Princess Anne unable to unveil Sefton statue

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 October 2013

Colonel Neil Smith RAVC, Professor Emeritus Peter Lees, Camilla Le May (artist), Professor Stuart Reid, Lt Col Paul Bedford

Colonel Neil Smith RAVC, Professor Emeritus Peter Lees, Camilla Le May (artist), Professor Stuart Reid, Lt Col Paul Bedford

Archant

The memory of one of Britain’s bravest military horses will live on after a life-size statue was unveiled.

HRH Princess Anne was due to cut the ribbon on Wednesday, but fog meant her helicopter could not take her to the Royal Veterinary College, in North Mymms.

Although the royal could not make it, dignitaries from across the country still marked the occasion.

The bronze effigy of Sefton, who survived an horrific IRA nail bomb in 1982 and returned to duty, now sits at the college.

Four soldiers and seven horses were killed in the Hyde Park atrocity.

Among the officials was Lt Col Richard Pope, of The Royal Army Veterinary Corps Association, who helped treat Sefton after the “terrible tragedy” and was there when he was put to sleep in 1993.

He told the WHT: “I knew him as an injured animal, but he was full of strength and all the horses injured were.

“He stands for that in adversity and tragedy you can prevail.”

The statue was erected on the footsteps of a hospital that was paid for by donations from a charity made in Sefton’s 
name.

And the blast survivor was there when it was opened.

Sculptor Camilla Le May spent roughly two years on the piece and was at the ceremony.

As Princess Anne was absent, project funder Lord Ballyedmond cut the ribbon to the statue, which also commemorated the work of senior academic professor Peter Lee.

The honorary fellow of the college said: “It gives me great pleasure to be able to give a small addition to the memory of this horse.

“And to try and put to one side a very sad occasion, in which some of my fellow countrymen were involved.”


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