Heavy Horse World Magazine Issues



30 years of Heavy Horse World magazine!HHW 30th anniversary 2 high res 200

This year we celebrate our 30th anniversary – Heavy Horse World is the UK’s longest-running publication devoted to draught horses! For three decades we have been exploring and promoting the heavy horse breeds of the British Isles – the Shire, Clydesdale, Suffolk and British Percheron – as well as overseas breeds in this country and beyond, plus working ponies and crosses. Heavy Horse World covers all aspects of draught horse activity – showing, breeding, in-hand, turnouts, farm and market garden work, horse-drawnSpr17 30 years of Heavy Horse World magazine 178x250 equipment (modern and historic), forestry work, promotional activity, driving trials and riding. We hope all those of you who have contributed stories and pictures or have enjoyed reading the magazine over the years will celebrate with us!


Shire final and ridden UK championship top this year’s season!

Win16 Shire final and ridden UK championship top this years season 1 200x183Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Shire Horse of the Year final and the first-ever Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year championship – Martin Fountain’s Woodhouse Calendar Girl, and Virginia Osborne with Clydesdale, Kinclune Danny Boy. The Horse of the Year Show was a particularly special one for the heavy horse world, as it also saw the reintroduction of the Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses.

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Celebrate the winners at shows around the country!

Aut16 Celebrate the winners at shows around the country 4 178x200Enjoy fantastic photographs - many from Kevin Wright - and quality reports from the first of the season’s shows from all over the UK, including the Suffolk and Percheron breed shows, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Cheshire, Suffolk, Royal Three Counties, Royal Norfolk and Royal Highland.

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Discover the winners at the Shire and Clydesdale breed shows

Read reports from our top contributors and photographers on these two major events which kick-start the breeding and showing season. Congratulations to all winners but especially Clydesdale National Stallion Show overall supreme and winner of the Prince of WalesSum 16 Discover winners at Shire and Clydesdale breed shows 4 350x234 200 Cup, Ronnie Black’s Collessie Jennifer (photo: Jim Crichton) and National Shire Horse Show King George V Cup winner Jonathan Worthington’s Shire stallion Leverton Leon (photo: Tracy Muir). Stacy Fletcher became the first ever qualifier for the new Heavy Horse Ridden Championship to be held at this year’s Horse Sum 16 Discover winners at Shire and Clydesdale breed shows 3 350x263 200of the Year Show in October (photo: Kevin Wright). Kevin Wright took this classic shot of the decorated harness winner, Faye & Mike Bottomer’s Fifield Admiral.Sum 16 Discover winners at Shire and Clydesdale breed shows 2 213x260 150










Meet the noses!

Spr16 Meet the Noses Suffolk Punnch Trust Hollesley Suffolk 350x272You don’t have to find a show to catch up with your favourite equines. Some of them are at visitor attractions open regularly – like these two inquisitive fellows at the Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley, Suffolk. Step back in time and discover Suffolk’s rural farming past, meet the rare Suffolk horses and understand the part they played in shaping the landscape of East Anglia, and find out about the historic Colony Stud.

2015 Shire Horse of the Year!

Congratulations to Paul Bedford who has notched up his third win in the Shire Horse of the Year championship with his spectacular stallion, Metheringham Upton Hamlet. Congratulations also to turnout champion Tom Henfrey, ridden champion Stacy Fletcher and top ploughman of 2015, Jim Elliott.

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Biggest shows section ever!Aut 15 Biggest shows section ever 2 350x222

This issue includes our biggest shows section ever – 25 pages of fantastic photographs, insightful reports and results from events all over the country. They include the Suffolk and British Percheron breed shows as well as top county shows such as Nottinghamshire, Suffolk, Aut 15 Biggest shows section ever 3 350x240Norfolk, Cheshire and the Royal Highland, and smaller events like the Melton Mowbray Show, the West Wales Shire Horse Show and SESHA’s two-day show in the south east.

