This art challenge is quackers!

David Nicholson with the duck jump that will be used at Burgham Horse Trials.
David Nicholson with the duck jump that will be used at Burgham Horse Trials.

ORGANISERS of a top Northumberland equestrian event are looking for an unflappable art student to take on an unusual commission which could help their career take off.

An advert has been posted for the services of an artist who can paint a 9ft duck at the Burgham Horse Trials site.

The eye-catching feature is one of the main fences on Burgham’s new cross country course, which will host part of the event on March 24 and 25. Some of the biggest names in eventing, including Team GB Olympic hopefuls, will be competing during that weekend.

The course has been designed to international standards by former Olympic course designer Ronald Alexander and built by a team led by former champion eventer Peter Wilson. The last bit of work left is to put the finishing touches to fence number 20 – ‘the duck’.

Joint event organiser David Nicholson said: “Equestrian events rely heavily on volunteers for roles such as fence judges, stewards and course runners, but for this unusual task, we’re looking for a budding artist who wants to add something quite unique to their portfolio.

“They would need to be available within the next two weeks to paint the duck and it needs to be finished to a high standard in a colour scheme which ensures it looks, well, like a duck.

“We can provide all the required paint and materials.”

Any artists who would like to offer their services can contact Mr Nicholson at or by calling 07590 265867. Alternatively, they can leave a message via the event’s Facebook page at where photos of the duck can also be seen.

For more information about the competition and opening times visit