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Uffington White Horse

Hill Figure


Bookies causes a flutter with White Horse jockey stunt

Putting this up as news though the stunt has now vanished.....

A 3,000-YEAR-OLD hill carving of a horse now has a JOCKEY thanks to bookies Paddy Power.

Locals woke up to find the rider had been secretly added overnight to the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire to promote next week's Cheltenham Festival.

The 110ft tall and 200ft wide temporary installation was pinned to the ground with tent pegs five feet from the original chalk marking to avoid causing damage.

The stunt is part of Paddy Power's We Hear You campaign.

And the firm now hopes the Uffington Rider will become a site of pilgrimage for racing fans from all over the UK in the run-up to the festival.

A spokesman said: "Funnily enough, the idea for our Uffington Rider came from a tweet from one of our customers.

"He was responding to our We Hear You campaign asking if we had any mischief planned for Cheltenham in the wake of our giant Hollywood sign a few years ago.

"We simply couldn't resist the challenge and needed to come up with something spectacular to measure up to the giant sign. I think we've achieved this."

Paddy Power has made a donation to the National Trust, which maintains the Uffington White Horse.

Note; a spokesman for the National Trust says....

"This has been done without the knowledge of the National Trust and, as far as we can tell, without any Scheduled Monument Consent."
moss Posted by moss
9th March 2012ce
Edited 9th March 2012ce

Comments (11)

The White Horse Hill ranger replied to my email thanking me for my comments - which I suppose was courteous, if brief. tjj Posted by tjj
9th March 2012ce
Well Paddy Power are well pleased with themselves, the smug gits.
So they did it at night so no one would tell them to sling their hooks presumably, so they knew damn well they wouldn't get permission if they'd asked.

They did the same sort of thing last year? apparently and put up some massive sign in Gloucestershire, which they were promptly told to remove.
Ooh but they're so "cheeky" aren't they, hilarious. No doubt they'd say I should get a sense of humour.
Rhiannon Posted by Rhiannon
9th March 2012ce
Cheap showman tricks, selling ones' granny for a couple of quid to the devil, egocentric, don't know what you call it!
It was all masterminded with an eye to headlines in the tawdry press, perhaps someone should write desecrator on his front lawn....
moss Posted by moss
9th March 2012ce
The National Trust will now perhaps reflect that having taken money from TV's Big Brother to allow a similar stunt with their eye motif, they were making the monument fair game after it had already been the target of hunt supporters. The monument has also been a target for F4Jin addition to PP. The National Trust should simply make a stand that interfering with an Ancient Monument at the site is not acceptable. VBB Posted by VBB
10th March 2012ce
NT have allowed stunts at Avebury long before this Mr V – re the TV crime drama (discussed here on TMA somewhere) where bicycles were allowed to ‘surf’ the bank and ditch, and the ‘Children of the Stones’ long before that. More recently, Dr Who at Stonehenge (from a conservation point of view conducted in an exemplary fashion).

In these cash-strapped times we have to ask if a certain amount of commercial leeway shouldn’t be allowed - so long as no damage is done to the site and any revenue generated from its use is ploughed back into its preservation. As with copyright fees, a clear scale of charges would remove any grey areas from illegitimate stunts, and anyone thinking they could use sites gratis would be liable to have those terms waved in front of them if they did.

Money speaks – probably more loudly than codes, no matter how well intended.
Littlestone Posted by Littlestone
10th March 2012ce
I loved "children of the stones" when I was a kid. Got it on DVD now.
Companies like Paddy Power, should at least have the respect to ask permission though ! If it's all done properly, supervised etc then there's probably no harm done and as Littlestone says, the money made, is ploughed back into the preservation of the site.
Meic Posted by Meic
11th March 2012ce
I should make it clear, that I think that Paddy Power were arrogant and should have been dealt wit. No one is above the law. They should of asked permission and if refused accepted that full stop. Meic Posted by Meic
11th March 2012ce
Gits. Anyone know how to mount a denial-of-service attack on their website on the first day of the festival? That'd be interesting. Posted by Zastrozzi
12th March 2012ce
Although, hating to give them credit for anything at all, the one thing this does highlight is just how badly the horse itself needs a scrub, something I noticed when I was there a couple of weeks ago... Posted by Zastrozzi
12th March 2012ce
On 6-7th May a scouring and chalking event is being held by the National Trust at the White Horse. Posted by north bucks
12th March 2012ce
A friend of mine received this response from Andy Foley, the Ranger for White Horse Hill:

No permission was given by the Trust, English Heritage or any local authority for the defacement of the figure. Hence why the work was carried out in the dead of night and was being attempted to be smuggled away when I came across it at 7.30 AM in the course of my duties. We are currently taking stock of the situation and hope to be able to release more information soon.
tjj Posted by tjj
14th March 2012ce
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