‘Bronson’ the horse appears in Duncan backyard, surprising neighbours

“A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse of course, that is, of course, unless the horse is the famous Mr. Ed,” is how the old TV jingle goes.

Well, there’s one horse in Duncan that is certainly getting talked about, and that, of course, is artist John Perfors’ creation.

This fine, full-sized animal stares out watchfully from beside his owner’s home at Silver Park trailer park, just south of the Cowichan River, and when he catches your eye, he never seems to let go.

“People always say: ‘He’s looking right at me!’” laughed Perfors when he introduced us to Bronson, named after the famous tough guy actor.

“I added this little gate so it looks more realistic,” he said as he walked around behind Bronson for a picture.

“I’ve never made anything like this before,” he said, standing with his hands on the horse’s back. “But I really like it.”

Perfors came to the Cowichan Valley from the United States, where he lived in both Florida and Oklahoma, but he has also lived in Calgary and, originally, Holland.

Even though he lived in agricultural areas, he was never a farmer. He worked on ships, traveling the world, before spending 30 years in Calgary. Then he moved to Oklahoma, where his son was a sheriff.

But he’s always loved cowboys and dreamed of a piece of land. And, for more than a year, Perfors said, he’s been dreaming of making a horse.

“But I didn’t know how to do it. Nobody could help me. I didn’t know anybody who did anything like that. So, I started making a skeleton out of two by fours and metal. Then, I had to find out what I could put around it so the cement will stick,” he said.

Yes, the horse is covered in cement, 10 bags of it, at 55 pounds each, although “so much of it got on the ground you can’t use it any more,” he chuckled.

“I tried everything, even the screen you use for your doors. But that didn’t work. It was too stiff. Finally, I ended up with burlap, and little bit by little bit, I built up the cement. Everything was okay on his top and on his back, but on his belly, what was I supposed to do to make it stay up?

“But, I liked doing it. I worked six weeks. I was up in the morning early every day, and worked until six in the evening and finally I could see it was coming.

“The fun part was the painting. I like painting,” he said.

At last, the horse was complete.

“Then I couldn’t believe it. I had people walk by or drive by, and they all looked. For the first couple of weeks I had people stop and they let the grandchildren come and were taking pictures.”

He made the chickens later.

“Little kids? They all run to the chickens, and they play with them. They don’t care so much for the horse but they like the chickens. One day, I just made a rooster and a couple of chickens. I just hate to sit around and do nothing.”

John Perfors of Duncan has created this eye-catching horse out of cement, wood, burlap, and a lot of creativity. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen photos)
Perfors has added a gate, foreground, to make the display of his horse, Bronson, look even more realistic. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
These lifelike hens and chicks are great favourites with children who visit, Perfors says.
These lifelike hens and chicks are great favourites with children who visit, Perfors says. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
’It’s not easy making those tail feathers,’ says the rooster’s creator, John Perfors of Duncan. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Just Posted

Habitat for Humanity starting 8 new homes in Cowichan in 2019

Cowichan’s Marcel Aubin new new executive director for mid-Island’s Habitat for Humanity

Library eliminates children’s fines as Family Literacy Week approaches

If you’ve been avoiding the public library because your kids have racked… Continue reading

‘Whimsical, funny’ ballet ‘Coppélia!’ coming to Duncan stage

“If you enjoy the ‘Nutcracker’, then you’ll love ‘Coppélia!’”

Cowichan Bay’s Cittaslow designation could be in jeopardy

Less people involved with Cittaslow activities

Lexi Bainas column: Lots of great ways to chase those winter blues in this week’s even

From the skirl of the pipes to the infectious sounds of a marimba band, what’s not to like?

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read