Paddy Power White Horse Stunt
If there's one thing Paddy Power want people talking about in the run-up to the Cheltenham Festival...it's Paddy Power.
Therefore it's no surprise to see them courting controversy once more, this time by giving the famous hill carving of a white horse in Uffington, Oxfordshire a covert makeover.
More than 200 metres of lightweight canvas was pinned to the ground to add a 'jockey' to the ancient monument and Paddy Power insist that they took great care at the site (no doubt mindful that they could be liable for prosecution if the landmark had been damaged).
Spokesman Paddy Power said a team of 20 people used night vision goggles for more than six hours to set it up:
“We didn’t ask permission because we knew the answer would be no. But no harm has been done, it is down now. If anything we have actually highlighted the beautiful horse.”
You can watch the installation work being completed on the video below.
The Uffington White horse is a 110 metre long carving filled with white chalk dating back to the Bronze Age (sometime between 1400 and 600 BC) and the site is owned and managed by the National Trust.
In August 2002 the figure was 'defaced' with the addition of a rider and 3 dogs by members of the "Real Countryside Alliance" in an attempt to promote their pro-hunting agenda.
Paddy Power have a reputation for pushing boundaries for marketing purposes, including erecting a 50 foot tall promotional sign on the hillside overlooking Cheltenham racecourse during the 2010 Cheltenham Festival - to the annoyance of the racecourse and other bookies who secured all the Festival race sponsorship, but comparatively little publicity.
The Irish bookmaker are offering to refund all losing bets on the Arkle Chase at next week's Cheltenham Festival if hot favourite Sprinter Sacre wins.