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Horse owners know just how important it is to look after their beloved steeds… and whether those equines are real or mythical makes little difference.

The Kelpies, the world’s largest pair of equine sculptures, are having their first “health check” since they were unveiled in 2014.

Custodians Scottish Canals have arranged a visit by a unique team of specialists, who will be grooming their coats, checking their teeth and inspecting every inch of the majestic beasts.

“As The Kelpies approach their third birthday, the maintenance work as part of this important health check will ensure that these global waterway icons are here, delivering for Scotland over the next century and beyond,” said Richard Millar, director of infrastructure at Scottish Canals.

“Continuing to capture the imaginations of people all over the planet and helping to put Falkirk and Grangemouth on tourists’ ‘must-see’ lists the world over.”

The 30m-tall Kelpies watch over a new section of the historic Forth & Clyde Canal and are clad in 990 shimmering steel panels.

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Tours inside the pair will continue throughout the work and visitors will be able to see what it takes to care for the majestic equines.

Inspiration for the mythical sculptures came from the heavy horses who pulled boats and cargo along the towpaths of Scotland’s canals. Their name came from the legendary shape-shifting water spirit of Celtic folklore, which were said to inhabit Scotland’s lochs and pools.

The Kelpies weigh around 300 tonnes each and were created by Andy Scott.

They were constructed on-site in 90 days and since their unveiling, more than 2.5 million visitors have stood in their shadow.

An entire horse sculpture built on the same scale would stand around 213m tall (or over 2,000hh) — now that would be a lot of grooming…

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