A Special Mule Memorialized in Bronze
by Helen T. Hertz
Lucky Three is much more than a working mule ranch. It is also home to the Loveland Longears Museum & Sculpture Park, a work in progress. While Meredith has spent much of the last thirty years breeding, training and showing mules and donkeys, she has also indulged a passion for longears art and created an ideal setting in which to share her collection with the public. She regularly welcomes visitors to Lucky Three and offers guided tours. Visitors get up close and personal with Meredith’s mules and donkeys, learn more about life on a working ranch and enjoy fine art—a truly unique experience.
Within the equine industry, Meredith has made her mark as an educator, author and advocate. As a patron of the arts she has collected works by Robin and several other artists, including Bonnie Shields, Dawn Weimer and Cammie Lundeen.
Tennessee sculptor and artist Bonnie Shields and Meredith have collaborated on an ongoing endeavor to create children’s books based on a character of Meredith’s creation, Jasper the Mule. Bonnie not only illustrates each sequel, she also produces storyboard drawings in preparation for an animated production of each story. Her storyboards were used to create the first animated program in the series, Jasper: The Story of a Mule, which has aired repeatedly on RFD-TV and is available on DVD.
Meredith eventually had the idea to memorialize some of her own animals and commissioned Bonnie Shields to do the first. Bonnie’s first life-size bronze, a likeness of Meredith jumping her champion donkey Little Jack Horner over a stone wall, was installed at the ranch in 2005. That same year Meredith also asked Robin Laws to produce a life-size bronze of her champion mule executing a dressage pattern with Meredith astride titled Sundowner.
Sundowner was completed in the summer of 2005 and Meredith was so pleased with the final product that she immediately asked Robin and her team to begin work on the Mae Bea, C.T. piece.
“What was so challenging was the level of detail,” Robin says. “Not only did we have to capture the likenesses and personalities of Meredith and Mae Bea, but we also had this extremely complex cart with all of its intricacies.” “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” Meredith recalls. “After seeing it in pieces for so many months, it took my breath away.”
Robin has already begun work on the next commissioned bronze for Meredith. It is of a mule, of course.
“Donkeys and mules have carried our burdens and been our buddies for centuries,” Robin says. “They’re a wonderful subject for art, and Meredith has such an admirable passion for them.”
For Meredith’s part, she is pleased to be able to make such a significant contribution to the city where she’s lived for more than 25 years. The Loveland Longears Museum & Sculpture Park will continue to benefit a town already known for its world-class sculpture shows and it gives Meredith endless opportunity to educate visitors and fans on the virtues of her favorite animals. Visit www.luckythreeranch.com