Eastgate hosts a live horse, neigh bother

AN Andalucian horse called Pluto made history when he became the first live horse to take centrestage in Peebles’ Eastgate Theatre at the weekend.

The gelding wore a giant pair of Pegasus-style wings crafted from goose feathers and had landscape images projected on his flanks.

The horse was part of Sunday’s Diamonds and Hoof Oil exhibition and performances. The events were the finale to a six-month project called Fetlock Deep in which performance artist Claire Pencak, visual artist Catriona Taylor and sound artist James Wyness were commissioned by the Eastgate to develop events and exhibitions celebrating the importance of horses in the Borders.

Funded by Creative Scotland, the artists collected horses’ names, asked what their owners thought might be their animals’ most vivid memories, and taped sound.

Ms Taylor screen-printed the names, drawings and some of the memories on slates and created an installation on a Peeblesshire drove road, while Ms Pencak gave clay to horse lovers to model their animals. The 500 model horses and ponies were photographed in areas associated with horses and where equine memories would have been imprinted over centuries, such as livery yards, stable blocks, race courses, farriers’ workshops, old drove roads and the “debatable lands”. Some of the images were displayed.

Anyone missing the weekend theatre performance can visit the photographic exhibition in the Eastgate and Ms Taylor’s outdoor installation on the drove road from Traquair to Minch Moor.