It has inspired photographers, poets, painters, sculptors and artists of many genres. In particular it was the inspiration for one of Missouri’s greatest artists and sculptors, Clay Gant of Cross Timbers whose work can be found around the world. His vision of the “Rawhide” tale is set as a tired but grateful “drover” resting on a hill overlooking Sedalia after driving the herd to where the trail met the rail. Like many wranglers, he is a former Confederate cavalryman whose prospects after the Civil War were limited and the cattle drive was one of the few options for employment for a war survivor and his horse. Having endured the one thousand miles of trail dust, flooded rivers, bushwackers, stampedes, lightning and survived the cholera and anthrax outbreaks he has dismounted on the hill overlooking the Queen City of the Prairie. He has his bible which he carried into battle throughout the war and is resting on a rock in his solitude being thankful for his safe arrival as his steady horse who rests ground tied close at hand. He gives a grateful prayer.
"God, I humbly give thanks for this successful cattle drive and for my steady partner who hung with me day and night over the months and miles of rough trails. I am grateful for you seeing us through and for my trusted companion as we have had each other’s back more times than I care to remember. I’ve come to admire and respect this two legged creature of yours and ask you to watch over us as we ride the west together. Amen"
Trails End was envisioned as a historical, educational, artistic and inspirational project commemorating the American Cowboy, the great railroad expansion, the pioneers and homesteaders of the 19th century.
About the Artist
Clay Gant has ridden and trained and shown and broken horses. He has been bucked off horses-which is why he knows them from “the ground up” and why he has a horsemans AND an artists conception of what a horse is supposed to look like and why his equine sculptures are coveted around the world.