(08 March 2012) Sightseers to the world-famous hill carving, the Uffington Horse, in Oxfordshire this morning were left gobsmacked when they noticed the 3,000 year old monument had mysteriously acquired a jockey!
Mischievous betting firm Paddy Power have today owned up to the audacious stunt as part of their “We Hear You” campaign with the objective of celebrating the imminent arrival of next week’s Cheltenham Festival in spectacular style.
The covert installation took place over a six hour period under the cover of darkness on Wednesday night and Thursday morning just days ahead of this year’s Cheltenham Festival.
Over 200 metres of lightweight canvas, pre-cut into five separate pieces was used to create the 110ft tall and 200ft wide temporary installation. It is pinned to the ground five foot from the original chalk markings, using over 500 tiny tent pegs to ensure that the original site remains undisturbed.
The gleaming new design, which is bigger than an Olympic sized swimming pool, can be clearly seen from the surrounding villages.
Paddy Power now hopes the Uffington Rider will become a site of pilgrimage for ‘lucky’ racing fans from all over the UK in the coming days before Cheltenham.
A spokesperson from Paddy Power comments, ‘Funnily enough the idea for our Uffington Rider came from a Tweet from one of our customers. He was responding to our ‘We Hear Campaign’ asking if we had any mischief planned for Cheltenham in the wake of our giant Hollywood sign a few years ago. We simply couldn’t resist the challenge and had to dig really deep to come up with something to literally measure up to the giant sign. I think we’ve achieved this.”
Paddy Power has offered a donation to the National Trust.
For further information;
Head of Mischief
Paddy Power plc
M: +353 87 8528718