A mass gathering of heavy horses assembled at the home of Scotland’s iconic Kelpies structures today (Tuesday, March 26) in celebration of the forthcoming 10th anniversary of the magnificent artworks. 

The Kelpies creator, internationally renowned artist and sculptor Andy Scott, joined in the celebration held at The Helix Park, Falkirk, to pay tribute to the Clydesdale Horse, the breed that inspired him to create the colossal Kelpies. 

The Clydesdale Horse played a crucial role in Scottish industry and economy- pulling wagons, barges, ploughs and coalships that shaped the geographical layout of Scotland. 

Andy, originally from Glasgow, Scotland, but now lives and works in Los Angeles, California, has flown back to his homeland for the occasion to celebrate a decade of the `Kelpies’ effect’. 

Since their launch, Helix Park has welcomed over seven million visitors from all over the world; The Kelpies play a huge role in contributing to a £85 million tourism spend in the Falkirk region annually.  

Andy, who now has large public art sculptures all over Scotland and around the world in places such as London, Sydney, America and Mexico, was commissioned by Scottish Canals to create this huge piece of awe-inspiring artwork. 

They are constructed from some 30,000 pieces of structural steel, with a stainless-steel cladding. The steel fabricators, SH Structures, created the individual pieces of the enormous horses from Andy’s three-metre-high models that had been laser scanned. 

In addition to the main sculpture, there are two sets of 1:10 scale maquettes that have been exhibited both in Scotland and abroad. 

The entire project took over ten years to realise and will now celebrate their 10th birthday on April 27th. 

Andy said: “The Clydesdale breed as an equine emblem of Scotland and I am so proud to be standing here today to pay tribute to these magnificent creatures that inspired me to make The Kelpies. It has been amazing to see the impact The Kelpies has had across the globe and I’m excited to see what will happen in the next 10 years.” 

Scottish Canals' Chief Executive John Paterson said: “The Kelpies pay homage to the working horses and people of Scotland who used to pull cargo and passenger barges along Scotland’s canals.  

"These remarkable animals and the canal staff of the day played a significant role in the rapid development of Scotland’s industries and its global influence, such as here in Falkirk with the proliferation of iron foundries that traded goods around the world, and the communities along the 141 miles of Scotland’s five canals and take their deserved place in our nations celebrated heritage. It is now over 200 years since Scotland’s canals were constructed and a decade on since The Kelpies were created, and these magnificent internationally significant works of art and indeed the nearby Falkirk Wheel have taken their rightful place as internationally renowned icons of Scotland, attracting hundreds of thousands of domestic and international visitors to Falkirk and the rest of Scotland each year, adding significantly to the local and Scottish economy. 

“We are delighted to be able to celebrate their 10th birthday in style and look forward to welcoming local and international visitors alike, to share with us this special anniversary and the memory of those who gave us the fabulous heritage legacy of Scotland’s canals, which continue to bring so many benefits across Scotland’s communities to this day” 

Falkirk Council Leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “Andy’s work has inspired visitors from all over the world and many marvel at how intricate and stunning these sculptures are. They are a great tribute to our industrial heritage and a fitting icon of our area.” 

Lynsey Eckford, VisitScotland’s Regional Director for Forth Valley, said: “Since the opening of The Kelpies a decade ago, they have ignited the imaginations of visitors and are firmly established as one of Scotland’s must-visit iconic landmarks. Every year, these magnificent equine sculptures draw hundreds of thousands of domestic and international visitors, and their enduring popularity is evident through their inclusion in our international and UK marketing campaigns.

“The Helix Park, The Home of The Kelpies, is cherished by locals, and highlights the wide-ranging benefits of investing in the tourism experience and the positive impacts those developments can have on the surrounding community.

“Collaborating closely with VisitFalkirk and Scottish Canals, we’re encouraging visitors to follow the trails linking Callendar Park, The Kelpies, Falkirk Wheel and Rosebank Distillery, when it opens in the summer, giving visitors the opportunity to extend their stay and immerse themselves in all the region has to offer.”

A special one-of-a-kind concert is planned for the anniversary to be held on Saturday, April 27th at the Helix Park, Falkirk, Scotland, for more information visit Helix Park Falkirk | The Helix