TRIBUTE has been paid to the restorer who designed and built the fibreglass horse which stood outside a Warwick pub for more than 30 years.
Rodney Ousbey passed away on Christmas Day, aged 71.
He was well known in his hometown of Warwick, and Stratford where he later lived, after building the horse which stood outside The Racehorse until 2018 when it was traded in for a metal version.
In his younger days Rodney was very active, taking part in road walking races, rock climbing and fishing – which became a life-long hobby.
He worked with his father restoring horse drawn vehicles and after marrying his wife Gill in 1978 bought a Welsh Cob, Bobby who they learned to drive.
A couple of years later they moved to Withybrook near Coventry to a property with a stables and workshop and set up a business, Rod restoring carriages and Gill running a livery stables.
Rodney completely his horses in the National Carriage Driving Championships, with the queen once even commenting at the speed he drove through the obstacles.
Along with his restoration work, he also built a new road coach, made fibreglass horses and reindeer for museums and also trained people in carriage driving.
Rodney – who separated from Gill in the mid 90s – became a familiar figure selling his perfectly painted vehicles and buying to restore.
It led to him receiving the Coachmakers’ Carriage Driving Award presented by the The Duke of Edinburgh, something his family say he was very proud of.
His family said: “Unfortunately around seven years ago he had to give up horses due to increasing health problems but through good friends Rod was still able to attend driving events such as meets of the Coaching Club and also help at various shows.
“Being very convivial as well as well-respected among carriage people he was a popular guest at many events such as the luncheons of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights and will be long remembered by those who met him.”