NEIGHbour Art: Who designed the best horse?

Filed in Just In by June 10, 2021
THE results for the 2021 Sone Horse Festival NEIGHbour Art Competition are in, with Chocolate and Moss named the overall business winner and St Mary’s Primary taking out the school category.
See winners list below.
The competition was founded by Scone Horse Festival Committee Member Phil McGuirk, who pitched the idea at a Scone Chamber of Commerce Board Meeting in an effort to replace the traditional window dressing competition and help make up for the missing Horse Festival parade. (See: 
Mr McGuirk and Scone Chamber of Commerce Business Development Officer Sarah English were overwhelmed with the community’s response to the first NEIGHbour-Art Competition. 
“No one could have foreseen the overwhelming response, with more than 200 wooden horse cut-outs sold over two weeks, decorated and displayed throughout Scone. It just went crazy. It was very exciting and so lovely to see the community spirit of Scone take over,” Ms English said.
“Next year we will be ready and have processes in place to make it easy to purchase horses, as well as have prizes and judging criteria outlined etcetera,” she said.
“It was fabulous. The community just took it and ran. Our woodworkers at Scone Hardware could hardly keep up with the demand and we had to cut it off at 200. I imagine next year will be even bigger,” said Mr McGuirk.
Mr McGuirk and Ms English were joined by Arts Upper Hunter Acting Executive Director Carolyn O’Brien to make up the judging panel, which oversaw the 200 wooden horses submitted to the competition.
The business category was judged on three main criteria: Artistic Skill, Creativity and Originality and Local Connection, whilst schools were judged on signs of Whole School Involvement, School Connection and School Message.

An official presentation was held at the Thoroughbred Hotel yesterday, with the two winners and other honourable mention entrants braving through the chilly weather to sash their wooden horses.

Jack Allen proudly standing next to the Grazing Stallion sculpture dedicated to his father Peter. Mark Ray (right) carved the horse head by hand.

Phil McGuirk gave special mention to Brad Norman for cutting the 200 horses and Mark Ray for his spectacular horse head sculpture ‘The Grazing Stallion,’ which now sits outside of the Thoroughbred Hotel in memory of Peter Allen.
Mark spent more than 40 hours sculpting the horse out of a Scone-grown tree taken from the cemetery, which he described as a privilege.
“I’m open to any challenge to make anything. It’s one of those things where the harder the better,” Mark said.
“To have the privilege to carve this out for Jack [Allen] and the township of Scone, I’m truly grateful,” he said.

2021 NEIGHbour-Art Competition winners

Business Category: Chocolate and Moss
School Category: St Mary’s Primary School
Honourable Mentions:
  • Paradice’s
  • Hunter Belle
  • Scone Imaging (Camera Centre)
  • Melanie’s Jewellers
  • Scone Equine Hospital
  • Scone Garden Club
  • Dusty Diamonds
  • Pet Medical
  • Scone Public School 
  • Yellow Cottage

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