Wild Horse Monument: Roadside Art Along the Columbia River


Wild Horse Monument

Wild Horse Monument is perched on a ridge along I-90 east of the small town of Vantage, Washington. It’s easily seen from the road driving in either direction, but the best way to experience this sculpture is to hike up to the charging life-size horses.

The monument also called “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies,” was built by Chewelah sculpture artist David Govedare in 1989 and honors a time when real wild horses roamed the steppes of Eastern Washington. There is a total of fifteen horses and each one weights 1,200 lbs.

When I visited Wild Horse Monument there was no information in the parking lot about it, which I found very odd. A few Google searches later I discovered the sculpture is unfinished and Govedare’s plan was to have the horses running out of a giant basket that “Grandfather Spirit” had turned over, hence the title, “Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies.”

I’m not sure its unfinished status is why there is a lack of signage for Wild Horse Monument. At this point, 26 years later, it would be helpful to have better roadside signage, and more importantly, information to help visitors understand the artist’s vision.


13 thoughts on “Wild Horse Monument: Roadside Art Along the Columbia River”

  1. They should definitely add some signage! Also, I think it would be good if they could remove the graffiti. Otherwise, it is a very fitting monument in an amazing landscape.

  2. This is really beautiful, and must be a great sight from the distance because they look like wild horses running. Love odd places like this, but I have to agree with you that it’s weird they don’t have any information about this. They’ve been standing there for a long time now…

  3. This is a cool and unique installation. The size and weight of the horses alone is impressive. I had no clue this existed. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Interesting place and the horses truly look real from afar! We wish to have a great adventure here someday and I agree that monuments like this deserves more information!

  5. Danielle, It’s such a shame that this may be overlooked by lots of visitors because there are no signs or a description of the artwork. From far, the horses look so real, like they are in motion!

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