This story was first published on December 4, 2012
Message featuring a photograph of horses sheltering under a giant table and chairs claims that the horse owner built the massive furniture after he was denied council permission to build a more traditional horse shelter.
The photograph is genuine but the story of why it was built is untrue. While the giant furniture does indeed provide shelter to horses, it was built in such a way as a means of promoting the products of a German wood merchant. It was not constructed as a way of bypassing a council building restriction as claimed in the message. A photograph of the furniture and horses was published in Time magazine back in 2003 and in various other publications in the years since.
This farm owner was denied a council permit to build a horse shelter. Fortunately, you don’t need a permit to build a table and chairs.
This rather compelling photograph depicts several horses sheltering under a giant table and chairs, complete with massive table decoration and tablecloth. According to the message that travels with the image, a farm owner built the unusual shelter for his animals after he was denied a council permit to built a more traditional structure. Some commentators have suggested that the image is the result of “photoshopping” or was made using tiny models of horses rather than real animals.
The photograph is genuine and depicts real horses under genuinely gigantic furniture. However, the claim that the furniture was built because the farmer was refused council permission to build a normal shelter is untrue. In fact, although it does provide shade and shelter for the horses in the field, the furniture was primarily built as a novel means of promoting the products of Jens Braun, a German wood merchant. A photograph of the furniture and horses was published by Time Magazine in June 2003, and included the following caption:
Three horses try to hide from the rain under an oversized table and chair in a pasture near Doellstaedt, eastern Germany. The huge garden furniture was installed by a local wood merchant to promote his products.
Another picture of the furniture and horses was featured as the Telegraph Picture of the Day for 2nd November 2011 with the caption:
Horses stand in the shadows of a gigantic wooden table and two chairs during mild autumnal weather in a meadow near Doellstaedt, central Germany
More images of the oversized furniture can be viewed via an AP Image search. The images include captions such as the following:
Horses stand in the shadows of a gigantic table and two chairs during heavy summer heat in Doellstaedt near Erfurt, eastern Germany, on Friday, July 6, 2004. Wood dealer Jens Braun built the unusual furniture as a protection for his horses.