Luisa Zissman broke down in tears as she explained her decision to have dead stallion Madrono preserved.
Appearing on Thursday’s episode of This Morning alongside the majestic beast and taxidermist Simon Wilson aka Simon The Stuffa, the former Apprentice star grew emotional as she discussed her grief.
Although the entrepreneur, 33, explained that she couldn’t bear to be parted from her pet – who died from cancer in 2019 – viewers were left baffled by the ‘creepy’ decision to have Madrono stuffed, remarking that it would serve as a constant reminder of his death.
Reunited: Luisa Zissman appeared on Thursday’s episode of This Morning alongside dead stallion Madrono and taxidermist Simon Wilson aka Simon The Stuffa
Apologising for crying, Luisa explained: ‘This is so embarrassing, I suppose everyone deals with grief in different ways. He’s so majestic and so beautiful so I didn’t want to let go of him…
‘When I knew Madrono had to be put to sleep I went to Simon and said I couldn’t bear to not see him again. I couldn’t describe it, I just wanted him with me forever.’
Recalling how she felt after seeing him stuffed for the first time, she said: ‘It made me really happy!
‘Like you said he’s a work of art, he’s a sculpture. For me I just wanted him to live forever I guess and be this amazing piece of art, this sculpture, I was so privileged to own him.
Grieving: Luisa broke down in tears as she explained her decision to have Madrono preserved explaining that she couldn’t bear to be parted from her pet – who died from cancer in 2019
She continued: ‘I was pretty grief stricken, I had quite a hard time after Madrono died, some people might find that strange but we’re a nation of animal lovers so I hope some people with understand.’
Madrono passed away in 2019 after a battle with cancer but the Covid lockdown resulted in a delay having his body preserved.
Taxidermist to the stars Simon said that stuffing the animal was no mean feat, calculating that it took two months to preserve the creature.
Now the work is complete, Madrono will take pride of place in the hallway of Luisa’s Hertfordshire home where she lives with husband Andrew Collins and their two children, Indigo, three and Clemmie, two, as well as daughter Dixie, nine, who she shares with her ex-husband Oliver Zissman.
Apologising for crying, Luisa explained: ‘This is so embarrassing, I suppose everyone deals with grief in different ways. He’s so majestic and so beautiful so I didn’t want to let go of him…’
Following the interview, shocked viewers took to Twitter to express their concerns.
Viewers penned: ‘Thats just really creepy…also, I’d probs be gutted, everytime I looked at it…just a reminder that they are gone’;
‘Just why? No idea why anybody would want a permanent stuffed reminder that their beloved pet is dead Broken heartBroken heart#ThisMorning’; ‘
Having a mare: While some viewers were sympathetic to Luisa’s plight, others found the decision to have Madrono stuffed ‘creepy’
‘What about photographs, videos , a lock of hair, horse shoe. There’s plenty of ways to see him and remember him but it’s strange this taxidermy thing because the horse is there lifeless and no personality. #ThisMorning’ [sic].
Others were more sympathetic to Luisa’s plight, penning: ‘There’s no manual for grief. People need to come out of business that doesn’t concern or pay them. If that’s how she wants to remember her pet, that’s her choice. #ThisMorning’;
‘#ThisMorning #horse. I don’t know about taxidermy in general.; ‘The horse is beautiful and she loves it, if it makes her happy to see and touch it then that’s all that matters’; ‘If having her horse stuffed makes her happy then that’s up to her. #ThisMorning’
Immortalised: Luisa unveiled the stuffed body of her dead horse Madrono in an Instagram post on Tuesday
Ahead of her interview, Luisa announced on her Instagram Stories: ‘I’m still not sure why it’s such interesting news.
‘Obviously people do think it’s a bit weird, I didn’t realise it would be international news. I think it’s weird that people think it’s weird.
‘Madorono will be there. I’m super excited to see him again. Might give him a brush.’
The interview comes after Luisa documented the moment she was reunited with Madrono two years after his loss.
Emotional: The Apprentice star, 33, broke down in tears on Tuesday as she was reunited with her beloved horse after he was preserved by a taxidermist
She shared the emotional moment to her Instagram page on Tuesday, revealing that the white stallion would now take ‘pride of place’ in the entrance hall of her new house.
