Holly Hickmore says her positive experiences while studying A-levels at Hartpury College helped shape her successful career as a professional sculptor.
Currently the artist in residence at Sandown Racecourse, Holly makes and casts her own work in bronze at her studio just outside Winchester.
One of her sculptures now has a permanent place in the entrance to the Equine Centre at Hartpury.
The opportunity to stable her own horse at Hartpury’s livery yard provided Holly with inspiration for her stunning bronze creations.
The livery yard, which has room for 260 horses, is among a range of facilities at Hartpury that also include a commercially-run farm supplying produce to major supermarkets, an Animal Management Centre and a state-of-the-art Sports Academy.
“I wanted to take my horse to college with me, so what better place than Hartpury?” said Holly, who studied A-levels in art, biology and psychology,
“The first sculpture I ever did was in the A-level centre, and it was great because I had my horse here and that’s where I got my inspiration.
“After Hartpury, I went to Canterbury University to study fine art and then did an Erasmus year and went to Budapest to the Hungarian School of Art.
“It was there that I learnt all the traditional skills I use today. I love sculpting any subject but sculpting a horse is like coming home.
“I had the best time at Hartpury – everyone had so much energy and enthusiasm. It’s amazing the support I’ve had from the alumni too.
“I’ve been really taken under their wing and have been very lucky to have pieces on the Hartpury stands at Badminton Horse Trials, The Royal Three Counties Show and Countryfile Live.
“It’s been a great presence for me. I also have a sculpture here permanently in the entrance to the Hartpury Arena.
“It’s been so lovely coming back to Hartpury for their big equine shows.
“I feel a massive parity with the competitors because they are striving for excellence and that is what I’m doing here, just not in the arena.
“I love the concept of people trying to harness the power of their horses, and that’s what I try to capture in my sculptures.”
Picture: Holly Hickmore with one of her sculptures