Princess Anne finally views IRA bomb attack statue

image copyrightJoe Brownlie
image captionPrincess Anne visited the statue with Professor Stuart Reid of the RVC and artist Camilla Le May

The Princess Royal has finally viewed the bronze statue of a horse that survived an IRA attack months after she had been due to unveil it.

Princess Anne pulled out of the ceremony at Hertfordshire's Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in October as her helicopter was grounded by fog.

Lord Ballyedmond had to step in to reveal the life-size bronze of Sefton, injured by the 1982 Hyde Park bomb.

The peer, who died in a helicopter crash last month, funded the statue.

Sefton served with the British Army from 1967 to 1984, surviving the attack that killed four soldiers and seven horses in the London park on 20 July.

The blast came when a nail bomb in a car was detonated as members of the Household Cavalry made their way to Changing the Guard from their barracks in Knightsbridge.

'Major achievement'

It is believed Sefton's life was saved by a guardsman who used his shirt to staunch the flow of blood to the horse's neck wound.

image copyrightPA
image captionFollowing the attack, Sefton recovered and was back on regimental duty less than three months later

The statue, at the RVC's Hawkshead Campus, was commissioned to honour one of the college's longest-serving senior academics, Prof Peter Lees, who retired in 2010.

Vets from the RVC and those who knew Sefton helped artist in residence Camilla Le May, 40, capture Sefton's likeness and get his gait and anatomy right.

She said her first life-size work, which weighs three quarters of a tonne, was "a major achievement".

During Wednesday's visit, Princess Anne was introduced to senior academics, researchers and students.

Following the attack, and despite 34 wounds that required eight hours' surgery, Sefton recovered and was back on regimental duty less than three months later.

He was put down at the age of 30 in July 1993, after complications caused by injuries suffered during the bombing.

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