She recently acquired two new horses, but Luisa Zissman’s favourite thoroughbred was still a looming presence at her family home this week – despite dying more than a year ago.
The former Apprentice contestant, 35, was devastated after beloved white stallion Madrano was put to sleep following a battle with cancer in 2019, but opted to keep the animal in her life by having him stuffed.
Taking to instagram on Wednesday, Luisa – who took ownership of four new horses this week – confirmed he now takes pride of place in the family living room, with his stuffed carcass stationed next to a window.
There he is: Luisa Zissman’s favourite thoroughbred was still a looming presence at her family home this week – despite dying more than a year ago
Captioning a short video, she wrote: ‘Good Morning. Beautiful Madrono seeing him everyday makes my heart pang but also reminds me how much I love him… I know, I’m a bit weird.’
Luisa employed skilled taxidermist Simon Wilson to immortalise Madrano over a painstaking two month period after realising she couldn’t bear to be parted from her favoured horse.
But the move – which was delayed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – proved to be divisive among social media followers, with some branding her ‘creepy’ for wanting a constant reminder of its death.
What will the NEIGH-bours say? Taking to instagram, Luisa confirmed he now takes pride of place in the family living room, with his stuffed carcass stationed next to a window
Appearing on Good Morning Britain in 2021, shortly after Wilson reunited Luisa with her horse, she admitted it was impossible to say goodbye to Madrano.
She explained: ‘I suppose everyone deals with grief in different ways. He’s so majestic and so beautiful so I didn’t want to let go of him…
‘When I knew Madrono had to be put to sleep I went to Simon and said I couldn’t bear to not see him again. I couldn’t describe it, I just wanted him with me forever.’
Immortalised: The former Apprentice contestant unveiled the stuffed body of her dead horse Madrono in an Instagram post last April
KNOW YOUR STUFF: TOP TAXIDERMY FACTS
Taxidermy is the art of preserving an animal’s body via mounting or stuffing, for the purpose of display or study.
The word taxidermy describes the process of preserving the animal and the end product.
The practise is often used for displays at museums and exhibits but can also be commissioned by private individuals for personal use.
Pet taxidermy is often more costly than other taxidermy work is because it is more demanding technically and artistically.
Rates vary per taxidermist, but firms will typically charge upwards of £100 for small birds such as robins and finches.
Mammals such as cats and dogs can be upwards of £800.
Luisa did not disclose how much she paid for her horse to be stuffed, yet a full body mount for equines ranges from around £6,000 for a pony to £15,000 for a draft horse.
The company is charging £4000 to purchase a stuffed ‘unicorn’ a horse with a horn attached to its head.
The cheapest animal for sale is a stuffed Antique Ruff retailing at £140.
Recalling how she felt after seeing him stuffed for the first time, she said: ‘It made me really happy!
‘Like you said he’s a work of art, he’s a sculpture. For me I just wanted him to live forever I guess and be this amazing piece of art, this sculpture, I was so privileged to own him.’
She added: ‘I was pretty grief stricken, I had quite a hard time after Madrono died, some people might find that strange but we’re a nation of animal lovers so I hope some people with understand.’
Sad news: Luisa revealed her stallion had sadly passed away in December 2019 – and immediately announced her plan to get him stuffed by skilled taxidermist Simon Wilson
Devastated: Appearing on Good Morning Britain in 2021, shortly after Wilson reunited Luisa with her horse, she admitted it was impossible to say goodbye to Madrano
Following the interview, shocked viewers took to Twitter to express their concerns, with one writing: ‘Thats just really creepy…also, I’d probs be gutted, everytime I looked at it…just a reminder that they are gone’;
‘Just why? No idea why anybody would want a permanent stuffed reminder that their beloved pet is dead Broken heartBroken heart.’
A second added: ‘What about photographs, videos , a lock of hair, horse shoe. There’s plenty of ways to see him and remember him but it’s strange this taxidermy thing because the horse is there lifeless and no personality.’ [sic].
Having a mare: While some viewers were sympathetic to Luisa’s plight, others found the decision to have Madrono stuffed ‘creepy’
Others were more sympathetic to Luisa’s plight, with one posting: ‘There’s no manual for grief. People need to come out of business that doesn’t concern or pay them. If that’s how she wants to remember her pet, that’s her choice.’
While another write: ‘I don’t know about taxidermy in general.; ‘The horse is beautiful and she loves it, if it makes her happy to see and touch it then that’s all that matters’; ‘If having her horse stuffed makes her happy then that’s up to her.’
Luisa revealed her stallion had sadly passed away in December 2019 – and immediately announced her plan to get him stuffed by a taxidermist.
Heartbreaking: The reality personality acknowledged that she was ‘weird’ to have this done to her late pet but explained the ‘overwhelming heartbreak’ she felt when he died
Emotional: The Apprentice star broke down in tears last April as she was reunited with her beloved horse after he was preserved by taxidermist Wilson
Sad news: Luisa also posted on her Stories at the time of Madrono’s death, announcing her decision to have him preserved as she ‘couldn’t bear to let him go’
The heartbroken reality star took to her Instagram account to pay tribute to her equine companion after he lost his four-year battle with ‘aggressive melanomas’.
Taxidermist Simon, the founder of Animatronic Animals Ltd, is a the number one taxidermist in the UK and a stuffer to the stars, who boasts a 40 year-long career crafting many of his projects for Hollywood film sets.
As a result of working on movies with taxidermy and training live animals he discovered animatronics.
Simon has taken on many projects all over the world combining taxidermy, animatronics and live animals for the movie industry and museums.
Luisa Zissman stations dead horse Madrano next to her living room window