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Top Shire prize goes to Germany

Sum 15 Top Shire prize goes to Germany 1 350x276The top Shire horse prize – the King George V Trophy for the champion stallion – went overseas for the first time in the breed’s history, when Dr Volker Schumann of Hattingen, Germany won with his two-year-old Schumann’s Eragon at this year’s National Shire Horse Show at Grantham. Meanwhile, in Scotland Robert Hamilton took the coveted Cawdor Cup with his Dillars Excel at the breeSum 15 Top Shire prize goes to Germany 2 350x221d show equivalent for the Clydesdales, held at the Royal Highland Showground. Supreme champion at the show was Robert Sibbald’s mare Shielhill Diamond Jubilee. Read eight pages of reports on the two events in this issue, and find out more about Dr

Schumann’s big stud near Dusseldorf.Sum 15 Top Shire prize goes to Germany 3 350x264

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Suffolk mare wins top award

Suffolk mare wins top awardTom and Sandy Walne have pulled off a truly remarkable feat – their Suffolk mare has won the Horse & Hound Outstanding Mare Award in the British Breeders Awards run by the British Horse Foundation – beating all those fashionable Thoroughbreds and sport horses who would usually take such an honour. Good for them! Read all about the award in this issue, along with a feature on Tom and Sandy which HHW and Jeff Hallett of the Suffolk Horse Society were already working on when the news of the award broke.


Congratulations to the Shire Horse of the Year winner!


Paul Bedford won this prestigious championship with his magnificent stallion, Metheringham Upton Hamlet, the first time a stallion has won the contest twice. At the finale of the Horse of the Year Show it was Hamlet who was in the spotlight – providing the audience with a great memory of the Shire breed as they left to go home from one of the UK’s top equine events.


Congratulations to Northumberland champion of champions!

Aut_14_Congratulations_to_Northumberland_champion_of_champions_459x357John Fairbairn of Berwick upon Tweed won the champion of champions accolade at the Northumberland County Show with his 16-year-old Clydesdale gelding, Mick, in decorated harness – the first time an equine competitor, and a heavy horse at that, had been chosen for the honour in over six years.




Congratulations to Shire and Clydesdale winners!

Sum_14_Congratulations_to_Shire_and_Clydesdale_winners_250x285The top horses for these iconic breeds were chosen at their respective national breed shows in the Spring, with Paul Bedford’s Metheringham Upton Hamlet taking the King George V Cup for the national Shire stallion championship and Charlotte Young’s Doura Master Eddie winning the Cawdor Cup and Prince of Wales Cup for the Clydesdales. Congratulations to them and all the class winners at Grantham and Stirling – read the full reports and see plenty of pictures in this issue.


Under saddle – and high up!

Spr14_Under_saddle_and_high_up_478x350Annie Rose of Cumbrian Heavy Horses begins a new series for ridden heavy horse enthusiasts. Her award-winning equestrian business has solely pure-bred heavy horses for people to ride on a range of specialist treks and rides in the beautiful Lake District. Riding heavy horses has, over the past decade, become a fast growing equestrian pursuit,” she says. “Using magnificent Shire, Clydesdale and Suffolk Punch ‘heavy’ breeds and a variety of heavy horses from Europe within various riding disciplines is becoming increasingly commonplace”. She looks at how riding heavies has developed and includes a useful Q&A section.



Giant Clydesdale heads rise at Falkirk

Win13_Giant_Clydesdale_heads_rise_at_FalkirkThe landscape around Falkirk, Scotland has been experiencing dramatic change with the construction of the much-anticipated sculptures, The Kelpies, at The Helix, a £43 million greenspace tourism project. The 30m high horse’s heads dominate the site and are a tribute to the region’s most famous equine breed, the Clydesdale. Discover the story behind the sculptures.



First Suffolk foal born by embryo transplant

First Suffolk foal born by embryo transplantFor the first time in the UK a Suffolk Punch foal has been born as the result of an embryo transplant. It is thought to be the third time the procedure has been used within heavy horse breeds in this country. Owned by Roger and Jill Parckar, Dawley Faith is a representative of one of the rarest breeds of horse in the world. The procedure was carried out at Twemlows Stud Farm, Shropshire. Her mother, Milden Opal, went on to conceive a second time, thus producing two foals ‘for the price of one’.



