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School's plea: Return Horse Tamer's head

L-R: Tim Silber, Emily Singer and Zoe Kline,

L-R: Tim Silber, Emily Singer and Zoe Kline, editors of the Roslyn High School yearbook, at the pedestal where the Horse Tamer statue used to stand in front of the high school entrance. (March 22, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Audrey C. Tiernan

The search is on for the Horse Tamer's head. No questions asked.

The marble statue of a man trying to control a rearing horse stood in front of Roslyn High School for more than five decades, losing pieces to weather, time and wear.

In a plea late last year, the school district asked for help to restore the Horse Tamer.

First, they needed people to raise restoration funds.

Now they also need to find the missing pieces to put the statue back together again.

"It would make a big difference in the restoration," said Barry Edelson, the district's community relations director. "A lot of these things were gone decades ago due to . . . what would we call it? Youthful high spirits."

A chunk of the horse's side vanished a few years ago. Two hoofs are gone. The rider's head remains missing. The left arm -- once thought lost -- was discovered recently in the school maintenance shed.

The Friends of the Horse Tamer group is campaigning to raise $150,000 in repair funds by June 30 and the school district is looking for lost elements of the statue.

But a small piece will never be reunited with the original creation. It'll be ground and mixed with the ink used to print the cover of the high school's 2012 yearbook.

The idea to literally incorporate the Horse Tamer into the yearbook originated Feb. 3 when work crews were securing the statue for a move to North Shore Monuments, where it will be kept away from the elements.

Yearbook sales representative John St. Pierre said he stood watching the progress when his foot kicked a piece that had fallen away.

"It just kind of popped into my head," said St. Pierre, who works for Walsworth Publishing Co. in Hauppauge. So he took a 1-ounce piece.

"It's got to be ground into a very fine dust," St. Pierre said. "We don't want to hurt the quality of the book and its cover."

He's worked with Roslyn for 22 years and never created a dust-and-ink combination cover. His inspiration came from a 2008 University of Notre Dame yearbook his firm printed using pieces of gold from the school's iconic dome that was under repair at the time.

The statue was one of two that stood facing each other in a formal garden and plaza at the Mackay Estate in what became the Village of East Hills.

Friends of the Horse Tamer has raised $12,405, said Barbara Berke, a Hopkinton, Mass., resident and 1969 graduate of Roslyn High School.

"We sort of grew up with the mystique and all the history of the Mackay Estate around us," Berke said. And while the school's official mascot is a bulldog, "You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who remembers that," she said. "It was the Horse Tamer."

This year's yearbook is being marketed as holding Horse Tamer history.

"Some kids say it's cool," said senior Zoë Kline, 17, one of the yearbook's editors-in-chief. "Some say it's creepy."

At a glance

The Horse Tamer statue has stood in front of Roslyn High School for more than five decades. A look at its history:

Origin: Created between 1910 and 1921, it is modeled on The Horses of Marly, now at the Louvre Museum in Paris.

Location: Once stood on the Mackay Estate, with a nearly-identical partner that was restored and donated to the Town of North Hempstead.

For information: Visit

To donate: Make checks out to Roslyn Public Schools and mail to Friends of the Horse Tamer, P.O. Box 322, Roslyn, NY 11576

To report the location of a missing piece or to turn one over (no questions asked): Call 516-801-5090 or email

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