Badminton has its own unique “painted ponies” for 2016 horse trials

Judy Boyt crafting the clay maquette of World Horse Welfare May.
Judy Boyt crafting the clay maquette of World Horse Welfare May.

A “painted pony” trail with a difference is heading to this year’s Badminton Horse Trials, with the subjects designed by award-winning sculptor Judy Boyt, who also created the event’s iconic silver trophy.

The unique herd is part of the ‘Invisible Horse Trail’ from World Horse Welfare, Badminton’s charity for 2016. This year the charity is highlighting the plight of “invisible” horses suffering in silence.

Celebrated sculptor and designer Judy Boyt has also worked in partnership with several the UK’s best artists to create several miniature fibreglass horses which will then be designed and painted by well-known artists and personalities, before going on display in an interactive trail for visitors at Badminton in May.

World Horse Welfare May was the model for the ‘Invisible Horse Trail’ at Badminton.
World Horse Welfare May was the model for the ‘Invisible Horse Trail’ at Badminton.

World Horse Welfare’s Adoption Horse, May, at the charity’s Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerset, was selected as Judy’s muse in order to craft a clay maquette which will be used to create a mould for the individual horses, each standing at 7hh.

In addition to creating the Badminton Horse Trials silver trophy in 1992, Boyt has undertaken commissions for Royal families, large organisations, venues and private collections around the world, cementing her reputation as one of the leading equestrian sculptors.

“It is an honour to be asked to sculpt the horse for the Invisible Horse Trail and it is a great opportunity for me to be able to contribute something back to the animal that has featured so much in my life,” Boyt said.

“I was delighted to meet the amazing character May, my hairy, chunky cob-type model and at the same time see first-hand the care and diligent work carried out by all the staff at World Horse Welfare. This experience has opened my eyes to the plight of too many neglected horses and ponies.”

World Horse Welfare Director of Fundraising, Emma Williams said the Invisible Horse Trail was a unique way to tell the stories of World Horse Welfare horses and ponies, through the skills of talented artists and designers.

“We’re so grateful to Judy for helping us to bring the Invisible Horse Trail to fruition when only a couple of months ago it was just the seeds of an idea,” Williams said.

“Seeing our adoption horse May immortalised in her stunning clay maquette was a really special moment and we can’t wait to see the trail horses in action once our artists have worked their magic.”

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.

Artists and sponsors for the Invisible Horse Trail are being confirmed. Those interested in sponsoring a horse on the trail should Lucie Stangl,

The completed clay maquette of World Horse Welfare May.
The completed clay maquette of World Horse Welfare May.

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