Speedhorse, November 2013 - page 10

Izzy Legal: A Work Of Art
After winning multiple world championships and
setting records in American Paint Horse Racing, it’s no
wonder that Izzy Legal’s connections wanted to com-
memorate the horse’s achievements by creating a work
of art. Izzy Legal, a homebred gelding racing for Oyana
Wilson, was a talented runner by Desert Jewel and out
of the Easily Smashed mare Mightily Smashed.
In 1999, Izzy Legal became the first Paint Horse
to win the World Championship Paint Running
Horse title three times. The following year, he added
to his accolades when he became the lifetime leading
Paint by wins and money earned when he won his
27th race and pushed his earnings to $159,879.
Wilson didn’t have to look far to find an artist
ready and willing to create a sculpture of the horse.
Fellow Muskogee, Oklahoma, resident Genie Basey
not only had the artistic talent, but she was also a fan
of the racehorse and had been following his career at
the track.
“I was real glad to do that,” Basey said. “He’s a
great horse.”
While Izzy Legal was bred for speed and a career
at the track, Basey’s sculpting talent was discovered
almost by accident.
The 67-year-old artist didn’t begin her artistic
career until her 50s when she signed up for a class at
Bacone College in her hometown.
“I decided to take a local class called bronze cast-
ing,” she recalls. “At the time, I thought you could
take things up there and dip them in bronze. That’s
what I thought the class was.”
But it turns out, the class was much more
advanced. Students learned to sculpt objects out
of clay to make bronze art. The artistic process
involves creating the clay sculptures then carefully
creating molds and eventually pouring melted
bronze into concrete casts. Breaking the con-
crete to reveal the work of art can be a bit nerve
wracking.
“When that cools, you break open the shell,”
Basey says. “The first time that you do that, it scares
you to death because you think that you’re breaking
the bronze, too.”
The Month in review
by Jennifer K. Hancock
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8
SPEEDHORSE
,  November 2013
Track chatter
Wax model for the rear of the sculpture
Wax model for the front of the sculpture
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