Today is a double celebration for World Horse Welfare, which has a base near Somerton – Glenda Spooner Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre.
Their Artisan garden designed by Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith has won a Gold medal at the RHS Chelsea flower show 2017 and the charity is celebrating its 90 year legacy of improving the lives of horses around the world.
The garden is a traditional wildflower garden, telling the story of Clippy, a 12hh dapple grey pony who was rescued from terrible conditions by World Horse Welfare and restored to health at Glenda Spooner Farm.
Clippy travelled to London on Monday to pose with the garden at the Chelsea Flower Show Press Day where he met celebrities including Deborah Meaden, Kirstie Allsopp, Rachel Riley, Charley Boorman and Susan George.
Kindly funded by a private donor, the garden aims to shine a spotlight on ‘invisible’ horses around the world whose suffering goes unnoticed or ignored.
World Horse Welfare CEO Roly Owers said:
“Whilst it was never the main aim of being here at RHS Chelsea, we are tickled pink to have been awarded this medal, not least because it reflects all the hard work put in by our superb designers and their team.
“Our garden gives us such a brilliant platform to tell a story that so well reflects the thousands of horses who desperately need our help today.
“It also provides us with the perfect stage to celebrate our 90 anniversary and recognise all those who have helped us reach this milestone, whether this has been through fundraising events, supporting our campaigns, volunteering at our centres or leaving us a gift in their Will.
“We are here to highlight the importance of our work to existing and new supporters, to bring World Horse Welfare’s approach to life and to inspire visitors to recognise the welfare challenges facing so many horses around the world.
“In Britain alone there are over 3,400 horses are at risk – sadly World Horse Welfare has much work to do both internationally and on our doorstep.
“Thank you to RHS Chelsea for giving us this opportunity and to our generous donor who has so kindly funded the garden.”
Medal -winning design duo Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith have grown hundreds of the wild flowers they have used at the show in their own back garden.
Jonathan Smith said:
“It has been a huge honour to design this garden for World Horse Welfare. We absolutely love working with British wildflowers and we don’t often have the chance to use poisonous ones in our garden so we’ve had great fun designing the area representing Clippy’s terrible living conditions.
“We’ve juxtaposed that with an area representing his new pasture showcasing horse herbs and beneficial plants. I’d like to thank our dedicated team who have all worked so tirelessly and cheerfully to make the garden happen.”
Visitors to the garden will be able to see a life size sculpture of Clippy, made from horse shoes donated by famous equine personalities and learn more about plants shown in the garden that are poisonous to horses.
The garden also features a special tribute to just some of the many supporters who have left the charity a legacy in their will, with their names carved into an element of the garden in tribute.
Inspired by his unique name, visitors will be asked to sign ribbons sewed onto lead rope clips with wishes for Clippy’s future.
World Horse Welfare would like to express sincere thanks to the garden designers Jonathan Smith and Adam Woolcott, the contractors Conway Landscapes, sculptor Tom Hill and finally to the private donor who funded the garden and wishes to remain anonymous.
VOTE for the World Horse Welfare Garden in the People’s Choice Award at https://www.rhs.org.uk/shows-events/rhs-chelsea-flower-show/Peoples-Choice