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War Horse Joey has sold for £35,000 at a charity auction.

The life-size horse puppet, used in the award-winning National Theatre production, was sold on 13 September and reached the highest price of all the lots.

The sale by Bonhams in New Bond Street, London, made £68,000 for the Handspring Trust, a charity that “inspires creativity, commitment and innovation towards new puppet theatre arts”.

Fellow War Horse puppet Topthorn sold for £8,500 and Joey the foal sold for £8,000.

The smaller puppets also generated thousands of pounds for the charity.

The goose went for £5,000, the two crows £2,000, horses Coco and Heine £4,000 and the four mustering horses £5,5000.

The puppets were made by the Handspring Puppet Company in South Africa.

Farms for City Children

The War Horse show is based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo.

The story, first published in 1982, is about a young boy called Albert and his horse Joey, who is caught up in the first global conflict.

The Joey foal puppet was sold to Graham and Rose Ward, the owners of War Horse Valley Country Park in Iddesleigh, which is one of the settings for the story.

As well as being a public attraction and working farm, the farm is visited by about 1,000 children a year through Mr Morpurgo’s charity, Farms for City Children, which gives young people from urban areas an experience of rural life.


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The War Horse show ran for eight years in London and toured to 11 countries.

Although the original puppets have retired, War Horse is set to return.

The National Theatre has announced that the play will visit seven UK venues from September next year in a run that will continue into 2018.