Frozen foal inspiration for World Horse Trails of “painted ponies”

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Lucas posing with the World Horse Trails maquette that he inspired.
Lucas posing with the World Horse Trails maquette that he inspired.

Equestrian personalities, celebrities and artists are joining to decorate three trails of “painted pony” sculptures created by international equine charity World Horse Welfare.

For World Horse Trails, 40 horse sculptures will be on display at several locations including the Royal Windsor Horse Show and around the towns of Windsor and Eton as well as across the charity’s four rescue and rehoming centres.

The latest “trail” follows on from the success of the charity’s 2016 Invisible Horse Trail, but this time World Horse Welfare wanted to create something even bigger as part of its Charity of the Year partnership with the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Created by acclaimed sculptor Judy Boyt, the 40 horses will be a combination of 11hh sculptures and miniature maquettes standing at about 35cm high, with each one designed and painted by a leading artist, equestrian personality or celebrity.

Sculptor Judy Boyt with Lucas.
Sculptor Judy Boyt with Lucas.

The muse for the sculptures is rehomed competition horse World Horse Welfare Lucas, who was rescued as a yearling from a frozen field with his mother, both of whom were fighting to survive the harsh winter. Lucas is now transformed and regularly competes at British Eventing with his rehomer Colleen in Fife, Scotland. Judy travelled to meet Lucas and live-sculpt him late last year before creating an 11hh sculpture back home in her Wiltshire studio, which was then used to create the mould for production of the fibreglass sculptures.

“Sculpting Lucas for the 2019 Trail has introduced me to another amazing horse that was rescued along with his mother by World Horse Welfare,” Boyt said.

“I spent three days up in a rather cold but sunny Fife with Lucas and his rehomer, Colleen McCrae. I did a small maquette of him in wax, to use later for scaling up to the larger version, 1.20m tall, made in clay ready for the moulders and casters to replicate the numbers for the new trail.

Lucas with his sculpture maquette
Lucas with his sculpture maquette.

“He did inspect the sculpture while I went along, checking out his rather large ears!  He was brilliant to work with, if rather laid back and asleep in his stable until he went out into the field and then it was gauntlets off and full steam ahead!”

Ten of the 11hh sculptures will form the ‘Show Trail’ which will be displayed at the Royal Windsor Horse Show from May 8 to 12, and will then travel to several other events through the summer. Ten 11hh horses will also make up the Borough Trail which will be around the towns of Windsor and Eton from mid-April to mid-July, and then 20 miniature horse sculptures will feature across World Horse Welfare’s four Rescue and Rehoming Centres in Norfolk, Somerset, Lancashire and Aberdeenshire.

One of the completed sculptures ready for painting for the World Horse Trails.
One of the completed sculptures ready for painting for the World Horse Trails.
Public design competition

A competition to design one of the large sculptures will be judged by World Horse Welfare Patron and former Olympic gymnast, Suzanne Dando-Reynolds. Entrants will be challenged to tell the story of youngster World Horse Welfare Hope through their design with the winning submission painted by a studio artist and going on display as part of the Borough Trail around Windsor and Eton.

Entries close on March 18. Entrants must be over the age of 16.

Under-16s can enter a competition to design one of the miniature horse sculptures which will be judged by YouTube star ThisEsme. The winning design will be painted onto the maquette by a studio artist and the finished piece will star in the Farm Trail.

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