One-of-a-Kind Statue Unveiled in Rancho Murieta California

Author: Alex Taft

One-of-a-Kind Statue Unveiled in Rancho Murieta California

In the horse industry, nothing is a sure thing. The saying, “Expect the Unexpected,” would seem fitting to most who are members of the cutting community. And the statue by Jan Mapes unveiled at Carol Ward’s new hotel, The Murieta Inn & Spa, embodied the true essence of the phrase.

When Carol first approached Jan about creating a large piece for the entryway of the hotel, she knew she wanted to incorporate both a sombrero and a rearing horse. Jan came up with a concept to have a horse spooking and rearing at a thrown sombrero, and Carol loved the idea. What first started as a 12-13 inch mock up sculpture eventually transformed into the roughly 10 foot finished product. Carol and Jan revealed the unique work of art last night, on Sept. 11, 2018, and the people who saw the piece for the first time were nothing short of amazed.

Everyone was impressed by this statue called "Expect the Unexpected," which took about one year in total for artist Jan Mapes to create.

“We didn’t talk about the phrase, “Expect the Unexpected,” and yet, when Carol saw the piece, it’s like we had already spoken about it,” said Jan, who has been sculpting for 38 years. “We were on the same track in our mind. The title is all about horses, and expecting the unexpected with them, but also with life. You can approach life with that attitude and embrace what happens in your life and move forward with it. It was really fun because of that uniqueness of it.”

Jan had a special appreciation for this piece because of her love and dedication for horses. She not only rode cutting horses for about 30 years, but she also molds the wonderful National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) bronze trophies we all love. Jan is always grateful for any opportunity she is given to combine her passion for art and horses, so she thoroughly enjoyed this project with Carol.

“I want to say how much I appreciate Carol and her vision and energy toward what she is doing in Rancho Murieta [CA],” Jan said. “I’m thankful she has let me be involved in that movement in creating a wonderful venue and peaceful place for people to come enjoy cutting and all kinds of equine sports. I am glad to be a part of it, and really appreciate it. Being able to be involved with the NCHA even though I am not showing anymore is very important to me.”

To see more of Jan’s work and browse available pieces, please click here


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