The Carving of Cowboy Casanova: The Work of Sculptor Brandon Wilson

In the foothills of Albemarle County, Virginia, stands a hand-carved statue of an amazing horse.

Brandon Wilson, owner of Mountainside Sculpture & Design, carved this beautiful jumper horse and rider out of a 13-foot maple stump. He transformed the tree into a beautiful piece of art that was modeled after a prize-winning pony, Cowboy Casanova, that the clients had. 

Brandon Wilson stands with his carving Cowboy Casanova
Carved from a 13-foot maple stump, the piece will eventually have a jump installed onto it.

The client, Kat Perry at White Hall Stables, says, “The saying goes, and you hear it often, ‘He was my heart-horse,’ and you are lucky if you ever get to say those words about a horse, but Cowboy Casanova was a heart-horse to not just one girl, but many.” 

This was one of the more challenging pieces Brandon has done in his nine-year carving career. It was his first large-scale horse, and Brandon created the sculpture using various chainsaws and power tools. When getting down to the finer details, he uses sanders and die grinders with special bits and attachments.

Perry continued, “If you were granted the opportunity just to ride him once, you were truly blessed. He was an opinionated one, and if he felt a connection with his rider, he would give you his heart and soul around the ring and over every jump. He loved to jump, he loved to show off, and with his award-winning lead change, you couldn’t help but watch him.” 

Cowboy Casanova in action

Cowboy Casanova was a Welsh/Thoroughbred cross, but it was his beautiful big brown eyes that were said to capture his riders’ hearts. “While he had you under his spell, he just might steal your muffin, bagel with cream cheese–he loved cream cheese, goldfish, or coffee,” Kat Perry said.  “If you ever have the privilege to adore a horse like Cowboy, hold on to him because it changes you. He changed us all.”

The incredible carving will eventually have a jump installed in front of the piece to complete it.