Still regarded as a symbol of hospitality and welcome, the lawn jockey once served a practical purpose as a hitching post. Riders Up Custom Cavaliers honors the tradition, particularly beloved in horse country, by taking these decorative ornaments to another level of skill and artistry. Much more than simply painted jockeys, Riders Up cavaliers undergo extensive repair and restoration. Whether working from new raw concrete statues or older jockeys, Katy Jones transforms these pieces in great detail as a high-end artist.
Katy’s successful business grew from a specific artistic pursuit that began with her love of riding as a child in western Kentucky. After moving to Lexington to attend UK, she began collecting vintage racing and equine memorabilia. Her mother’s Christmas gift to her of a 1970 Jim Beam 96th Kentucky Derby decanter inspired Katy’s first cavalier, Dust Commander jockey Mike Manganello.
Besides jockey silks and Derby jockey replicas, Katy enjoys her clients’ creative customization requests. Past commissions have included female jockeys, Bengals and Reds uniforms, tuxedos, and Harry Potter - complete with glasses and wand!
“I’ve created a strong niche for myself that has led people to find me from as far away as New York, Texas, and Los Angeles.” Riders Up Custom Cavaliers have also made their way to 12 additional states.
“My favorite part of the process is the customer conveying what they want and then figuring out how to make that work. I love new ideas and new challenges.” Katy also enjoys the customer’s reaction when they see their completed piece for the first time after going from raw concrete to the final product. She aims to make the surface “smooth like metal” using industrial paint, a quality clearcoat, and all the best materials and products.
Business is booming with the arrival of milder Spring weather and Kentucky Derby 149 fast approaching. Katy brings an evermore streamlined and efficient process to each Derby season. Christmas is another busy time of year, so busy that she usually cuts off orders by Halloween. Katy looks forward to expanding even further into the Louisville market, now offering delivery to Jefferson County.