The Newent Initiative Trust, in collaboration with Carl Hester MBE, seek your support to commission a unique public sculpture to celebrate the astounding career and international achievements of Valegro; the renowned Olympic Gold Medalist dressage horse who broke every world record in the sport during his career. Now happily retired and enjoying the quiet life at Carl Hester's yard where his career began, this 'living' artwork will allow Valegro to once again take the world by storm!
The life-size, 'dancing' sculpture will be placed in the central Market Square of Newent, the very heart of this historic and picturesque Gloucestershire market town in England, which is home to Valegro. We wish to create a magnificent bronze artwork of this world-famous 'dancing horse' which will perfectly capture the horse's unique spirit, and will become a permanent landmark, captivating local residents and attracting visitors for years to come. Inspired by Valegro's extraordinary achievements, we believe this stunning artwork will boost both local and regional pride by providing a community focus and raising the national and international profile of Newent and Gloucestershire.
The wide appeal of the sculpture will draw in new visitors to the area, and will be accompanied by a high profile marketing campaign that will further boost tourism by highlighting other local tourism attractions including the International Centre for Birds of Prey and the acclaimed Three Choirs Vineyard.
Valegro is a dressage horse that took the equestrian workd by storm. In an unprecedented career, under rider Charlotte Dujardin CBE he went from being an unlikely world-beater to concurrent Olympic, World and European Champion and a World no 1 Ranking.
From gangly youngster to the 'best the world has seen', the horse has been revered around the globe for revolutionising the sport of dressage, whilst winning the hearts of equestrian and sports fans worldwide. Voted the Nation's favourite horse, Valegro has achieved international fame and admiration under owner and trainer Carl Hester, who masterminded the successful partnership with Charlotte Dujardin when she joined his prestigious stables in Newent in 2007.
Why are we fundraising?
Reaching our funding target will enable us to cover approximately half the total cost of the project, including the bulk of the cost of commissioning a specialist artist and casting the sculpture in bronze at a local Gloucestershire foundry, so that this unique, commemorative artwork can be enjoyed by hundreds of thousands of people for generations to come.
Our sculpture will be accompanied by an exciting cultural programme involving local communities, which will culminate in a special opening procession for the sculpture’s official public launch in 2018. We also need funding to support our work on an education project, working with local schools, which will link with the sculpture theme and feed into the community programme, and are applying to funding bodies to achieve this.
Now is the time to pledge and make the Valegro project a reality!
If you give £50 you will receive a beautiful photo of Valegro signed by Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin-a real collector's item.
If you give £100 you will receive a signed photo and your name will be listed on the Project website.
If you give £2,500 you will receive a signed photo; listing on the website; and an exclusive signed thank you certificate- something from Valegro to cherish forever.
If you give £5,000 you will receive a signed photo; listing on the website; thank you certificate; and your name will be engraved permanently on a special commemorative plaque near the sculpture- highlighting your generous contribution to the sculpture.
If you give £10,000 you will receive a signed photo; listing on the website; thank you certificate;your name engraved on the commemorative plaque; and the unique opportunity to visit the sculptor's workshop to see the sculpture in the making.
Newent town centre, the majority of which is a conservation area, still retains its antique charm with shops and houses dating back many centuries. A number of medieval black and white buildings feature in the town including the traditional black and white Market House which is still used for meetings and exhibitions. The new bronze of Valegro will be sited next to this beautiful historic building, placing the sculpture at the very heart of the community.
The countryside around the town still retains its narrow lanes and rolling fields where many horses are trained, bounded by ancient hedgerows and woodlands. There is an abundance of footpaths and rights of way joining the surrounding villages for the serious walker or casual visitor to enjoy.
The area has long been known for its wild daffodils which grow naturally in the woods and meadows around the town. Organised daffodil walks take place each spring around the villages of Dymock, Kempley and Oxenhall.
Newent has plenty to offer the visitor, with The Shambles Shopping Village, Cowdy Glass Gallery and Newent Lake all within easy walking distance of the town centre. There are many pubs, restaurants and cafes within the area, plus the famous International Centre for Birds of Prey, and one of England's largest and most successful vineyards, the Three Choirs.
To celebrate every Team GB Gold Medal, Royal Mail has painted some of its red post boxes gold in the Olympic Gold Medallist’s home towns. One can be found outside Newent's Post Office to celebrate Charlotte Dujardin winning Olympic Gold in the individual equestrian dressage event on Valegro. Charlotte, who lives and trains in Newent, also appeared on unique stamps commemorating the achievements of Newent's gold medal winning Olympians.
With thanks to Wye Dean Tourism Association and David Brindley for the use of images.
About Newent Initiative Trust
A registered charity, the Trust was established in 1999 and is an independent ‘not for profit’ organisation formed to support disadvantaged local groups with the mission of making Newent and surrounding areas a better place to live, work and visit. The charity works to support younger and older people, including those with learning difficulties and mental health issues.