Shires in first-ever ‘Flying Feathers Race’

Sum_13_Shires_in_first-ever_Flying_Feathers_Race_462x316Lingfield Park, Surrey is to stage a first-ever Shire horse race. The event, on 15 June at the track’s annual Countryside Raceday, will match professional jump jockeys with Shires from nearby Hurst Green Shires over a distance of two furlongs. Jump jockey David Crosse, who had a preview recently, said: “I was surprised how nimble they are – in a much slower way of course! I can’t wait for the race, it will be quite a sight.”



Shire Horse Society to move to Market Harborough

Spr_13_Shire_Horse_Society_moves_to_Market_Harborough_350x221The Shire Horse Society is to move into new purpose-built premises by the summer, leaving its East of England Showground home where it has been based for many years. The new site is on the Rockingham Castle and estate in Leicestershire. This year will also be the last time the National Shire Horse Show is run at Peterborough, with a move for next year to Arena UK, Grantham.


Martin Clunes presents prizes in Scotland

Win12_Martin_Clunes_presents_prizes_in_Scotland_350TV star and Clydesdale owner Martin Clunes was at Blair Castle International Horse Trials & Country Fair to present the prizes at the Ridden Clydesdale Championships. Winner was Virginia Osborne on Kinclune Danny Boy.



Shires moment in the sun at Olympics opening ceremony

Aut_12_Shires_moment_in_the_sun_at_Olympics_opening_ceremony_239Shire horses took centre stage at the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony when the Olympic
Stadium was transformed into a green vision of Britain at the beginning of the dramatic show. Drayhorse Shires contributed three turnouts, two pairs on omnibuses and a single on a tip cart. The team had to spend several days ‘locked down’ on the site for rehearsals in preparation for the event. Nara Stevens said: “...the atmosphere was electric”.



New heavy horse driving classes to attract young people

Sum_12_New_heavyhorse_driving_classes_to_attract_young_people_227Equifest, Peterborough (15-19 August), is to introduce a new range of heavy horse novice and junior whip driving classes to encourage younger heavy horse enthusiasts and newcomers. Enhanced riding classes, a concours d’elegance and a foreign breeds class will also be held. The move comes at the instigation of Shire enthusaist and showperson Wendy Toomer-Harlow: “Hopefully it will be a stepping stone to a full turnout for some, and may encourage some of the riders to have their horses broken to drive as well if they have classes they can enter,” she says. The new classes are: Heavy Horse Open Driven, Heavy Horse Novice Driver, Heavy Horse Junior Whip and Heavy Horse Cones Obstacle Driving.



Heavy Horse World celebrates its 25th anniversary – and 100th issue!

Heavy Horse World celebrates its 25th anniversary – and 100th issue!Heavy Horse World has now been published for quarter of a century – the longest running publication devoted to heavy draught horses in the UK ever. Special thanks are due to many who have made it possible, including stalwart contributors and photographers, and long-standing advertisers. Heavy Horse World has become the forum which gathers together all the strands of the heavy and working horse sector whether it be breeding, showing, farming, logging, leisure or promotion. See editor Diana Zeuner’s choice of the best front covers over 25 years.




Horse-drawn barge tops Countryfile Calendar images

Heavy horse World Magazine Winter 2011 Issue - Horse Drawn Barge tops Countryfile Calendar imagesAn image of a canal barge pulled by horse was voted favourite by the public for the front cover of the BBC Countryfile 2012 Calendar. Sarah Williams’ picture, Pulling Power, was taken at the Grand Western Canal, Tiverton, Devon and shows Welsh Cob X gelding, Taffy, pulling the Tivertonian. The choice of front cover is great news for working horses, providing them with a high national profile.


Heavy horses in lifeboat pull

Heavy Horse World Magazine Autumn 2011 Selsey Lifeboat PullHeavy horses re-enacted a lifeboat pull this summer to mark the 150th anniversary of Selsey Lifeboat Station in West Sussex. The 30ft long three-ton Bembridge lifeboat Queen Victoria, identical to the original used in the Channel waters off the Selsey Bill headland, was pulled around the town by Ringwood-based Robert Sampson’s team of British Percherons. Robert and his son Fred rode postillion to show how the horses would have been driven to launch the lifeboat into the sea in the 19th century.



