Behind the Design: #PrintMyPony Rug

Famous for our limited edition print rugs, we’ve created everything from ladybirds to stags. To celebrate our designs and designers, we launched a very special competition this year. The prize? A one of a kind turnout rug. Run on social media, entrants used the hashtag #printmypony and posted a photo of their horse for a chance to win an exclusive rug with their pony as the print.

The winning entry came from Emily Lacy and her dun horse, Danny. Emily bought the 15.2hh gelding online, “We had been horse shopping for a while, but we were up and down the country and didn’t find anything that was right, or it had stuff wrong with it and was overpriced. So, I just thought I like that one, it’s the right colour. He was four, a bit younger than I wanted but I paid by PayPal and he was delivered the following week!”

Emily’s mum also has a dun pony and the pair are well known on the pleasure ride circuit for their matching ponies. Emily and Danny have also enjoyed competing in Le Trec and showjumping.

To bring Danny’s new rug to life, our rug designer, Sally Pate, used several photos of him from different angles.

“I always create my designs of animals from photographs as you can get a more realistic illustration. So, when studying photos of Danny, I looked to see if he had any markings that were unique to him and to get a sense of his character.”

Sally Pate, Shires Rug Designer

Getting his colour right was essential. “Being a dun he had great colouring and I wanted to reflect this in the choice of colours I picked and also what colour background he should be on to really make the rug stand out,” said Sally.

Our process for print rugs usually begins with deciding on the concept which can take a while. With Danny as the winner, it meant Sally could get drawing straight away.

“I loved that this print was going to be so much more personal but that did mean more pressure to get it right!”

Sally Pate, Shires rug designer

The difficulty with the one of a kind rug for Danny was that we were not producing metres of fabric like we typically would when making lots of turnout rugs. As a result, measurements were key to working with the smaller amount of fabric.

A special run of ShireTexⓇ fabric was printed with the design before being made into a turnout rug. The finished rug was presented to Emily and Danny at their yard.

Despite the rainy weather, our photographer managed to snap some photos of Danny posing in his new rug.

“It’s great, it really looks like him. I like the details with his teeth where he’s grazing. The colours are great, it’s like my cross country colours. I’m really excited that it’s a one of a kind rug. I’m going to use it all the time!”

Emily, Danny’s owner

With over 50 years of experience in creating rugs, we are proud to produce innovative, special designs. After the success of the #printmypony competition, keep an eye out for more exciting opportunities from us.

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