WISBECH: Walsoken Pride print expected to fetch up to £1,000 at auction tomorrow

PUBLISHED: 16:31 15 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:10 02 June 2010

Richard Barnwell with the painting of  Walsoken Pride

Richard Barnwell with the painting of Walsoken Pride

WITH her wonderful chestnut coat and white feet Walsoken Pride was said to be the best mare ever bred in the Wisbech area. Tomorrow an oil painting of the famous horse, winner of The Hackney Horse Society s gold and silver medals, comes up for sale at auct

WITH her wonderful chestnut coat and white feet Walsoken Pride was said to be the best mare ever bred in the Wisbech area.

Tomorrow an oil painting of the famous horse, winner of The Hackney Horse Society's gold and silver medals, comes up for sale at auction in Wisbech.

The oil painting by well-known equine artist James Clark was commissioned by the owner of the horse Robert Baxter in 1898 or 1893 and has attracted interest from all over the country. It is expected to sell for around £1,000.

Born in 1854, Robert Baxter of Primrose Villa, Walsoken, had a passion for Hackney Horses and was a breeder of some renown. Walsoken Pride was born in 1899 and her first show was at Wisbech St Mary. Standing over 15 hands high she was a great success at shows up and down the country. She won 14 gold and silver Hackney Society Medals and 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 when she collapsed and died.

It is said that Walsoken Pride was taken back to Walsoken and buried standing and in full livery. A tree was planted over the grave and when houses were built the development was called Baxter Close.

When Robert Baxter died his love of Hackney horses was depicted in flowers in the shape of a horse and carriage on his coffin.

Richard Barnwell who was auctioning the painting during a two-day antique and collectors sale at Clifford Cross auctions Ltd, said there had been a great deal of both national and local interest in the painting.

Mr Barnwell has previously sold medals and other mementoes connected to Walsoken Pride.

Commenting on the painting he said: "The owner commissioned the painting because he would obviously want to remember such a special horse. The artist was quite a well-known one of his time in the horse world and it would have cost quite a lot of money at that time."

Mr Barnwell said it would be nice if the painting could stay in the Wisbech area but there was a wider interest in it because of the artist.


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