J. Clayton Bright, a sculptor and painter based in Unionville, designed The Willowdale Steeplechase’s iconic weather vane, writes Eileen Smith Dallabrida for Main Line Today.
The artist created the three galloping horses and their jockeys at the request of his longtime friend Dixon Stroud, Willowdale’s race chairman.
“The weather vane grew out of a discussion we had,” Bright said. “It’s one of those fun kinds of projects.”
Bright’s inspiration for the design grew from the natural artistry of the setting and the horses themselves. Bright found the arc of a water jump to be more graceful than a regular fence’s up-and-down dynamic.
“Because of the water jump’s breadth, the horses hang at the peak of their jumping arc while they glide forward over the fence, before they start to extend their front legs in preparation for landing,” he said. “That split-second is as graceful as a couple dancing a waltz.”
Read more about J. Clayton Bright in Main Line Today here.