A STATUE of Sandy, the only Australian horse to serve in World War I and return home, is set to emerge at Tallangatta.
Towong Council has approved spending $80,000 of $2.3 million in federal government funding allocated to the shire for the project.
It follows a campaign by the Sandy the War Horse Memorial Committee which has raised $52,000 since it started in early 2019.
The life-size bronze statue will be installed in the Triangles in the centre of Tallangatta and is expected to be unveiled in May 2023, the centenary of Sandy's death.
Committee president Ross Smith was rapt at the council's decision last week and has told sculptor Brett Garling he will be right to proceed after having created scale models.
"We've been in constant communications with the sculptor and I was just over the moon to be able to ring him up and say we can guarantee we've got the money and you can start," Mr Smith said.
Mr Garling created the Man from Snowy River monument at Corryong and a statue of former Test cricketer Glenn McGrath.
Mr Smith said it was expected the formation of Sandy would take a year, with the bay gelding to appear as he does in the image above with riding gear attached.
Sandy was a stock horse at Old Tallangatta before being volunteered for war service and being used by AIF commander Major General Sir William Throsby Bridges.
Towong mayor Andrew Whitehead said the spending had to be ratified by the government, but he noted that should be a formality.
The committee's dedication showed the council the merit of supporting the statue.
"I think it's a great story and people should be able to come and have a look at Sandy and hear about how that whole story came about and the connection to Tallangatta and Old Tallangatta," Cr Whitehead said.
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