Gallery: Walsoken Pride painting is back with the family that owned the horse - thanks to us!

PUBLISHED: 14:00 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:13 02 June 2010

Baxter family and the Walsoken Pride horse

Baxter family and the Walsoken Pride horse

EXCLUSIVE by: MAGGIE GIBSON A PAINTING of the famous horse Walsoken Pride is back with the family which owned the best mare ever bred in the Wisbech area – all thanks to the Wisbech Standard. John Baxter whose grandfather, Robert, owned the horse a

EXCLUSIVE by: MAGGIE GIBSON

A PAINTING of the famous horse Walsoken Pride is back with the family which owned the best mare ever bred in the Wisbech area - all thanks to the Wisbech Standard.

John Baxter whose grandfather, Robert, owned the horse and commissioned the oil painting, didn't know it existed until he saw it featured on the front page of this newspaper when it was being sold at auction at Wisbech.

Mr Baxter who lives at Moulton near Spalding said: "I always buy the Wisbech Standard and I saw the picture on the front. It was my grandfather who had the painting done but until then I never knew it existed.

"I went and had a look at it, liked it and I knew I had to have it. The auctioneer then told me it was being withdrawn from the auction and I managed to come to an agreement over the price. It is back in the Baxter family and that is where it will stay."

The painting by well-known equine artist James Clark was commissioned by Robert Baxter in 1893.

Walsoken Pride enjoyed huge success winning 14 gold and silver Hackney Society medals. She won the gold medal at the Peterborough Show in 1903 and gold in the Norfolk Show the following year.

In June 1922 she had been awarded another first prize at Wisbech St Mary, but was never presented with it because she collapsed and died at the show.

Mr Baxter has some photographs of the beautiful chestnut mare in her prime and also of her burial. He said: "My father helped to bury her. She was buried standing up on land which is now Baxter Close. There was a proper memorial there, but over the years it was vandalised but the tree that was planted is still there."

The Baxter family were horse slaughterers in the Walsoken area for more than 300 years. Robert Baxter was one of four boys in a family of 11 children and John believes the painting may have left the family after Robert's death and settling of his estate in 1940.


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