Badminton cross-country jump designed by young horse riders

The two winning entries from a design competition will be incorporated into World Horse Welfare's fence at Badminton.
The two winning entries from a design competition will be incorporated into World Horse Welfare’s fence at Badminton.

Two horse-mad youngsters have won a competition to design a cross-country fence at the famous Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials.

Eight year-old Lyla Mainwaring and Chloe Spence-Gray, 15, won the competition to design an element of World Horse Welfare’s Garden Gate fence as part of its Charity of the Year status at the iconic event.

Lyla Mainwaring and her pony, Ronnie.
Lyla Mainwaring and her pony, Ronnie.

Both Chloe’s inspiring design of a horse’s head seen in a close up of a human eye and Lyla’s creation of a horse made from horseshoes and plantings, will be brought to life at the prestigious Gloucestershire event in May which draws in crowds of up to 150,000 people every year.

Chloe, a student at East Leake Academy in Loughborough, was inspired to enter the competition to help raise the plight of horses in need and make a difference to their lives across the world.

“The invisible horse theme inspired me as something like this brings communities together, and gives people a realisation of the sad realities that are never fully brought to life,” Chloe said.

“I really want to be part of a group of people who will spread the word and make a difference to all the horses that are often invisible to the naked eye as is shown in my design.”

Lyla, a student at Amesbury School in Hindhead, based the design on her own pony, Ronnie, after finding out about the competition from Pony Magazine. She explains the inspiration behind her idea: “My design is a lying down topiary pony made from old rusty horseshoes. The front of the pony is looked after and cared for, planted with lovely flowers and lush grass and moss so he is all bushy and green. The back section is not being looked after and is just rusty old horseshoes so the pony is becoming invisible.”

Both have now won the chance to attend Badminton Horse Trials in May and see their designs brought to life on the cross-country course which will be jumped by some of the world’s top eventers.

World Horse Welfare Chief Executive Roly Owers said the charity was impressed by “all of the amazing entries”.

“But both Chloe’s and Lyla’s really stood out from the crowd as beautiful ways to visualise our invisible horse theme,” Owers said.

“We can’t wait to see the designs in pride of place at Badminton in May and hope Chloe and Lyla have wonderful days out to see their work in action!”

World Horse Welfare has named 2016 the year to highlight the world’s invisible horses who often suffer in silence as people either cannot or choose not to see them. From the horses left in barns and stables for weeks on end, to those working many hours every day on the streets of Choluteca in Honduras or Cape Town in South Africa who go unnoticed by governments and policymakers, to the horses transported long distances across borders to uncertain futures and those who sadly are sometimes found too late.

World Horse Welfare will be focusing on several key themes as the year progresses including; foals, rescue and rehoming, working horses around the world and campaigning to improve laws to protect horses.

Chloe Spence-Gray and her horse, Stanley.
Chloe Spence-Gray and her horse, Stanley.

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