Horses always find a special place in the hearts of people – even if the horse is not a living, breathing, animal. For the townsfolk in Winchester, a community south of Ottawa, Ontario, a fiberglass statue of a horse named “Tony” was a beacon of sorts, and certainly a landmark. The presence of Tony would enable residents to give directions to visitors and delivery vehicles with a simple instruction of “turn at Tony.”

According to CBC News,  it was Shirley Fawcett’s late husband Roy who originally purchased the horse to decorate a float for Winchester’s Centeniary parade in 1988. Roy christened the statue “Tony” after a beloved colt his own father, who served in the cavalry in WW1, had owned as a boy. So well-known was Tony that Fawcett said she received mail with the address, “Horse Corner, Winchester.”

But when Roy passed away in 2018, Shirley, who is 90 and moving away from the property, and her son John sold the statue for $500 to a local vet. Locals took to Facebook to post their dismay and sadness about losing Tony. The outcry was enough for the buyer to offer to sell Tony back – for $2,000. The residents set out to raise the funds, starting a GoFundMe page, and a local animal hospital has offered to install the statue at their facility when the time comes.

“Tony is part of where we live, he is part of who we are here,” resident Brandi Hawley told the CBC.

And in an update on the Bring Back Tony Facebook page, the residents got their wish, posting on June 20th, “I am jumping for joy! We did it! Just waiting to hear back from seller as to when we can go get him!”

According to a comment made on the page, an anonymous donor made up the shortfall in funds. Some of the money raised will be used to replace one of Tony’s ears, set him in a concrete base, repaint him and outfit him in seasonal attire in keeping with tradition. Welcome home, Tony!