The reality personality acknowledged that she was ‘weird’ to have this done to her late pet but explained the ‘overwhelming heartbreak’ she felt when he died.
Taxidermy refers to the art of preserving of an animal’s body via mounting or stuffing for the purpose of display or study. Animals are usually portrayed in a lifelike state.
A full body mount for equines ranges from around £6,000 for a pony to £15,000 for a draft horse.
Bringing him home: She shared the emotional moment to her Instagram page revealing that the white stallion would now take ‘pride of place’ in the entrance hall of her new house
An overwhelmed Luisa shared the moment she was reunited with her beloved horse and tagged taxidermist Simon to thank him for preserving her horse saying that seeing the animal again was ‘so incredible’.
Luisa penned: The day we were reunited ❤️⭐️ I know I’m weird, I know this isn’t normal but when Madrono had to be PTS [put to sleep] due to melanomas (cancer) I was shattered.
‘I had seen @simon_the_stuffa amazing work and he was the first person I called.’
Heartbreaking: The reality personality acknowledged that she was ‘weird’ to have this done to her late pet but explained the ‘overwhelming heartbreak’ she felt when he died
Sad news: Luisa revealed her stallion had sadly passed away in December 2019 – and immediately announced her plan to get him stuffed by a taxidermist
She continued: ‘I can’t describe the overwhelming heartbreak when Madrono died I spent a week in bed and got stress induced vertigo (pathetic I know)
KNOW YOUR STUFF: TOP TAXIDERMY FACTS
Taxidermy is the art of preserving an animal’s body via mounting or stuffing, for the purpose of display or study.
The word taxidermy describes the process of preserving the animal and the end product.
The practise is often used for displays at museums and exhibits but can also be commissioned by private individuals for personal use.
Pet taxidermy is often more costly than other taxidermy work is because it is more demanding technically and artistically.
Rates vary per taxidermist, but firms will typically charge upwards of £100 for small birds such as robins and finches.
Mammals such as cats and dogs can be upwards of £800.
Luisa did not disclose how much she paid for her horse to be stuffed, yet a full body mount for equines ranges from around £6,000 for a pony to £15,000 for a draft horse.
The company is charging £4000 to purchase a stuffed ‘unicorn’ a horse with a horn attached to its head.
The cheapest animal for sale is a stuffed Antique Ruff retailing at £140.
‘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 b**ls are still intact.
‘Madrono will take pride of place in the entrance hall of my new house. ❤️❤️❤️’
Luisa revealed her stallion had sadly passed away in December 2019 – and immediately announced her plan to get him stuffed by a taxidermist.
The heartbroken reality star took to her Instagram account to pay tribute to her equine companion after he lost his four-year battle with ‘aggressive melanomas’.
Luisa shared a collection of pictures of the majestic animal, including a memorable shot of him dressed up as a unicorn.
She wrote: ‘My heart is broken. RIP Madrono, you were simply one in a trillion. I’m sorry I couldn’t do anymore for you.
‘For 4years we have battled your melanomas and although I knew this day would come one day, I didn’t quite believe it. You’ve been the best horse ever for nearly 6years. So many amazing happy memories. I can’t believe it.
‘Heartbroken doesn’t come close. thank you for being the best ever’.
Luisa also posted on her Stories at the time of Madrono’s death, announcing her decision to have him preserved as she ‘couldn’t bear to let him go’.
She wrote: ‘Thank you for all your messages about Madrono. I’m heartbroken, he is suffering and there is nothing @royalvetcollege can do for him.
‘This is really weird but I cannot bear to let him go and have decided to have him taxidermed so I can keep him forever.’
Magnificent: The heartbroken reality star took to her Instagram account to pay tribute to her equine companion after he lost his four-year battle with ‘aggressive melanomas’
Simon, the founder of Animatronic Animals Ltd, is a the number one taxidermist in the UK and a stuffer to the stars, who boasts a 40 year-long career crafting many of his projects for Hollywood film sets.
As a result of working on movies with taxidermy and training live animals he discovered animatronics.
Simon has taken on many projects all over the world combining taxidermy, animatronics and live animals for the movie industry and museums.
Sad news: Luisa also posted on her Stories at the time of Madrono’s death, announcing her decision to have him preserved as she ‘couldn’t bear to let him go’