Life-sized Phar Lap bronze to be created in Timaru

August 3, 2006

The mighty Phar Lap. Jim Pike up and Tommy Woodcock leading.
A $500,000 Timaru memorial to champion South Canterbury racehorse Phar Lap is a step closer to reality, with a trust now facing the task of raising the required money.

The monument will consist of a life-sized bronze memorial of the champion racehorse in full gallop, ridden by his regular jockey Jim Pike and demonstrating his impressive 22-foot gallop stride.

Phar Lap will be galloping over a map of New Zealand with his front hoof placed squarely over Timaru, as a firm reminder of the great horse's South Canterbury heritage.

The base of the statue will be a water fountain which will bring the statue to life with the sound of water emulating galloping hoof beats.

The decision to commission the statue in life size, will recreate Phar Lap's world-renowned presence. Standing at 17 hands high with the strong muscular body, Phar Lap won the richest races in Australia and the United States of America before his premature death in 1932.

An artist's impression of the statue.

The Phar Lap Charitable Trust has commissioned the services of Auckland-based Joanne Sullivan-Gessler as the sculptor and project manager for the overall completion of the statue. Joanne is an international sculptor of 20 years with a string of prestigious commissions to her name.

The trust is hoping to use a Timaru based professional to create the fountain and base for the statue. Where possible, the trust hopes to have local input into the creation of this work.