Abandoned foal turned eventer inspires sculpture trail

  • A foal who was rescued from a freezing field has become the dashing poster boy for a World Horse Welfare campaign to raise awareness of the charity’s work.

    Lucas, who was found in Fife in 2013 with his emaciated mother and a group of other horses, has been chosen as the muse for a 40-sculpture trail that will be displayed at a number of locations across the UK this year.

    Lucas and his small herd were thought to have been abandoned on the land, and were struggling to survive the winter with little food or shelter when World Horse Welfare took them in. Lucas was still feeding from his mother, India, who was not only in poor condition but also carrying another foal.

    As a two-year-old, the piebald colt was rehomed by the charity, and has grown into a fantastic young sport horse for his rider Colleen Macrae, including making his British Eventing debut last year

    In recognition of his success story, sculptor Judy Boyt was commissioned to create a maquette of the young horse and this was used to create a mould for larger fibreglass models to be used in the trail.

    The artwork will build on the success of the 2016 Invisible Horse Sculpture Trail at the Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials, and aims to highlight the positive stories of the horses helped by the charity.

    Two trails of 20 11hh sculptures will be on display, around the towns of Windsor and Eton from mid-April, and moving to Kensington and Chelsea.

    The second trail will be showcased at the Royal Windsor Horse Show (8-12 May), which is featuring World Horse Welfare as its supported charity this year.

    Spectators at Royal Windsor will also get the opportunity to see Lucas in the flesh as he takes part in a showing class.

    “It will be exciting (and a little daunting) to see so many Lucases on the sculpture trails and it’s a real honour to have him representing World Horse Welfare,” said his rehomer Colleen. “People are always amazed at the fact that he is a rescue horse, so he’s a brilliant example of what these horses can achieve, proving they can go on and have an incredible life after a difficult start.

    “I’ve been asked if Lucas will let the fame go to this head but I’m not sure it will change the fact he spends about 90% of his time lying down, fast asleep! He’s often flat out and in dream world regardless of his surroundings, I’ve even plaited him up for a show whilst he’s flat-out asleep. This however, is all redeemed every morning where he insists on sharing my mug of tea and demonstrates his true love of croissants.”

    “Competing at Royal Windsor will be exciting, if a little nerve-wracking, but I know that Lucas will do his best and that’s all I can ever ask for,” she added.

    The World Horse Trail will be made up of six sculpture trails, all featuring designs which tell the story of World Horse Welfare’s work through different horses.

    Artists, celebrities and personalities have come on board to help design sculptures for the larger two trails, including Martin Clunes, Deborah Meaden, Sara Cox and Nick Skelton.

    A mini trail of small 35cm maquettes will also be on display at each of the charity’s four rescue and rehoming centres around the UK, including Belwade Farm in Aberdeenshire, throughout the summer.

    “I think the horse trail is a fantastic combination of art and horses — hopefully people will find the different designs thought-provoking and they will prompt people to think about all the horses, ponies and donkeys out there that need love,” said DJ Sara Cox.

    “I enjoyed the opportunity to tap into my creative side and raid my kids’ pencil case to work on the design,” added Sara, whose horse features closed eyes, showing that he and many like him are “invisible”.

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    “It’ll be lovely to get the kids out and make a day of finding all the horses,” she added. “Hopefully people will take some lovely photos of themselves with the sculptures to share on social media — which will show how well they’ve done to find them and most importantly, spread the word about the awesome work World Horse Welfare does.”

    Sara’s horse, named Mr Melvin Andrews after a pony found in a back yard last year, has been attributed to H&H to acknowledge our support of the charity.

    World Horse Welfare director of fundraising Emma Williams said the charity had aimed to create something “even bigger” than the 2016 trail, both to mark the partnership with the Royal Windsor and to share their work with a wider audience.

    “The horse sculptures are a fantastic visual way to show all the different aspects of how we help horses both in the UK and around the world, as well as celebrating some of the inspiring stories of rescued and rehomed equines,” she said.

    “We’d like to thank Horse & Hound for their support of Mr Melvin Andrews’ sculpture and also for helping us spread the word about the trail.”

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.

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