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Column: Justin, the painting horse, gets more notice


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Adonna Combs hands a brush to her resident artist, Justin the Fresian horse, in her barn in 2011.
FILE PHOTO
Adonna Combs hands a brush to her resident artist, Justin the Fresian horse, in her barn in 2011. FILE PHOTO


One of the more interesting — certainly among the most unusual — would have to be the doings of Justin, the painting horse. A 9-year-old equine owned by Adonna Combs of Columbus, he was featured in a Sept. 25 column about his planned appearance at a fundraising event in Dixon, Ill.

Readers might remember that Dixon is the city where a government official was accused of stealing millions of dollars that she funneled into her horse farm operations — thus one connection to Justin.

There was another. By that time Justin was pretty well-known for his painting talents. For almost two years he has been splashing paint onto canvas with brushes clenched between his teeth.

The result has been a series of what could be described as abstract works that sell. Several have been purchased for figures that sometimes reach into the thousands of dollars.

Justin already had been discovered before the Dixon appearance. He was the subject of a number of newspaper stories and was featured on a segment of the ABC TV program “Good Morning America.”

Post-Dixon, his fame has only spread. Recently he popped up on a CNN news segment. The network had dispatched a team to Columbus and interviewed Adonna along with a number of Justin’s fans.

The highlight of the segment might well have been a scene showing one of Justin’s paintings, only this one was far from abstract. The news reporter suggested that it was a self-portrait, and it did, indeed, look like a horse.

So what else would you expect from a horse artist?

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