Unique sculpture for World Horse Welfare Garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show
Clippy the rescue horse, and inspiration for the World Horse Welfare garden, will be recreated in a life size horse sculpture lovingly crafted by artist Tom Hill from horse shoes including some very special shoes from famous equine personalities.
Tom, 27, has been sculpting using horseshoes for six years. The sculpture he is creating for the World Horse Welfare garden at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show will contain shoes from a host of celebrity horses including three owned by Her Majesty The Queen, World Horse Welfare Annie rehomed by the charity’s President HRH The Princess Royal and from Zara Tindall, MBE’s High Kingdom, as well as horses ridden by British Olympic gold medallists Nick Skelton MBE and Charlotte Dujardin OBE.
Tom said: “I’m really enjoying working on this for such a good cause. Shoes from 36 celebrity horses have been donated – I’m putting them on Clippy’s neck so horse lovers can spot them when they come to the garden. I’ve made sculptures with owners’ horseshoes before but never one with shoes from so many horse superstars!”
The list of Olympic horse celebrities includes, Valegro (Charlotte Dujardin OBE), Big Star (Nick Skelton CBE), Nip Tuck and Uthopia (Carl Hester MBE), Cassionata (Michael Whitaker) Leonidas II (Sir Mark Todd, Done Geniro (Alex Hua Tian) and Billy the Biz (Pippa Funnell MBE).
The actual shoes that Nobilis 18 (Christopher Barton) wore when he won The Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in 2016 are also featured. From the racing world, Denman, Sprinter Sacre, Golden Horn, Many Clouds and the Last Samuri have all worn shoes adorning the sculpture.
Three of Her Majesty The Queen’s Windsor Grey Carriage Horses - Milford Haven, Tyrone and Storm - have worn shoes featured in the sculpture as well as World Horse Welfare Annie, who was rehomed to HRH The Princess Royal in 2013 and now lives in the stunning surroundings of Gatcombe Park.
There is even an equine actor’s shoe in the sculpture – Seamus – who is Ross Poldark’s horse in the hit BBC drama Poldark trained by the renowned Atkinson Action Horses team.
Forming the jaw of the sculpture will be two enormous Clydesdale shoes donated by World Horse Welfare Baron and Duke who were the inspiration for Andy Scott’s iconic Kelpies
Clippy, a 13hh dapple grey pony, was rescued from terrible conditions by World Horse Welfare and restored to health. He is now at the charity’s Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Somerset undergoing rehabilitation with a view to finding a new home on World Horse Welfare’s rehoming scheme in the future. While he is undergoing his rehabilitation, Clippy will be available for adoption by the public in June to help fund his care and that of other horses rescued by the charity, before finding him a new home.
The World Horse Welfare garden marks the 90 year legacy of the charity’s work improving the lives of horses around the world. Kindly funded by a private donor, the garden aims to raise awareness of vulnerable horses that are neglected or abandoned in poor conditions. When Clippy was found he was trapped in the ruins of a stable littered with faeces and with no food or water– the roof had collapsed andhe was unable to escape from the tangle of rubbish that surrounded him.
The Clippy sculpture will be exhibited at one of World Horse Welfare’s Rescue and Rehoming Centres before being auctioned off to raise vital funds for the charity's work around the world.