Restoration begins on Roslyn High’s historic horse tamer statue

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Work has begun on the Horse Tamer statue at North Shore Monuments of Glen Head. When completed, it will be returned to the circle near the main entrance of Roslyn High School.(Photo courtesy of Roslyn school district)

A former fixture of Roslyn High School will soon be restored to the campus.

Renovation work has begun on the high school’s former Horse Tamer statue by North Shore Monuments of Glen Head, the same company which restored the statue’s twin on Gerry Park in 2013.

Work to restore the Horse Tamer statue has begun by North Shore Monuments of Glen Head. (Photo courtesy of Roslyn school district)

In 2012, the school’s Horse Tamer statue was removed from the campus because of a deteriorating condition that led the district to believe it might collapse, Public Relations Assistant Andrea Rubin said.

A group of loyal residents called Friends of the Horse Tamer later banded together to preserve the historic monument that Rubin said had become an irreplaceable symbol of the high school for generations of students past.

“The restoration is complex and painstaking, and includes sculpting several part of the statue that were lost to vandalism and the weather over the years,” Rubin said. “The beautifully restored Horse Tamer in Gerry Park provides an excellent model of how the high school’s Horse Tamer will appear when completely restored.”

The statue was kept in storage while a fundraising campaign was underway, which has collected more than $177,000 for the work, including private contributions and grants from the Gerry Trust and Nassau County. Donations are still being accepted for the renovations on the group’s website friendsofthehorsetamer.com.

Restoration is expected to take about a year, Rubin said, and requested that anyone aware of any pieces of the statue should contact the school’s community relations department at (516) 801-5090, no questions asked.

Before the statue guarded the entrance to Roslyn High School for 50 years, it lived on Clarence Mackay’s Harbor Hill estate, now known as Country Estates, alongside the Gerry Park statue.

When the estate was demolished in 1947 and broken into pieces for new development, the statue was earmarked for destruction until local artist George Gach discovered it on the ground in pieces.

Gach asked the Roslyn Board of Education if they would keep the statue since the high school is built on land donated by Mackay in 1923 and personally undertook some repairs on the statue.

Mackay’s first wife, Katherine, also served on the Board of Education from 1905 to 1910.

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