Move over, Kelpies. The world’s largest equine statue welcomes visitors and exhibitors when they first arrive at the “X-Bionic Sphere” in Šamorín, Slovakia. A luxurious Olympic Training Center created in partner with sport brand X-Bionic, the sport center is becoming a new international sports capital–and not just for horses. Hosting state of the art stadiums and training grounds for the world’s best competitors in 27 Olympic sports, it would also be the perfect scene to have the world’s largest equine statue in the world.
The venue is also one of two finalists to host the 2022 World Equestrian Games, their competitor being the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY, USA. The Games were held at the Horse Park in 2010, marking the first time that the Games have been held outside of Europe. They also host other equestrian events, including their own Summer Tour, which is happening right now (July 20th-23) and can be watch live from their website.
272 feet tall, 479 feet long, and weighing a whopper of 20 tons, this monumental statue made of thousands of shard-like stainless steel slices that were individually welded by sculptor Gábor Miklós Szőke from Hungry. Known for his colossal public sculptures of animals and mythological sculptures, he is a record breaker and renowned European artist. Two of his statues are are the largest of their kind- the “Horse of Samorin” for equine statues and “FTC Eagle”-the largest statue of a bird in Europe. His work is recognizable through his stainless steel shards, welded together to create iconic animal sculptures.
Gábor’s works are mostly public art installations, spanning across Europe which is remarkable. However, being able to say you were commissioned by the Royal Family of Bahrain to create a statue for a Prince, must be a whole new level of success. In 2015, one of Gabor’s projects was to create this equine statue made of wood for Prince Nasser of Bahrain:
Finding inspiration in nature and the beasts and monsters of folklore, Gábor wishes to bring these creatures to life-in a extraordinary way. Combining powerful steel and wood with an artistic feel, these statues become icons of their locations, lasting long into the future.
Be sure to visit his website to see more of his creations, include huge Dobermans, birds, cattle and even a dragon! You can see the process of creating the “Horse of Samorin”, finished and installed in 2015 below: