Hundreds at Phar Lap unveiling

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The bronze statue of Phar Lap was unveiled at Timaru Racecourse today.
The bronze statue of Phar Lap was unveiled at Timaru Racecourse today. © Horsetalk.co.nz

Hundreds of people turned up at Timaru’s racecourse this afternoon for the long-awaited unveiling of the bronze statue of Phar Lap.

The cover came off on schedule at 3.30pm, revealing the life-size bronze of the champion at full stride, with regular jockey Jim Pike in the saddle.

The onlookers then gathered tightly around the sculpture to admire its detail, right down to the nails in the horse’s shoes.

The sculpture is the work of South-African born Joanne Sullivan-Gessler, now living in Auckland.

The life-size bronze of Phar Lap shows the champion at full stride, with regular jockey Jim Pike in the saddle.
The life-size bronze of Phar Lap shows the champion at full stride, with regular jockey Jim Pike in the saddle. © Horsetalk.co.nz

She promised a work of world-class quality and the hundreds of Phar Lap fans who headed to Phar Lap Raceway were not disappointed.

Phar Lap’s birthplace is just a few hundred metres away, across State Highway 1.

The statue of the 17.1-hand thoroughbred sits on a plinth in the middle of a fountain over a map of New Zealand, with his foot planted firmly on his birthplace.

» Rebirth of a champion: The story of Phar Lap

Sculptor Joanne Sullivan-Gessler with the Phar Lap statue.
Sculptor Joanne Sullivan-Gessler with the Phar Lap statue. © Horsetalk.co.nz

Click each image to see an enlargement. All Images © Neil Clarkson / Horsetalk.co.nz

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