A tattoo artist has just completed an unusual request from one of her clients – a lifelike portrait of Kauto Star.

Shawnee Quinn, who runs Athena Art in Sunderland contacted H&H about the commission – the first time she has been asked to create a tattoo of a racehorse.

“Apparently my client, Steve Collings had a great attachment with Kauto Star and has won quite substantial funds whilst following him over the years,” she explained.

“He had told his wife that once Kauto Star retired, he was going to have his image tattooed over his heart because that is where he would always be,” she added.

The 12-year-old chaser has not run since being pulled up in the Gold Cup in March.

But Kauto – who has won a record 16 Grade One races, including five King George VI chases and two Gold Cups – has not yet been officially retired. He has spent the summer at grass at trainer Paul Nicholls’ yard in Ditcheat, Somerset.

Shawnee Quinn spent a week researching images of Kauto before settling on a final design with Mr Collings. His brief was for a “portrait-type tattoo in colour” which did not look too “cartoony”.

Mr Collings – who has backed Kauto Star in every race since the Tingle Creek Chase in 2005 –  is reported to be very pleased with his tattoo.

“He can now be seen as race meetings across the country,” said Ms Quinn. “He is the guy losing his shirt (literally) but this time it’s to show off his tattoo.”

Mr Collins is not the first person to adorn himself with an image of the great racehorse. In January, racing fan Emily Russell, from Northamptonshire, had her left calf adorned with Kauto, following his fifth King George win.

www.athena-art.co.uk