British TV presenter Luisa Zissman had her horse taxidermied


This post is going to take some of you on a journey. I have no idea what kind of journey this will be for you, but it will be a journey. Luisa Zissman is a TV personality in Britain. I won’t pretend I know her, but I just read her Wiki page. She sounds like she had some business acumen that she inflated and translated into reality TV success, which now gets her airtime on shows like Loose Women and Good Morning Britain. She’s also an unapologetic racist so the few things I was going to give her credit for I’ve suddenly forgotten.

Anyway, Luisa is a big horse person. Wiki said she got her first job at 16 to pay for the upkeep for the horse that her parents got her. In December 2019, Luisa had to put the horse she’d had for six years, Madrono, down due to cancer. She was heartbroken and continued to post videos and photos of him for months after he’d passed. Well, Luisa went in a very different direction to memorialize her beloved horse: she had him stuffed and mounted. She sought the services of famed taxidermist Simon Wilson to have her faithful companion preserved for eternity. She posted the unveiling to her Instagram:

Luisa’s caption to this video read:

The day we were reunited ❤️😢⭐️

I know I’m weird, I know this isn’t normal but when Madrono had to be PTS due to melanomas (cancer) I was shattered. I had seen @simon_the_stuffa amazing work and he was the first person I called.

I can’t describe the overwhelming heartbreak when Madrono died I spent a week in bed and got stress induced vertigo 🙈 (pathetic I know)

Seeing him again today was so incredible. He’s perfect, his kind eyes are exactly the same, the little swirls in his coat, his beautiful mane all so perfect. Thank you @simon_the_stuffa and your team. You really have made me so happy! (Even though I’m ugly crying)

And for those who listen to @annawilliamsonofficial and I LuAnna : The Podcast, you will be relieved to hear his balls are still intact.

Madrono will take pride of place in the entrance hall of my new house. ❤️❤️❤️

#madrono #horsetaxidermy#stuffedhorse

Can we first address the Ferrari cover used to cover the poor horse? Was that necessary? Maybe Simon the Stuffa could commission some custom reveal cloths if this is going to become a thing. Since I own a book called Crap Taxidermy, I consider myself something of a taxidermy expert (I’m kidding – about being an expert, not the book. I actually do own that). This looks like good work to me. Could you imagine if you pay all that money and it comes out looking like this? Speaking of money, do we even want to guess how much this cost? Simon works with films and museums so he’s top of the line to begin with. I guess you can’t put a price on love.

The biggest question is: would you do it? Obviously, it’s a very individual choice. I get the need for reminders, but this would be too much of a reminder for me. As her caption said, she intends to have him reside in the entrance for her new home. There’s nothing wrong with having a dead horse in the entranceway, of course. Luisa might want to remind her guests before entering, though. That would be a heck of a surprise to those who don’t expect it.

Luisa’s caption also mentioned that Madrono’s balls are intact so at least he’s being treated with the dignity he deserves – stuffed and stuck to a board with his intact balls on display for all. Normally I would say the bereaved should do whatever they need to do to recover. But since Luisa is a racist and hypocrite who broke quarantine for a girls trip, all I care about here is what Madrono would have wanted and I can’t imagine spending his afterlife in a sterile front foyer would be his choice.


Photo credit: Instagram

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26 Responses to “British TV presenter Luisa Zissman had her horse taxidermied”

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  1. Southern Fried says:


    • nievie says:

      There is a Roald Dahl horror story about a woman who would taxidermy guests at her hotel. This reminds me of that.

      • Michelle Connolly says:

        Yes! I thought of that too, I only re-read that story the other week. It’s called The Landlady, one of his shorts. It’s in a collection I have called Kiss Kiss but I’m sure it’s appeared in others.

  2. Lauren says:

    I get that she loved her horse very much, but I find taxidermy creepy AF. I could never do it, no matter how much love I could have for any pet, just having a life-like animal staring at you in any room gives me the creeps.

    • Ellie says:

      Yeah, hell no. I love my pets but I find this very troubling. Taxidermy itself doesn’t exactly bother me but I don’t want ANYTHING taxidermied in my home, especially an animal I knew and loved and once saw animated. My husband once saw a beautifully done taxidermy peacock at a market and got very fixated on putting it in our guest room, until he saw it was $2,500. No freaking way – it’s still an animal corpse, face and all, and therefore a huge no to me.

  3. Runaway says:

    To each their own, but that’s creepy AF..I would avoid my friend’s home if that was in the front entrance, would totally freak me out

  4. lemonylips says:

    There is something so strange in having an animal stuffed. That said, one of the most interesting places to see is in London is a taxidermist in Islington. They had a giraffe in it once! While walking around I’d always end up standing in front of their window and stare for a looooong time. Still, would never have my animal friends stuffed but it is interesting to see it like that.

  5. Ang says:

    So gross to hug the being you loved so much and feel it cold and hard instead of infused with life force and a soul.

    • AuntRara says:

      Exactly this. I miss my dog every day. But staring into the glass eyes of his lifeless body would be indescribably painful and horrific. I absolutely don’t get it.

