Above, David Edwards of the Art Foundry watches as the 2,500-pound bronze mare is lowered by a crane. At right, sculptor Todd Andrews guides the placement of the piece.

Equestrian ranch gets bronze mascot

When a crane gently deposited the 2,500-pound statue of a horse and its 500-pound foal at the entry to the Shires on Friday, Machelle Emmrich knew her dream had become a reality.

The 46-year-old Elk Grove resident decided to become a land developer three years ago when ovarian cancer took her out of the field of high-tech. She opened Sheldon Farms, a gourmet market off Grant Line Road , and started making plans for a high-end equestrian subdivision. She and her husband, Paul, formed Equestrian Estate Partners and began developing 12 home sites on 30 acres on Bond Road, near Bader Road . It took them more than two years. "We had to battle for everything," Emmrich said. "For no lights, a well, open space...."

The Emmrichs put the lots on the market in September and sold all but one in less than a week. All were sold for $430,000 to $470,000.

The subdivision features 120 oak trees, a bridge, 5 acres of open space - and now bronze horses.

Emmrich said she wanted something special for the entrance and commissioned sculptor Todd Andrews of Grass Valley to create the mare and foal bronze statues.

Although the pair are actually inside the entrance, they can be viewed by passing motorists. They're situated to look as if they are casually grazing.