Surrey artist’s new fund-raising cow is great mooos for Cycling UK

Artist Charles Rowbotham with Cycling Moo Kay II in his Surrey studio

Surrey artist’s new fund-raising cow is great mooos for Cycling UK

Dorking artist Charles Rowbotham is rustling up a new Cycling Moo Kay to raise funds for Cycling UK. Charles started painting a new fibre-glass cow this week after the original Cycling Moo Kay was stolen overnight from its grazing spot on top of Surrey’s Box Hill in August.

He is feeling bullish despite having less than three weeks to complete Cycling Moo Kay II, which will be auctioned at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday 17 November to raise funds for Cycling UK, the national cycling charity.

Surrey Hills CowParade organisers kindly provided a replacement life-size model cow following the theft of the first Cycling Moo Kay – which seems to have disappeared into some kind of local Bermooda Triangle, despite the police’s best efforts to find her!

Charles, a member of Cycling UK, will again be painting Surrey Hills cycling scenes on the new model, with mountain bikers riding a trail through Denbies Wine Estate on one side and cyclists pedalling up the famous Zig Zag Road to the top of Box Hill on the other.

Speaking at his new studio in Church Street, Dorking, Charles said: “The scenes will be similar to the original, but from a slightly different perspective. The cyclists will be coming up through the trees on the Zig Zag Road, which gives me a chance to reflect the fact it’s now autumn by using the warm seasonal colours of the leaves.

“I took delivery of Moo Kay II on Monday, so it will be pretty much full on to paint her over the next couple of weeks in time for the auction.

I’m glad there will be a happy ending to the story and we’ll have something to auction to raise funds for Cycling UK. Moo Kay II has risen from the ashes and hopefully she will find a good home when she is auctioned!”

Artist Charles Rowbotham

“I was shocked and saddened by the theft of the original Cycling Moo Kay but it has sunk in now and it’s nice to have the chance to paint a new version. I hope it will be an even better cow this time, too, as I will emphasise the things that worked well on the original and enhance other features.

“I’m glad there will be a happy ending to the story and we’ll have something to auction to raise funds for Cycling UK. Moo Kay II has risen from the ashes and hopefully she will find a good home when she is auctioned!”

About 60 brightly-coloured cows were on show across the county this summer as part of the Surrey Hills CowParade.

All the cows are now being auctioned off, with funds being split between the individual charities who sponsored them and the Surrey Hills Trust Fund.

The first auction took place at Sandown Park on 20 October, reaping a total of £79,800 for the individual charities.

Cycling Moo Kay II will be among the final 19 which will go under the hammer at a special Gala Auction at Hampton Court Palace on Thursday 17 November.

Charles spent over 80 hours painting the original Moo Kay, which was organised on behalf of Cycling UK by local cyclist Doug Clare, a member of the charity and chairman of G-Bug, the Guildford Cycling Campaign.

Cycling Moo Kay II and the remaining members of her herd will be auctioned by Ewbank’s, the Premier International Antiques and Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers in Surrey and Hampshire, who are able to take on-line bids prior to the event.

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