty special to them.
“He’s our boy,” she says.
Not the least because of his special talent. You see, Justin is the first artist chosen to paint a HorseMania horse.
“They said something about a horse – I didn’t think it was – I didn’t know, you know," says Mark Cline, who made the fiberglass sculpture. "Being a horse painting this. Hey, I’ve seen something like this on Mr. Ed, but this was a surprise to me. It really was.”
But not to the Furgusons, who have been using Justin’s paintings to “pay it forward” since he first picked up a brush.
“His work is very important because he had been an abused and neglected horse,"says HorseMania's Mackey. "And he is now doing something for CASA, who works for abused and neglected children.”