Winx and her Dunedoo jockey Hugh Bowman to be immortalised in his hometown’s silo art

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Source: ABC /

Hugh Bowman, one of the world’s best jockeys, is set to be immortalised in art in his home town of Dunedoo, alongside champion mare Winx.

“I left Dunedoo when I was pretty young and then when I left school, pursued my dream of being a jockey,” Bowman said.

“I’ve obviously had a lot of success and for that to be recognised, along with the champion mare Winx on the silos in my home town, is very, very humbling.”

Bowman grew up on a farm just outside the town in central west New South Wales, about an hour west of Mudgee.

“It gives me a great sense of pride and I’d hope that it does bring some activity and interest to the village, because it really is a beautiful town,” he said.

For nearly a century the grain silos have been the tallest thing in the town of just over 1,000 people.

Four years ago, when grain company Graincorp sold off 72 of its silos throughout New South Wales, local farmer Brett Yeo bought the Dunedoo silo.

However, painting them was not even an idea at the time.

“No it wasn’t then, but it’s developed as I’ve seen more art and studied the trails that have been developed and the interest within the tourist side of things,” Mr Yeo said.

Thanks to a My Community New South Wales Government grant, the town now has $95,000 to spend painting them.

“It’s an excellent result. We campaigned around the town as best as we could and we’ve had great support from the development group and other groups to get out noses in front,” Mr Yeo said.

A few years ago, there was talk of creating a tourist attraction for Dunedoo — a ‘Big ‘Loo’ — playing on the town’s name.

However, Bowman said he was pleased that idea had been put on the backburner.

“Personally I don’t think that would have been a great tourist attraction,” he said.

Mr Yeo said he hoped the Dunedoo silos would provide a continuation of the Silo Art Trails that are bringing travellers and tourists to western communities.

Silo subject a ‘no brainer’
When it came to selecting a subject for his silos, Mr Yeo said it was an easy decision to make.

“Hugh will be part of the artwork, he’ll be a subject of it yes and we’ll try to also encompass some other themes; maybe a local theme and really try to develop it to represent the community,” Mr Yeo said

Winx’s record is extraordinary.

Her final tally stands at 33 consecutive race wins, a world record 25 Group One victories, and staggering prize money in excess of $26.4 million.

“I don’t expect to ever find another one like her,” Bowman said.

“The pressure is on to find another horse that can win those big races [and] it is certainly a different feeling going into the spring season without her.”

First for artist Peter Mortimore
The monumental project will take six to eight weeks to complete with popular equine artist ‍Peter Mortimore tasked with completing the work.

He has been painting for 25 years and this will literally be his biggest project yet.

“I’m a bit fearful. Thirty-four metres up on a cherry picker will be an interesting exercise, but it’s something I’m really looking forward to doing,” he said.

Peter Mortimore artist and wife Carolyn
PHOTO: Peter Mortimore, pictured with wife Carolyn, has been tasked with painting the Dunedoo silos. (Supplied)
“I paint many things but horses are my favourite subject.”

His wife Carolyn hails from Dunedoo too.

So where does an artist start when it comes to painting a silo?

Mortimore said he had drawn on the silo to scale and would probably have to ‘grid it’ in dot form first.

“Then just very carefully [I’ll be] hand drawing it on the main subject and going from there, fill it in,” he said.

“It’s been suggested to me that I use spray cans, and that’s something that I haven’t used before so I’m practicing being a graffiti artist at the moment.

“I think that will be ok because you get good coverage quite quickly.”