Sonny Rivera's 'True Grit' sculpture

Visitors to the Museum are greeted by a beautiful new sculpture in front of the Bruce King Building.

The life-sized bronze by Albuquerque artist Reynaldo “Sonny” Rivera captures the determination and skill of barrel racer Amberley Snyder. Rivera, a native of Mesquite, N.M., read an article in Horse & Rider Magazine about Snyder’s inspirational story of competing in the sport she loves after being paralyzed from the waist down in a vehicle accident when she was 18.

“I was so intrigued by her story, and was inspired by it, that I called Amberley and got permission to feature her as the model for the barrel racer in my sculpture,” said Rivera, who named the art piece “True Grit.”

Snyder, now 28, returned to barrel racing with a special saddle 18 months after the accident. She also shares her story as a motivational speaker.

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