It took some determination for vandals to topple a 200 kilogram sculpture in the front yard of Max Thomas’s property at The Rock.
Freshly completed for entry into this year’s Spirit of the Land farm art contest, Mr Thomas woke on Tuesday October 9 to find the welded metal reindeer laying broken on the ground.
The work had taken six months to complete.
“It’s all spot welded, it would have taken me about a hundred hours,” said Mr Thomas.
“To see it like that I was basically very angry as anyone would be.”
With three days before it was due to be delivered to the competition grounds, Mr Thomas worked through the night to return the sculpture to its former glory.
He then spent the night awake on the front porch, guarding it from the vandals’ return.
“It was a job fixing it, especially the head. They’d done a number on the antlers. It’s still not 100 per cent,” Mr Thomas said.
“Sat there all night, a torch poked up over the fence to have a look around again too.
“They saw me and ran off.”
A total of 37 sculptures will be displayed at this year’s Lockhart Spirit of the Land festival on Saturday October 13.
An additional 22 of those have also entered the National Farm Art Award, constituting a marked increase on previous years.
Despite fallen numbers in the overall category, sculptor and exhibition organiser Luke Trevaskis said the amount work that has gone into the entries is encouraging.
“Most years I have a favourite, or at least one I think might win, but this year there’s quite a few that are really excellent,” said Mr Trevaskis.
With high security, including an overnight guard, Mr Trevaskis is confident the sculptures will not meet malicious intentions.
"They are very safe where they are, we certainly make sure of that,” he said.
“It was unfortunate to hear about what happened [to Mr Thomas’s sculpture] but thankfully it was a couple days before so there was time to fix it, and it looks good, Max has really stepped it up this year.”