A herd of horses are helping to raise money for terminally ill people.

The collection of 24 unique horse sculptures have been displayed across west Kent and East Sussex.

Local artists have designed and decorated each sculpture, with the installations featuring inspiration from areas including the natural world, countryside, mythology and Shakespeare.

The idea is to draw people out into the community to see the horses and to raise funds and awareness for the Hospice in the Weald.

Schools in the area have also created 29 ponies in support of the project and all the equines will gather at the Royal Victoria Palace in Tunbridge Wells for an exhibition on 3-13 October.

Fans of the exhibition will also have the chance to buy one of the horses at auction on 11 October. Online bids are being taken ahead of the event on www.herdofthehospice.co.uk

“These sculptures have been brilliantly designed and brought a huge public reaction,” said Nick Farthing from the hospice.

“Each one is completely original in design, thanks to the artists’ vivid creativity.

“A number of horse-lovers have already inquired about buying one of the horses as an unusual and lovely gift or to adorn their own home.”

The hospice, based in Pembury, provides free care to patients with a terminal illness, their families and carers in west Kent and north-east Sussex.

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The horses have been in place since July, but the exhibition has not been without issue.

Sadly, last month vandals attacked and damaged three of the heard, which have since been repaired.

“So much brilliant creative work has gone into the designs that it is heartbreaking to have this happen,” said Mr Farthing.

“The horses will be repaired but that is going to cost us money we can ill afford to lose.

“It is so disappointing for all of the people who have been joining in the fun since we launched the Herd of the Hospice? campaign in July.

“So many people have told us how much they have enjoyed going around Kent to find all the horses.

“As we are a charity, not part of the NHS, Hospice in the Weald is so dependent on the community it serves to help raise funds in order for us to continue to provide vital care and support to patients, families and carers.

“It is incredibly upsetting that a small minority of people would attempt to ruin what has been a very positive campaign for the majority of the community.”

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