Musselburgh horse racing sculpture to be unveiled by Queen

Work is carried out on the sculpture at Had-Fab. Picture: contributed

Work is carried out on the sculpture at Had-Fab. Picture: contributed

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A SCULPTURE marking two centuries of racing in Musselburgh will be unveiled by the Queen next week.

She will visit the town’s racecourse to mark its bicentenary celebrations and her own 90th birthday year.

The 6ft 6in Corten steel sculpture, commissioned for the occasion, has been constructed by East Lothian fabrication and welding company Had-Fab Ltd.

The Haddington-based firm was also responsible for the construction of artist Antony Gormley’s famous 60-ton Exposure sculpture – referred to as the “crouching man” – which now sits in Lelystad in the Netherlands.

The firm specialises in the construction of power transmission towers, substations and major rail projects, but was keen to be involved in the one-off project which will mark the racecourse’s 200th anniversary.

The sculpture, which reflects the track’s crown logo, will sit in a prominent position to greet visitors as they exit the Links Pavilion and move into the racecourse grounds.

Simon Harrison, the managing director of Had-Fab, said: “When we first heard Musselburgh Racecourse was considering a commemorative sculpture we were keen to be involved. While it’s true this is a big departure from our usual line of work, it was an interesting challenge we couldn’t pass up.

“As an East Lothian company which employs 100 staff, we wanted to show our support to the racecourse in what is a very special year marking their historic connections to Musselburgh. The project was a great morale booster for staff and we hope the royal guests and all the visitors who follow will enjoy this feature for years to come.”

Bill Farnsworth, chief executive of Musselburgh Racecourse, thanked the company’s staff, who pegged the production cost of the sculpture by donating their time and services for free, and said he was looking forward to welcoming them as guests during the bicentenary race day.

He added: “We wanted something unique which marked our long history but would also stand the test of time as we progress into our third century of racing at Musselburgh.

“We think we have achieved that and we are delighted with the end product, which will have pride of the place between the traditional grandstand and modern Links Pavilion.

“We are honoured that Her Majesty The Queen will be here next Friday to unveil a plaque beside the sculpture and it will put the seal on our Bi-Centenary Celebration Race Day. We hope families, friends and local residents will come along and enjoy this special occasion and double celebration.”

The racecourse is offering a £5 discount on the usual £25 admission fee to racegoers booking online.

All children aged 17 and under will be admitted for free when accompanied by an adult.

• For more information, visit www.musselburgh-racecourse.co.uk