Susan Leyland, our acclaimed sculptor who created our wonderful War Horse, Poppy lives in Italy and, because of COVID-19 restrictions, was unable to join us for National Animal Day. However she was determined to take part and remembered the role horses particular have played in war, by pinning purple poppies on the bridles of these wonderful animals.It was Susan’s attention to detail and understanding of the anatomy of horses, mules and donkeys that enabled her to create Poppies, who now stands as a symbol of the service and sacrifice of animals in war and, through the emblem of the purple poppy, provides a lasting legacy for animals in need.
Susan tells us the Tuscany region in central Italy, with its capital, Florence, is home, and also home to some of the world’s most recognisable Renaissance art and architecture, including Michelangelo’s “David” statue, Botticelli’s works in the Uffizi Gallery and the Duomo Basilica. Horses have always played a huge part in Susan’s life. Pictured here with Reg the kitten are Johnny C, mini Shetland pony, Fiorello and Barba di Sibilla, who is a Maremmana horse which is an Italian breed, owned and bred by Sibilla Querci who also lives in the beautiful heart of Tuscany, as you can see from this photo.