The life-sized model of Joey – the famous equine hero in the book and film “War Horse” – paid a visit to The Real Petfood Company factory on Kinmel Park in Bodelwyddan as part of its extensive fund-raising regional tour of schools and businesses.
The brainchild of Richard Kendrick, the poppy appeal organiser in Rhyl for the Royal British Legion, the horse is being used to raise awareness of World War One and the sacrifice made by thousands of British and Commonwealth soldiers as well as the vital role played by horses.
Local chainsaw sculptor Ian Murray – himself an army veteran – took 60 hours to create the model which is made entirely from Welsh oak.
The Real Petfood Company is the lead sponsor for this initiative which will form a major part of this year’s Poppy Appeal activity in the region.
James Lawson, managing director of the company, said: “As a local business we are delighted to support Richard’s inspired idea for commemorating 100 years since the end of World War 1. I feel it is vital that sacrifices made by the armed forces – both past and present – should not be forgotten and this will be helped by the fact that Joey is proving very popular when he visits schools.”
Richard Kendrick said: “Between now and November 11th we have a hectic schedule of locations to visit and we are also supporting Royal British Legion fund-raising activities in other towns. There is even a possibility that Joey might get to visit the Houses of Parliament. We have already raised £500 for this year’s Poppy Appeal and are confident of reaching a £1,000 by Remembrance Sunday.”
Top: Employees at The Real Petfood Company with the model of Joey.
Above, from left to right: James Lawson (MD at The Real Petfood Company), Graeme Jones (production director), Richard Kendrick (Rhyl poppy appeal organiser for the Royal British Legion).