But as of now Woodinville’s iconic horse, which threw its head back and raised its forelegs proudly for the visual benefit of three generations above an advertising monument sign along Woodinville-Duvall Road, is headed back to the barn for repairs.
Because last Monday at about 3 a.m., in an apparent act of theft that became a sad case of vandalism, the equine figure, for reasons yet to be determined, was literally knocked off its pedestal.
According to Woodinville Police Chief Sydney Jackson, the night janitor at nearby Italianissimo, arriving for work at the time, interrupted three male teens dragging the stallion across the parking lot.
“They had apparently brought their own extension ladder,” Jackson said. “The three scattered and ran northbound on 156th when they saw the janitor, leaving behind the damaged statue and their ladder.”
Apparently they brought tools as well, as the statue was bolted down and supplanted by steel rods.
The damage included a front right leg cleanly severed approximately at its cannon bone.
Both horse and ladder were recovered by local businesspeople in the Stallion Hill Center early the next morning.
Tom Tollifson, property manager of the complex, solicited some help to carry the 12-foot beast — and its lost appendage — into his nearby office, needing to remove a ceiling tile to allow room for the horse’s head.
Right from the starting gate, Tollifson was thinking repair and remount.
“From what I can tell it’s made of fiberglass,” he said. “I’ve been in contact with a boat repair shop in Seattle and they think they might be able to do something.”
According to property owners Dr. Hans and Martha Dankers, the White Stallion has reared proudly in the locale since 1958, long before they purchased the property in 1987.
But they grew up with it, too.
“Originally it was mounted on the roof of a (horse) tack shop, back when there were only two buildings here,” the doctor said.
Martha Dankers always had a special place in her heart for the horse, which, incidentally, was pressure-washed annually to maintain its white coat, and she was frankly a little perturbed.
“People love that horse; that horse represents Woodinville,” she said. “Sometimes on Halloween it would mysteriously appear with a witch hat; at Christmas there’d be a Santa hat. It’s been such an identity that we kinda take it personally.”
She could only wonder what the miscreants had in mind.
Police produced fingerprints, she said, and the shiny, new professional ladder tossed thoughtlessly in nearby bushes has a bar code and appears to have been purchased locally.
“Somebody’s daddy will surely be missing that,” she said.
Furthermore — and she said it with a smile — there are security cameras that scan the parking lot, which are currently being reviewed by authorities.