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Georgetown Toyota plant helping place clear coating on Horse Mania horses

In order for the art to hold up in the harsh elements, it needs a special coating.
Published: May. 16, 2022 at 5:11 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Horse Mania is back.

The colorful public art display will soon be seen around Lexington and in schools. But in order for the art to hold up in the harsh elements, it needs a special coating. Interesting enough, it’s a project a team at Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Kentucky has decided to take on.

They know a little something about horsepower.

“Over 70 foals will come through this process here at Toyota Motor Manufacturing through their paint process to get what we call clear coated,” said Ame Sweetall, president and CEO of LexArts.

Five team members took a break from coating cars to coating foals, even coming in on the weekends to do this.

“And really it only makes since to go to the professionals that know what they’re doing,” Sweetall said.

This project is headed by LexArts. One of its board members is also general manager at Toyota and the two worlds came together.

“I said I’m not a paint guy so I reached out to my paint team and said, ‘hey guys you think we can do this?’” said David Bugg, the general manager of production control at TMMK.

Brad McKinney is the Paint Pilot Group Leader. He’s used to applying a coat to aluminum and metal, but not to a fiberglass foal.

“Definitely adheres differently, you got to spray it differently,” McKinney said.

This team meticulously makes sure no spot is untouched.

“Trying to find those hard spots that is not much different when it comes to cars,” McKinney said.

They’re taking a break from one kind of horsepower to another, and McKinney says his team loves it.

“They really get excited about it so they know these horses are going to be around town or in the schools in the future and they know they had a small part to do with it,” McKinney said.

Toyota donated its services, saving LexArts more than $100,000.

If you want to see those beautiful foals, a public preview will be held at Ashland The Henry Clay Estate June 17 and 18. After that, the horses will line Town Branch Commons along Vine and Midland.

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