JEFFERSON COUNTY - Jefferson County authorities say the vandalism of a controversial piece of artwork on Highway 72 was not a random act.

Many 9NEWS viewers noticed a red horse in a field near Rocky Flats. The Cold War Horse just went on display a couple weeks ago. It's outfitted with a gas mask and a hazmat suit. 

The artist, 31-year-old Jeff Gipe, wanted wanted people who saw the horse to remember Rocky Flats - a nuclear weapons production facility - and the people who worked there. 

The Cold War Horse was knocked down and repeatedly struck with a hammer in the middle of the night, according to JeffCo. The amount of work that went into the vandalism tells investigators it was planned. 

Gipe believes the person responsible for the vandalism had an invested interest to get rid of it. Gipe said the only negative feedback he's received about the Cold War Horse came from a developer in a newer subdivision in the area.

The next step will be repairing the horse, according to Gipe, which could take months. A dedication for the Cold War Horse is scheduled for Oct. 18 and will go on as planned - without the horse.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is asking for help finding the person responsible.

(© 2015 KUSA)