Beloved Glenferrie Horses Retired
Many local residents would recall that since 2006, most Spring Racing Carnivals were marked by the installment of up to ten life-size fibreglass horses along Glenferrie Road.
These phoney fillies brought a sprinkling of Victorian Spring Racing Carnival fever to the local business strip, however, despite their popularity, the horses have been quietly put out to pasture and will not be returning for future events. The Glenferrie Traders Association (GTA) committee, who initially purchased the horses stated that, “The horses were no longer featured in our calendar of events”, meaning that the local area would not be celebrating the Victorian Spring Racing Carnival event. Additionally, the GTA felt that the fibreglass horses presented a “health and safety risk”, with people “mounting the horses.”
Acknowledging that the horses were very popular, the GTA added that, “there are changing attitudes to horse racing in the community.” Problems with storing the large equines out of season also led to the decision to sell. The GTA stated, “The cost to house the items was a burden on our finances.” In August 2021 the GTA posted them for sale on Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace for approximately six months. After generating little interest, the GTA approached Racing Victoria in February 2022 and negotiated the sale and pick up of the unsold horses.
During their time, the originally all-white horses were given radical paint jobs by various community groups, and drew business into the area. They were unique to Glenferrie Road and provided residents and visitors with an additional reason to linger and shop locally. At present, one single horse has bucked the trend and remains on display at St Joseph’s School - Hawthorn in Glenferrie Road. The students customised it several years ago and gave it a renewed purpose as the school’s unofficial mascot. It sits proudly on their front lawn, a final, garishly painted reminder of a once adored local tradition.