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SHOWJUMPING champion Scott Brash landed back in Peebles this week.

The lifesize sculpture created from recycled horseshoes by artist Kevin Paxton was positioned onto its base next to Edinburgh Road on Wednesday morning.

And already the tribute to one of the region's greatest ever sporstmen has been warmly welcomed.

Amongst the first to visit the statue of Scott aboard his gold-medal-winning horse Hello Sanctos were Rose and Clem Johnstone from Innerliethen.

Rose told us: "The Scott Brash sculpture is fabulous... a great asset to the town.

"We have seen other sculptures by Kevin Paxton but this is the best one yet."

Brash climbed the world rankings steadily throughout his early 20s, but it was when he helped Team GB to Olympic Glory in London four years ago that he shot to the world's attention.

The 30-year-old's gone on to command the world's number one ranking - becoming the first rider to win show jumping's Rolex Grand Slam in a single year - and being honoured with an MBE for his achievements.

The plan to honour Scott was the brainwave of Bonnie Peebles.

The voluntary gardening group already have a history of bringing sculptures to the town with an eye-catching train also positioned next to Edinburgh Road.

And their hard-work each year has earned Peebles countless Floral Gateway and similar awards.

But the Brash sculpture was their most ambitious undertaking yet.

Avril Murray from Bonnie Peebles said: "The most remarkable thing is that we have done it all within a year.

"The support from across Peeblesshire has been unbelievable."

Bonnie Peebles initially set the fundraising bar at £17,000 for a lifesize sculpture.

As the project began to capture the imagination, and more and more donations came in, the group upped the specification for the finished sculpture.

And the final tally for the completed work along with the associated costs for planning permission is closing in on £30,000.

Avril added: "We are absolutely delighted with how the sculpture looks.

"We went to see the sculpture a couple of times in the smiddy and it looked huge, but now that it is out in the open it is the perfect size for its location.

"The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive - a lot of people are telling us that it is much better than they had ever expected."

An official unveiling, which will also see the burial of a time capsule beneath the sculpture, is currently being planned for around the turn of the year.