Heavy Horse World sponsors senior stallions at the National Shire Horse Show

Sum_11_image1_183x185Heavy Horse World editor Diana Zeuner presented the senior stallions’ red rosette to winner Paul Bedford, whose Penrhos Brave Heart went on to win the supreme show championship and the coveted King George V Trophy at this year’s National Shire Horse Show at Peterborough. “The line-up of 15 senior stallions across the main ring in the exec building was a marvellous sight,” says Diana Zeuner, “their quality stretching right down the line and commented on by many ringside.


Furthermore, each one of the stallions received a premium, apparently a record in modern times”. Brave Heart was described as “the best horse in England” by a senior judge. Our seven-page report on the show by John Bryant gives all the details, accompanied by lots of photographs from the event.


Prince of Wales hosts reception to support working horses

Spr_11_image2_250x173Plans for the British Festival of the Working Horse received a boost in December when HRH The Prince of Wales held a reception at Clarence House, London for working horse enthusiasts and event supporters.


Spr_11_image1_250x127Before the reception a Christmas tree was delivered to Clarence House on a horse-drawn forwarder pulled by Percheron mare, Ella. At the reins was Doug Joiner, chair of the British Horse Loggers, which has The Prince as its patron, and who is supporting the idea of the festival. The event, planned for Windsor Great Park on 7-9 September 2012 plans to celebrate all aspects of working horses.




Titanic anchor pull

Heavy Horse World Magazine Winter 2010 - Titanic Anchor PullDevon horseman Jonathan Waterer led an ambitious task in the summer to reconstruct the journey of the Titanic’s main 15-ton anchor from its Midlands foundry to a nearby railway station behind a team of 20 Shire horses. The event was organised by and filmed for a Channel Four documentary on the building and engineering behind the iconic vessel. Jonathan garnered support from Shire owners from different parts of the country, many with horses he had himself trained. The event attracted huge crowds, as the horse team began the journey, with the huge anchor on a purpose-built drag designed by wheelwright Rodney Greenwood. Find out how they did it and how they got on in the Winter issue.



Shires repair damaged coastal path in Cornwall

Aut_10_image1 198x300Robert Eddy provided a pair of his Shires to help the National Trust replace a heavy granite clapper bridge on a section of the South West Coast Path at Zennor earlier this year. Using a timber arch and a sled, the Shires dragged the bridge’s three pillars down to the almost inaccessible River Cove, where the two large capstones were replaced with the help of farmer William Alford and his vintage Field Marshall tractor. They were taking part in a £200,000 repair job to the path after last year’s freak floods.


Shires return to Burton

Shires Return to BurtonShire horses have returned to Burton-on-Trent where the new National Brewery Centre was opened in May. Two young Shires have been acquired by the centre’s new owners, Planning Solutions Ltd, and a head horseman appointed. He is Andrew Whetton, a well-known figure in the Shire horse world, who is bringing on the horses, Major and Trooper, to pull the ex-Bass and ex-Coors drays once again.


Riding heavy horses

Riding Heavy HorsesIn a major feature Heavy Horse World explores the development of a new discipline for heavy horse enthusiasts – riding. Discover how people began to ride their heavies as another way of ensuring their use and continuation in the post-working horse era. Contributions are included from Waldburg Shires, one of the first heavy horse businesses to ride their heavy horses; Cumbrian Heavy Horses, the only fully-accredited trekking centre in the world to use only heavies (mostly Clydesdales); the Stephen sisters in Scotland who ride and jump pedigree Clydesdales owned by their uncle; the huge enthusiasm for riding Shires from Europe – Germany in particular; how the Skinners run almost an “academy” for young heavy horse riders in Aberdeenshire, and how heavies are used for hunting by heavy horse champions like Robert Sampson, who points out that heavy horses have always been ridden, even by farmers during the working horse era. Also, we look at judging heavy horse ridden classes and where to get the large tack needed for a heavy horse.



