Thursday, 10 March 2011, 3:38 pm
Press Release: Auckland Racing Club

For Immediate Release
10 March 2011

Lucy Lawless and her Egyptian horse, Argo, have been voted the most popular duo in town in an Auckland Cup Week charity competition which has seen life-size fibreglass horses turned into works of art.

Beating home 17 other celebrity horse duos, Lawless and the thoroughbred she designed, Argo, received the most Facebook ‘likes’ after a two month online competition, winning a $5000 donation for Starship Children’s Hospital from the Auckland Racing Club.

Lawless was in a three horse race with tough competition from actress Amanda Billing and NZ’s Next Top Model host, Sara Tetro but Argo was able to hold onto the lead and will be presented with the cheque for $5000 at Ellerslie this Saturday 12th March, Diamond Day.

Lawless, Billing and Tetro are three of 18 talented New Zealanders who donated their time and creative genius to paint life-size fibreglass horses in support of their chosen charity, as part of Ellerslie’s Resene Fastest Art Exhibition.

Each horse is currently being auctioned on Trade Me, raising money to benefit their chosen charity, with the Facebook competition being an extra opportunity to win money for their cause.

With bids into the tens of thousands, the Trade Me auctions are garnering attention from across the nation.

The auctions will close this Saturday at 2pm, just prior to a live auction of Marc Ellis’ painted horse, On Your Marcs, on Diamond Day at Ellerslie Racecourse. The proceeds from the auction of Marc’s horse will benefit CatWalk Spinal Cord Injury Trust.

The Resene Fastest Art Exhibition has seen the 18 horses travel all over Auckland for the past three weeks, in the build up to Auckland Cup Week.

The 18 have been joined by a 19th horse, painted red and black for Christchurch, with a money slot located in its back. This life-size thoroughbred moneybox has been oncourse at Ellerslie all week, collecting donations for the people of Christchurch through Ellerslie’s Racing for Christchurch Appeal Fund.

Billy Apple has already won his charity, New Zealand Native Forests Restoration Trust, a $9,000 hospitality and sponsorship package from Ellerslie by drawing Jimmy Choux, winner of last Saturday’s Telecom New Zealand Derby.

To find the horses on Facebook, search “Resene Fastest Art Exhibition” into the Facebook search field or visit

To follow the Trade Me auctions, enter “Resene Fastest Art Exhibition” into the Trade Me search field.

The 18 artists and their chosen charities are as follows:

Amanda Billing - Child Cancer Foundation
The Blues - Men's Health Trust New Zealand
Billy Apple - New Zealand Native Forests Restoration Trust
DDB - Ronald McDonald House Charities
Jay and Flynny (91ZM) - The Heart Foundation
Josh Emett - Melanoma Foundation of NZ
Karen Walker - Breast Cancer Cure Research Trust
Kids of 88 - Play It Strange Trust
Lindy Leuschke (Leuschke Group) - SPCA Auckland
Lucy Lawless - Starship Foundation
Marc Ellis - The Catwalk Spinal Injury Trust
Mayor Len Brown - Kidz First Children's Hospital
Oscar Kightly - Auckland City Mission
Sir Peter Leitch (The Mad Butcher) - Allergy New Zealand
Ra Vincent - Make-A-Wish New Zealand
Saatchi and Saatchi - Turn Your Life Around (TYLA Youth Trust)
Sara Tetro - Canteen
The Vodafone Warriors - Variety – The Children’s Charity