Racegoers attending Sandown’s Countryside Day discovered how hundreds of brightly-coloured cows are set to decorate the hills, farms, towns, schools and popular landmarks across Surrey next year as the county takes part in the world’s biggest public arts event.
The jockeys unveiled a chrome painted cow which next year will be seen at numerous locations around the county. CowParade Leader Tim Metson says the chrome cow, painted by metal work specialists Spray Chrome UK, will reflect the landscape of the Surrey Hills. Organisers hope to encourage schoolchildren, celebrities, sportsmen, businesses and charities to take part in a mammoth fund-raising event for good causes that will promote tourism and business.
The idea of the CowParade is that individuals, companies and schools will sponsor a life-size cow and either decorate it themselves, or bring in an artist to do it. The cows will then be displayed around the county before being herded to the inaugural Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival next summer where they will be auctioned off. Those judged to be extra special will be auctioned at a glittering ceremony held at a unique London location later in the year. In a novel move, while the models are being decorated and moved around, their location can be tracked via a specially-created app.
The cow owners can choose their own charity and the auction proceeds will be split between that and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, a charity established to conserve and protect the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, leaving a legacy for generations to come. The fund supports local community projects and enterprise schemes that benefit and enhance the Surrey Hills landscape.
Sandown Park Racecourse, part of the Jockey Club Racecourse group, will be donating proceeds from their cow to the Injured Jockey Fund. CowParades will be staged at several of Sandown’s high-profile race meetings during 2016.
Internationally renowned artist Alexander Creswell who is Patron of Surrey Hills CowParade says:
“The CowParade is a brilliant platform for generating creativity and for bringing together businesses, schools and individuals across Surrey, it will also be a huge amount of fun! Together we will be creating a massive art installation with the potential to raise lots of money for good causes and for the Surrey Hills Trust Fund in particular.”
CowParade organisers are keen for primary schools to get involved and will provide information to help them get started, with ideas for competitions and suggestions for sponsorship. A ‘mini-moo’ or calf-sized version will be available for schools to decorate and then get the chance to auction it off to raise money for the school or chosen charity.
Said Tim Metson: “We have already secured offers of support from key players including the National Trust, schools and Surrey businesses. The event will be driven by Coverwood Lakes & Farm and Surrey Hills Enterprises and has support from Surrey Community Foundation and the backing of Surrey County Council.
“It will give sponsors the chance to connect with millions of people and offers a huge, unique PR opportunity that should generate international interest. The cows will be bought later this year and decorated by celebrities and local organisations in the spring of 2016. They will then be auctioned off for charity in the summer of next year at an event coinciding with the Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival at Coverwood Lakes & Farm.”
CowParade was born in Switzerland in 1998 and has been staged in more than 80 cities and towns worldwide. Over the years 3,000 cows have been decorated by more than 5,000 artists. CowParade New York had 450 cows and was seen worldwide by 45 million people. The highest-grossing cow was created by designer John Rocha for CowParade Dublin in 2003 – studded with thousands of pieces of Waterford Crystal it was auctioned for $146,000 – quite a lot of moo-lah indeed.
For more information on how to take part call the Surrey Hills CowParade team on 01483 661150 or visit the website at www.cowparadesurreyhills.com