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Statue celebrates inspiring horse

A life-size bronze statue will be unveiled next year of a horse who became a symbol of the struggle against the IRA after surviving the deadly 1982 Hyde Park bomb atrocity.

The sculpture of Sefton, who survived the blast that killed seven stablemates and four soldiers, was commissioned by the Royal Veterinary College.

The college's artist-in-residence, Camilla Le May, was given the job of sculpting the black gelding, and has spent six months creating the three-quarters-of-a-ton sculpture.

Ms Le May, 39, from Wadhurst, East Sussex, said: "I had never done a life-size horse before so the opportunity was awesome.

"It was quite a challenge and quite nerve-racking, but the response has been overwhelming. It's not the same as sculpting a famous racehorse because there is so much sadness behind it.

"I got quite attached and I feel closer to the story."

Sefton became a riding school horse before joining the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment.

Following the bombing, and despite 34 wounds that required eight hours of surgery, Sefton recovered and returned to service.

The animal, who served with the British Army for 17 years, went on to win the Horse of the Year prize.

Sefton was placed in the British Horse Society's equestrian Hall of Fame and has an annual prize named after him. He died in 1993. The sculpture will be unveiled at the Royal Veterinary College's campus in Hawkshead, Hertfordshire.

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