The Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Torrie Horse arrives at Vet School

The School is lucky enough to have received a bronze copy of The Torrie Horse from the University of Edinburgh’s collection, which has been mounted for display on the first floor of the School. The horse will be familiar to many as the figure used for the Breeders Cup Trophy.

Ecorche horse

The Torrie Horse is one of the finest examples of a sculptured horse surviving from the Renaissance. The original was made in Florence by Giovanni de Bologna, probably in the late 1580’s. It was recorded in the Villa Mattei in Rome during the 17th and 18th centuries and was bought by Sir James Erskine of Torrie, Bart., who brought it to Scotland at the beginning of the 19th century. It was bequeathed to the University of Edinburgh by his with the rest of his collection of old master paintings and bronzes, and came into the possession of the University of Edinburgh in 1836.

The horse is an écroché, showing the muscles of the animal in detail. Its original purpose is unknown, but it may have been made as a study for the equestrian statue of Duke Cosimo I of Florence cast in 1591 and which has stood in the Piazza della Signoria in Florence since that date.

Bronze horse

The copy which is on display in the School’s teaching building, was made from the original in 1984 by Mario Pastori and is one of only a handful of full sized copies to have been made.

The Breeders Cup Trophy also originates from this period - the trophy was cast from the original and was approved by the University of Edinburgh for exclusive use of the Breeders Cup Limited. The largest version of this trophy is owned by the Breeders Cup and fifteen replicas are presented to the connections of the winners of each of the Breeder’s Cup World Championship races every year.

Watch the Torrie Horse being delivered to the School