WW1 War Horse Memorial Project

Waikato Combined Equestrians'”big, awesome, bronze war horse’, crafted by artist Matt Gauldie, to acknowledge the 10,000 New Zealand horses sent to foreign battlefields during the First World War is completed and will be officially unveiled on 11 November, 2017.

War Horse Unveiling and The Mane Event

The War Horse statue will be unveiled in Hamilton’s Memorial Park on Armistice Day, 11 November 2017.

It will be preceded by the Civic Armistice day commemoration service and will be followed by ‘The Mane Event’.


War Horse sculpture under construction.

The Mane Event

The Mane Event is a one-off, family friendly, free show at Claudeland’s Showgrounds.  Horses and their spectacular talents will be showcased and their importance in our history and culture commemorated.  Noeline Jeffries is the Chair of the Waikato Equestrian’s War Horse Commemorative Project and she’s doing an outstanding job of gathering together talent of all kinds for this special show.

Matt Gauldie Fundraising Statues

Several limited-edition bronze collectable maquettes of both ‘Hamilton Warhorse’ and ‘Leaping Horse’ created by Matt Gauldie will be available following the War Horse unveiling. A percentage of proceeds from the maquettes will go to the Waikato Combined Equestrian Centre Group and also towards the installation of a NZ War Horse statue at the International War Animals Memorial Garden, at Pozieres in northern France.



The Equestrian Group asked TOTI to assist with the war horse project in response to our Sapper Moore-Jones project – Matt Gauldie’s statue unveiled in March, 2015 to commemorate the artist-soldier and mark the Gallipoli centenary.

The War Horse across the Waikato River in Memorial Park will add another unique and complementary historic reminder of the Great War of 1914-1918.

Artist Matt Gaudie's War Horse Statue Concept

Artist Matt Gauldie’s  war horse statue concept.

Former Defence Force artist, Matt Gauldie has also been commissioned to craft this $220,000, 300kg life-size, bronze statue.  It will be installed in Hamilton’s Memorial Park with a special public unveiling event in late 2017.

Equestrians’ project chair Noeline Jeffries says there has been widespread community support for Gauldie’s “awesome” rider-less horse (his description), and funds have come from Lotteries WW1, local philanthropists, and “horse lovers dropping notes and coins into collection buckets at horse events”.

Noeline Jeffries picked up the challenge from a national Riding Clubs’ newsletter article written by Rodney Marton of Masterton, late in 2012.  He gave the first five thousand dollars, and now says he’s convinced the ‘twin’ WW1 statues – the War Horse and Sapper Moore-Jones in the CBD – are of national significance and will be a drawcard for Hamilton and Waikato.

TOTI Trust is managing the project and trust chair Dr Bill McArthur says the high profile Memorial Park site near the city’s Cenotaph and the river pathway will invite people to ponder the importance of horses in human history – not just in war.  “It will be child friendly and a great spot for a selfie, appropriate in the equine centre of the nation.”

The unveiling of the United Kingdom’s first war horse memorial in 2015, by champion equestrian Princess Anne, the Princess Royal, boosted enthusiasm and support across New Zealand for the project.

In November 2015, Hamilton City Council’s new Public Art Subcommittee approved both the Memorial Park site and the favoured War Horse concept by Matt Gauldie after Public Art Panel assessment earlier in the month.

Public Art Subcommittee – Open Agenda – 17 November 2015

Waikato Combined Equestrian Group proposed sculpture site and concept approved

In July, 2016 the Public Art Subcommittee signed off the proposal.

Public Art Subcommittee Minutes – 29 July 2016


Visit the War Horse Memorial Monument on Facebook:


Noeline Jeffries contact details:
noelinejeffs@orcon.net.nz or 07 8477510

Matt, Noeline & Marlene with maquettes

Matt, WCEG team & maquettes

Artist Matt Gauldie delivers the war horse maquettes to the Waikato Combined Equestrian Group’s war horse team.