A trojan horse arrives at Cheltenham

Posted on the 17th November 2011

To mark 100 years of Cheltenham's National Hunt Festival, the Cheltenham Art Gallery and Museum organised an exhibition, entitled Horse Parade, featuring 10 sculptures of horses by national artists.

What the organisers did not realise was that artists Carrie Reichardt (aka The Baroness) and Nick Reynolds, both fiercely oppose racing and bloodsports.

Their beautifully decorated ‘Trojan’ horse presented quite a different view of racing, quoting chilling facts and figures about deaths in horse racing from Animal Aid’s Race Horse Deathwatch website, as well as gruesome imagery of a fox being torn apart by hounds. The provocative work illustrates the links between horse racing and hunting and drives home that neither of these pastimes is ‘sporting’.

The sculptures were all put up for auction at Cheltenham racecourse on the final day of the Open Meeting (13 November), after they had been displayed around the town centre.

Carrie reported that the reaction from the very pro-racing attendees on the final day of Cheltenham meeting was quite – shall we say – defensive, and she was not in the least surprised that her Trojan Horses was not bought by any of the punters that day. However, the national media gave the sculpture, and the people’s reactions to it, extensive coverage.

The sculpture uses delicate ceramic detail and fragments of text to demonstrate the variety of ways in which horses have been used and subjugated by people in history – from battle, to riot control, hunting and racing. Carrie and Nick’s work ties together all the appalling physical and psychological hardships heaped upon these beautiful and gentle animals.

You can see details of the sculpture here, as well as photos of Carrie and Nick.

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