AN eight-year old schoolgirl from Hindhead has been chosen as the winner in a competition to design part of charity World Horse Welfare’s cross country fence at the Badminton Horse Trials next month.

Lyla Mainwaring’s design created out of rusted horseshoes and plants will now be brought to life at the prestigious Gloucestershire event in May which draws in crowds of up to 150,000 people every year. Lyla entered the competition to design a fence for World Horse Welfare as part of the event’s charity of the year status.

Lyla, a pupil at Amesbury School, based her entry on her own pony, Ronnie, after finding out about the competition from Pony Magazine. She said her idea for the jump was inspired by the theme of the “invisible horse” which the welfare charity uses to highlight the plight of neglected equines.

Lyla said: “My design is a lying down topiary pony made from old rusty horseshoes. The front of the pony is looked after and cared for, planted with lovely flowers and lush grass and moss so he is all bushy and green. The back section is not being looked after and is just rusty old horseshoes so the pony is becoming invisible.”

Lyla has won the chance to attend the famous horse trials and see her design brought to life on the iconic cross-country course jumped by some of the world’s top eventers.

World Horse Welfare chief executive Roly Owers said: “We were so impressed with all of the amazing entries we received to the fence design competition, but Lyla’s really stood out as a beautiful and unique way to visualise our invisible horse initiative. We can’t wait to see it in pride of place at Badminton in May and hope Lyla has a wonderful day out to see her work in action!”

World Horse Welfare has named 2016 the year to highlight the world’s “invisible horses” who often suffer in silence as people either cannot or choose not to see them. From the horses left in barns and stables for weeks on end, to those working many hours every day on the streets of Choluteca in Honduras or Cape Town, in South Africa, who go unnoticed by governments and policymakers, to the horses transported long distances across borders to uncertain futures and those who sadly are sometimes found too late.

The international charity, founded in 1927, will be focussing on a number of key themes as the year progresses including; foals, rescue and rehoming, working horses around the world and campaigning to improve laws to protect horses. Learn more at