Congratulations are in order for Horse & Hound’s charity of the year World Horse Welfare, which has won a people’s choice award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show (23-27 May).
The charity won the artisan gardens category on 26 May for its special garden which tells the story of Clippy, a 12hh dapple grey pony who was rescued from terrible conditions by World Horse Welfare and restored to health.
Designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith (pictured below), the garden features a life-size sculpture of Clippy, created by sculptor Tom Hill from horseshoes donated by equine stars including Valegro, Big Star, Nip Tuck, Uthopia, Casaionato, and Billy the Biz.
The garden, which also scooped a gold award at this year’s show, was funded by a private donor and aims to shine a spotlight on “invisible” horses around the world whose suffering goes unnoticed or ignored.
“World Horse Welfare is on cloud nine having been awarded the RHS people’s choice award for their artisan garden,” said World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers.
“We are both ecstatic and humbled to receive this award. Throughout this exhilarating project to mark our 90th anniversary we have received incredible support at Chelsea and beyond — and the fact so many have taken the effort to vote for us is just awe-inspiring.
“The gold medal, the gorgeous weather, now the people’s choice, but above all the extraordinary impact that the garden has had on visitors and viewers throughout the week has been nothing short of sensational — it is fair to say our cake has more icing than cake just now!
“To have got here has taken a herculean team effort. Our garden designers Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith have put their heart and soul into telling the story of our work through such a beautiful and emotive garden. And they have been given unflinching support by Conway Landscapes, Tom Hill Sculpture, stonemason Martin Cook, the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, all the celebrity (highly visible) horses and their owners who donated their shoes for the sculpture of Clippy, the thousands of visitors to the garden and of course the private donor who made our garden possible.
“In 1927 World Horse Welfare’s founder established the charity to raise awareness of the plight of desperately vulnerable horses. I really do feel she would be so proud that we have received this breathtaking level of public support this week. But Clippy’s story was all about highlighting the need for World Horse Welfare in 2017 – please call us if you are concerned about a horse and do consider getting involved with World Horse Welfare. We simply cannot help horses without you.”