Heavy metal: sculpture combines love of couple’s classic cars and horses

By Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

A new breed of horse, “The Chrome Commander,” trotted through Tucumcari this week.

The shiny horse — sculpted from more than 100 classic car bumpers — is owned by Vaughn and Chryse Veit of Monticello, Minn. Weighing in at more than a ton and standing at 12 feet, the sculpture attracted motorists along Route 66, who stopped and took photos as it was parked in front of the Blue Swallow Inn.

The Veits stayed at the Blue Swallow on their way to California.

The horse was commissioned to symbolize the collaboration of their two passions with Vaughn Veit’s love of classic cars and Chryse Viet’s love of the American Saddlebred horse.

The couple have been respectful of each other’s preference for horsepower.

For example, Chryse Veit said, at the couple’s wedding that Vaughn Veit drove up in a yellow 1933 Ford Cabriolet and she rode up on a horse, named Creative Spirit’s Lottery Ticket, raised by her family.

“If you look closely at The Chrome Commander’s tail you can see one from a ’55 Chevy,” said Chryse Veit. “He’s one of a kind, something that can never be duplicated. We named him The Chrome Commander after the one of the most famous American Saddlebreds of all time, Wing Commander.”

The sculpture was originally designed to be placed in front of the horse stables at the Veits’ Maple Hills Stables estate in Minnesota, where she raises and breeds American Saddlebred horses which is the source of the inspiration for the sculptures creation and design, Chryse Veit said.

Since its debut last November at the American Royal Horse Show in Kansas City it has been on the road. It has made appearances at the Missouri Governors Ball, and in magazines such as Horse World, Saddle and Bridle. It is to appear in a future issue of Street Rodder magazine, said Chryse Veit.

The Veits said they stopped off in Tucumcari on their way to take The Chrome Commander to be displayed at the Blackie Gejeian’s 48th annual Fresno Autorama March 16-18 at Fresno. Calif.