The Heavy Horse

This sculpture of a Clydesdale Horse has become one of the best known artworks in Scotland.  Sited beside the M8 motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, it stands 4.5 metres tall at the head and is made of galvanised steel round bars.

Photo credit : Hanneke Scott van Wel

The huge Clydesdale has become synonymous with the city and has been taken to the hearts of the local people. In keeping with many of Andy Scott’s commissions, it offers numerous levels of interpretation: heavy goods transport, agriculture, the steel industry once prevalent in the area and even the Clydesdale breed itself, which was originally bred in Lanarkshire.

Photo credit : Andy Scott

The true inspiration for this sculpture was as a metaphor for the city of Glasgow. Once a proud industrial manufacturing centre, the city has now refashioned itself for the 21st century as a show city of culture. The horse was once a beast of burden but the sculpture stands free of the bridles of work and has its mane and tail in pleats and ribbons for exhibition, yet is magnificently reminiscent of its hard working ancestry.

Photo credit : David Dalziel
Clydebuilt

The Heavy Horse was followed a couple of years later by another Clydesdale, which is now sited in Boonah, Queensland.

This sculpture is now an official monument to the role the breed played in the building of modern Australia.

Equus Clutha

The sculpture has been installed in Greenock by Riverside Inverclyde as part of the redevelopment of the area. . The 3.5 metre high sculpture recalls the story of a much loved local dray horse from the 1890s who sadly drowned when he fell into the river.

Photo credit : Tam Nugent