NOT since Shergar has the disappearance of a horse caused such intrigue. A landmark mural of Champion Hurdle-winning Hardy Eustace was painted over in Tullow recently, sparking some playful mischief making.
The mural of the legendary horse had been on display for around ten years at the former Harrington bookmaker’s shop on Thomas Traynor Street.
BoyleSports took over the bookmakers last month and the mural was painted over as part of rebranding.
Paddy Powers on Mill Street were watching.
The company mocked up and displayed posters of Ruby Walsh painting a portrait of Hardy Eustace.
“This is a one horse town, welcome to Paddy Power Hardy Eustace,” it declared.
There was also a tasty quote from Paddy Power spokesperson Rachael Kane, who claimed that the horse had been “wiped off the face of the town”.
She added: “We felt it was only correct to put that mistake to rights with our own nod to the racing great in our shop window and give a cheeky salute to those who erased his legacy with the stroke of a brush.”
Now, BoyleSports weren’t going down lightly. Their plan all along, apparently, was to update the mural with a new image, although the finer details have yet to be finalised.
Jenna Boyle, retail director at BoyleSports, said: “To mark the tenth anniversary of Hardy Eustace’s retirement from competitive racing, this new image will take pride of place on our Tullow shop. It is particularly fitting to be able to announce this during Cheltenham week, given Hardy Eustace’s long association with the festival. We are proud to open our shop in the town, steeped in racing history and play our part in remembering the great horse.”
In the midst of all this was Hardy Eustace owner Lar Byrne, who was pretty tickled by the whole affair.
“If BoyleSports are going back to refresh it, maybe they’ll give Ruby a job for a month or two painting it!”
Lar continued: “It’s all a bit of jest, first of all. It was great to see Hardy Eustace on the wall at Harrington’s for so long. The sun and the severe weather had him a little bit faded. If BoyleSports are looking to refresh him and get him back up on the wall, we’d love to see him there.”
Adding a little spice to the mixture, the affable Tullow man said: “Maybe Paddy Power will put a bronze statue of him at the square or something!”
Your move, Paddy.