An eye catching steel and fibre glass sculpture of a magnificent horse has recently appeared at the southern end of Levin. This sculpture stood proudly in front of the Awapuni Hotel, Palmerston North, since the 1990s. But the pub was being demolished and Black Beauty was to be sent away to the scrap metal yard. Local stonemason Richie Cornell of Designer Stones was having none of that. A regular at the pub in his younger days, he had always admired the horse. Richie decided he must save Black Beauty and give him a new home.
After agreeing on a price, the next step was working out how to transport the large sculpture which weighed well over a tonne. A friend who owned a crane offered his help, and a special harness was procured to do the lifting without causing any damage. After decades of exposure to the weather and little maintenance, the horse needed a fair bit of painstaking restoration. All worth the effort, Richie said, who created the cradle on which to display the horse. With his head down, and his hooves and tail flying in the wind, Black Beauty is now on display in the front paddock of Richie’s home for all to passers by to enjoy.
This magnificent piece was the work of J. A. Fligel, originally from Scotland but who now lives in Toronto. During 1992 - 1993 he travelled to New Zealand where he designed and built the large stylized horse for the Awapuni Hotel, made of metal and mixed media. No doubt he would be very pleased indeed that his horse did not end up in the knackers yard, after all.