In Swaymous

Hay Girl Haaaay

The painted ponies gallop into the streets of downtown Southern Pines for the fourth time later this week. An annual fundraiser for the Carolina Horse Park, each pony is sponsored by a business and painted by a local artist, and auctioned off after a time spent hitched to a sidewalk platform.

Larissa Lycholaj is showing off her artwork for the third year with “Where Liberty Dwells.” Larissa has painted ponies every year since making her debut with “Sgt. Reckless,” a horse with an American Flag motif, in 2021. “It was the first piece of art I ever shared publicly,” she says.

Larissa, a self-taught artist, grew up riding horses but doesn’t have the time to keep a horse now because she is also active-duty military. With “Where Liberty Dwells,” she includes North Carolina symbols like the cardinal and dogwood flowers, as well as the Moore County Hounds. 

“I got to go walking with them over the summer and have been obsessed ever since,” she says. “It’s fascinating to see how intimate the relationship between the huntsman and the hounds is.” You can find Larissa’s paintings of the hounds on products in Dahr and Moore Equine, as well as on her website. You can also request commissions for one of her semi-impressionist paintings. This year, her pony will be stationed at Red’s Corner

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