Welsh artist Mick Petts is famous for creating a ginormous raised-earth sculpture of a horse in Caerphilly, South Wales.
Known as Sultan the Pit Pony, the landscape sculpture is over 650 feet long and embodies a running horse.
This incredible piece of artwork was built into the landscape by using coal, shale, stone, and earth. Sultan the Pit Pony is an honor to the horses from the 18th to 20th centuries that would carry coal from mines.
Artist Petts animated this incredible countryside into a landscape sculptural icon to symbolize the final release of the pit ponies.
An Honor to The Hardworking Pit Ponies
Once the sculpture was complete, the locals gave it the nickname ‘Sultan’. Sultan was a prize-winning pony from the Penallta Pit. Parc Penallta, which is home to the sculpture, was once the location of Penallta Colliery.
Pit ponies spent most of their time underground. They would work around eight hours a day and typically would spend their nights in subterranean stables. During the day, they would pull heavy tubs of coal through the dark mines deep underground
Pit pony was used to refer to any horse, pony, donkey or mule that worked down in the mines. These hardy equines replaced the work that was once done by women and children. Though they were most popular during the early 1900s, the last pit pony retired in 1999.
Practical and Recreational
Sultan the Pit Pony was built for a practical reason, to act as a windbreak to protect parkgoers from strong winds. In addition, it also has recreational purposes, as various trails throughout the park allow visitors to crisscross the pony’s entire body.
Woods, grasslands, marsh, and trails make up the area surrounding the statue. A true sight to behold, the sculpture of Sultan is the largest figurative earth sculpture within the United Kingdom.
Those wanting to see the magnificent piece of art can visit Parc Penallta daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Also read our article on 10 most incredible horse statues and sculptures in the world.