      • TD says:

        I get that grief makes you do things that seem (ok, are) really strange. I just lost my beloved dog a little over a moth ago. Before his death, I was considering having a ring made with his ashes. It was way beyond what I could afford but I was convinced that I would need it to cope with the grief. A month on, and I’m finding it not something that I want to do. I’m wondering if she waited a little while, would she have still wanted to? Probably, but like others have said, I just can’t imagine looking at the body of my loved companion dead every day.

  6. Roserose says:

    This upset me so much I had to go cuddle my cats for a while. Then I realised what was upsetting me. It’s the idea of this person (because that’s what my cats are to me, people) becoming a thing in my house.

    • SarahCS says:

      Yes, while I joke about turning my cat into a pair of mittens (he is SO soft) I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when he goes. The idea of cremation bothers me as I don’t want a little urn sitting there as what, decor? So I’m seriously considering a very deep hole in the garden and burying him there. He can go into the earth. It’s horrible either way.

  7. Chaine says:

    Everyone deals with grief differently, and at least this horse was taxidermied out of love rather than having been shot and stuffed for some kind of toxic masculine hunting trophy.

  8. manda says:

    Yes, this was an upsetting trip for me. I find this disturbing and weird, and cruel to the horse. I’m upset at the baby giraffe in the show room.

  9. SarahCS says:

    She sounds awful so nothing more to say about her but on the subject of taxidermy, our local (pretty provincial) museum has a section of stuffed animals (some from the local zoo, others shot years ago) with some excellent information about conservation. However, the real treat was when we went for a ‘behind the scenes’ tour years back as part of a film festival (they showed Night at the Museum IN the museum, it was epic) where we got to see some of the stuffed animals that don’t get to go on display and even now the photos can bring tears of laughter to my eyes. Crap taxidermy and then some. Best £5 I ever spent.

  10. Nev says:


  11. teehee says:

    It’s absolutely gorgeous work, I’ll give them that.
    It all depends on the animal, person, and bond.
    In only one situation did I legitimately wish i could have had this done, because I had a significantly hard time letting go of the pet.
    Its this way with all pets. though, and this process wont necessarily ease the sting and after several years, will you still feel the same?
    Coincidentally I am heading to the vet in 2 hours- and it reminds me that no one can really judge how others choose to handle either a sick pet or their passing, because everyone has different pain thresholds and so do the animals- there is no “best choice” on a banner- there are only many, many factors and a legitimate hope that you choose the best for the animal, all options considered, with the future still entirely unpredictable and there is always the “what if” of “could it have turned out better than this?” that plagues you because many things in life we cannot control: death being one of them.
    Still, I don’t think many pets want to be plackered up on the bookshelf or in the hallway, though…. and ITA, to the comments, of feeling a cold, stiff “thing” rather than the vibrant being it once was.
    But who knows, maybe some pets would request to stay with their owners, whom they bonded with? I’ve just never personally found that to be the case yet. Mine wanted to be peacefully put to rest and remembered as they were alive (not just physically).

  12. Nanny to the Rescue says:

    I’ve heard of people stuffing their cats and dogs and keeping them in their living rooms, but those take up less space. Also, we’re talking rich people, so it is considered quirky, not insane. I find it generally weird, but eh, it could be worse.

  13. Case says:

    I would find it so upsetting to see pets I loved and saw so fully of life reduced to this. It just seems unbearably sad.

  14. The Hench says:

    I have the Crap Taxidermy book – it is hilarious, especially the inscription at the front dedicated to her mother which reads “To my tiger mom, Wendy Su. See? I told you I’d publish a book one day. Wait, this isn’t what you had in mind? F*ck.”


    With respect to this effort – well, as taxidermy goes, it’s not crap. But no matter how not crap it is, it’s still a dead horse in your hallway. Personally, if I had oodles of cash to throw at a problem like this I would have gone with cloning the beloved steed whilst it was still alive but each to their own and all that.

  15. livealot says:

    Her horse was gorgeous. RIP. That’s all i got.

  16. Christine says:

    I love my dogs to death and I would never in a million years do this. The reason I love my pets is because of their personalities and the joy they bring me. Why would I want to look at a cold, dead reminder of what I lost every day? So I find this weird. To each their own of course, but I’d quickly excuse myself from someone’s home if I saw a stuffed pet hanging out in the corner.

  17. Hannah Young says:

    I’ve talked about doing this with my cat when the time comes, to my husband’s disgust & horror. I would want her curled up in her sleeping position, with eyes closed, because I find that that’s the hardest part to get right with taxidermy. And she has such expressive eyes. I know it’s freaky to most people but she hates the outdoors and I can’t bear the thought of her being cold in the ground… or cremating her. She never leaves my side and even stays up all night with me when I can’t/won’t sleep. The first time I went away for more than 36 hours, she didn’t eat, drink, nor use her litter box for 4 days. I don’t think I could let her be alone when she goes. I’m not 100% set on it, but probably would be if my family weren’t so repulsed by the idea.

  18. Sarah says:

    Nope. But it makes me wonder how much doing something like that on such a large animal would cost. Maybe instead of spending the money to stuff her dead horse (which words fail me, btw) she could of donated it to cancer research for animals? I wouldn’t want to have a constant reminder around of my deceased pet when what made it “alive”- its soul and spirit- are gone. To me it just seems so disrespectful.