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Faringdon-based Philip Blacker miniature tribute to legendary horse Red Rum

A Grand National jockey turned sculptor is marking a legendary equine’s 40th anniversary with small replicas of horses.
Before his retirement in 1982, Faringdon-based Philip Blacker rode 340 winners and competed in the Grand National nine times.
He is now sculpting horses inspired by Red Rum, the only horse in the history of the Grand National to win the race three times.
In a 13-year career, Mr Blacker was among a small group of jockeys who have been in three or more top four Grand National finishes.
He was fourth to Red Rum in that horse’s first Grand National win in 1973 and managed a seventh place in 1977 when Red Rum won his third and final Grand National.
After he retired, he was encouraged by racing legend Brough Scott and respected sculptor Margot Dent to follow his interest in sculpture.
Aintree Racecourse has since offered him a commission to create the Red Rum life-size bronze sculpture.
He said: “They wanted me to capture Red Rum’s character – the way he came alive when racing, the sense of purpose that he brought to his racing.”
The world-famous statue is now the subject of an exhibition of 40th anniversary work by Mr Blacker.
The iconic original captures a moment during Red Rum’s morning exercise on Southport beach.
He added: “Because he was revered as ‘The People’s Horse’ I really wanted to produce an affordable piece of art which I think is as true as possible to Rummy’s spirit.
“He had small feet and he could be an absolute so and so.
“But then he’d get on that beach or on a racecourse, and he’d get up on those toes, and he’d be dancing around.
“He was a real joy to watch. Even, as I found to my cost on the racecourse – usually from behind.”

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