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Metro Newsroom

A New Gallopalooza Herd in Town

Wednesday August 13, 2008

The project that made
Louisville’s sidewalks artistic showplaces in 2004 is set to return. “Gallopalooza,” which featured 223 horses in wildly eccentric representations and colors, is holding a public vote this month to determine one of four new poses for its 2009 campaign.

The Gallopalooza board of directors has chosen two of the horse designs –‘Race On’ and ‘High Step’ – from more than a dozen possible poses. A third design will be determined by public vote (to be conducted August 13-27, 2008 via The fourth statue option will be available to sponsors who contribute $10,000 or more. The proceeds from Gallopalooza benefit Brightside.

“So many people visited and photographed the horses while they were on display that we wanted to get them involved again from the very beginning,” said Gallopalooza Executive Director Lynn Huffman.

Once the public vote is complete, artists will be invited to submit designs via the new Gallopalooza website:, which is scheduled to go live Aug. 18, 2008. Companies, individuals and nonprofits will also be able to become sponsors via the site. The horse designs are created specifically for Gallopalooza by Weber Group, Inc. – a design/build company in Sellersburg, Ind., that specializes in zoo, hotel, theme park, and museum construction and themeing.

“Gallopalooza brought joy to viewers of all ages,” said Matt Thornton, CEO of Thorntons Inc., who will co-chair the 2009 project with his wife, Fran. “It was a fun event that uplifted spirits and encouraged people to travel to parts of Louisville they may not normally visit. Thorntons is thrilled to be the presenting sponsor of Gallopalooza 2009 since it builds community awareness, instills civic pride, and raises money for a great cause – Brightside’s clean and green programs.”

“This year, the theme for the horses will be ‘Possibility City’ to tie in with our community’s new branding campaign,” said Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson. “Artists are encouraged to depict the great aspects of our hometown, from our history, diverse neighborhoods, commitment to the arts and great parks to the exciting new projects and progress happening throughout the community. The horses provide a great canvas to convey what makes Louisville truly special.”

Horse sponsorships range from $3000 (for companies providing their own artists), to $25,000 for companies wanting to sponsor a major Gallopalooza event like the “Public Preview” in April. Sponsors will be able to display their horses at locations of their choosing from April to October 2009. At the conclusion of the project, they may decide to buy the horse permanently, or to put it up for auction. The 2004 auction raised nearly $750,000 for Brightside and other nonprofits.

Cynthia Knapek, executive director of Brightside Inc., the project’s beneficiary, said only 200 horses will be available this time, so interested sponsors will need to sign up quickly.

Gallopalooza, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) created by Louisville businessman John Conti. Many horses from the 2004 event are still on display.

“Gallopalooza 2004 was not only a wonderful boost to civic pride, it was Brightside's most successful fundraiser ever,” noted Knapek. “It helped fund interstate wildflower plantings and new BrightSite landscapes all over town. Funds from the 2009 project will be designated toward projects that make the gateways to our great city beautiful. Since all of Brightside’s programs are privately funded, money raised from Gallopalooza will make a huge impact in our efforts to beautify our community for both tourists and residents alike."


(The design for ‘Playful’ is not ready for public release)


“The public will be able to select from three very different designs,” said Gallopalooza Executive Director Lynn Huffman. “Each one offers a new angle to our project: we have the very stylized ‘Origami’ design that honors the rich history of horses in art and their importance to the world for centuries, but also represents the diverse cultures found in Louisville. ‘Knight,’ our chess piece option that would fit nicely inside lobbies or other places a full-size horse may not be able to go, positions Louisville as a playful, yet strategic and cerebral city. Our third option for the public to consider is a bench entitled ‘Relax.’ Since so many people wanted to touch and climb upon the horses, we felt this would be a great compromise. The design is very family-oriented and would look great in someone’s garden.”

Major Gallopalooza sponsors currently include:

Presenting Sponsor: Thorntons Inc.

Event Partners: Bee Line Courier Service • Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center • Power Creative • Sam Swope Auto Group, LLC • Weber Group, Inc.

Event Sponsors: Brown-Forman • Kindred • Texas Roadhouse • Yum! Brands

Co-Sponsors: AT&T • john conti Coffee Company • US Bank

Editor’s Note:

Weber Group, Inc. is located at 5233 Progress Way, Sellersburg, IN;

Horses from the 2004 project can be found at:

· 401 W. Main St (in front of One Riverfront Plaza)

· Corner of Fourth and Jefferson (in park area of Aegon Tower)

· 1860 Mellwood Ave

· 137 W. Jefferson St (inside)

· 301 W. Market St

# #

Lynn Huffman, Gallopalooza 502.394.0978
Lisa Gunterman, Brightside 502.574.2339

Editor’s Note: To take photos/video footage of horses being carved, contact Penny Peavler of Weber Group, Inc., 812.246.2100 x125