Sometimes a writer comes across a mystery and the puzzle refuses to be solved. One such mystery involves the sculpture “La Reyna and her Foal” by Arthur Jacques Le Duc. Situated in the Sydney Botanic Gardens, and labelled simply ‘Mare and Foal’, the sculpture was created in France in 1890.

But who was La Reyna, and why is there a sculpture of her in Australia?

La Reyna (Vermout-Bourg La Reine, by Cossack) was born in France in 1877, bred by Baron Arthur Schickler who operated a stud farm at his property Chateau de Martinvast near Cherbourg.