Shire Horse of the Year Championship 2009

Shire Horse Champion of the Year 2009 - John Wilkinson's Hainton Charlie GirlThe Shire Horse of the Year champion for 2009 is John Wilkinson’s Hainton Charlie Girl. She took the honour at the Horse of the Year Show at Birmingham’s NEC in October. Second and third positions went to Paul Bedford’s Pantyrhuad Heidi and Bryan Banham’s Acle Sabrina. Judge was Nigel Blakey.




Owen Garner wins Royal supreme driving championship

Owen Garner with his unicorn of home-bred Percherons from his Willingham-based Hales stable in Cambridgeshire, won the teams class and then took the supreme driving championship at The Royal Show, the last one ever. His win took place against strong competition from light horses. Kevin Wright’s photograph of Owen carrying out his winning show is on the front cover of the Autumn 2009 issue.



North West & Wales Shire Foal Society’s 30th anniversary

The North West & Wales Shire Foal Society celebrates 30 years of selling at this year’s show and sale at Wettenhall, Cheshire on Saturday 17 October. Formed to encourage Shire breeding, the event attracts enthusiasts and buyers from all over the UK and overseas. Horse sales are complemented by sales of harness, implements and lorries. Chairman, Jonathan Worthington, says the show committee is looking forward to welcoming visitors to its anniversary event.


Martin Kerswell, 20, of Buckfastleigh, Devon, became one of the youngest ever ploughing champions

Martin Kerswell, 20, of Buckfastleigh, Devon, became one of the youngest ever ploughing champions when he took the Southern Counties Heavy Horse Association’s Great All England Ploughing Match title. Nineteen when he took part, Martin won the high cut and best crown at the match, held near Selborne, Hampshirewhen he took the Southern Counties Heavy Horse Association’s Great All England Ploughing Match title. Nineteen when he took part, Martin won the high cut and best crown at the match, held near Selborne, Hampshire.


Paul & Walt Bedford took the Shire Horse of the Year Championship with Acle Delma’s Double D in September at Peterborough.

Paul & Walt Bedford took the Shire Horse of the Year Championship with Acle Delma’s Double D in September at Peterborough. Indoors at the East of England Agricultural Society’s exec centre for the first time, the Radford Stables-sponsored final was the first win there for the brothers in three years. Two Acle horses took the first two places, with Acle Sabrina, owned and bred by Bryan Banham of Acle, Norfolk, coming in second. The next four were Richard Bedford’s Boothay Richard; FWO Richardson’s Mawstone Winnie; Nigel Blakey’s Walker House Elizabeth and Paul Bedford’s Penrhos Braveheart. At the same event, the first Heavy Horse Turnout of the Year Championship was won by David Mouland and his team of four Clydesdales from Fordingbridge, Hampshire. Other winners were David Curtis (singles); Elspeth Ross of Waldburg Shires (pairs) and Maggie Smith (agricultural).


Percheron mare Willingham Marie received The Royal Show TopSpec Supreme In-Hand Equine Championship for the second time for Gordon Bailey who exclaimed: “I’m over the moon!”

Percheron Mare Willingham MarieShe also took the top title in 2006. Gordon Bailey won the honour with another of his mares, Willingham Chrystal, the previous year, in 2005. The judges, from all equine disciplines agreed she was “absolutely outstanding”. This was the fourth time in five years that a heavy horse had won the championship. Gordon Bailey received the rosette and sash from HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Marie also won the Royal Show heavy horse championship and the British Percheron Horse Society breed show championship.


Richard Bedford’s six-year-old Boothay Richard, shown by his 19-year-old son, Robert, won the National Shire Horse Show stallion championship and King George V Cup at this year’s Spring Show at the East of England Showground, Peterborough.

Richard Bedford's Boothay RichardHeld indoors in the new exec building for the first time the show attracted good entries and plenty of visitors. Alastair King of the Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre, Cheshire, took the George Roberts Champion Points Memorial Perpetual Cup for the most successful breeder at the championships: his wins included taking reserve national champion with Cotebrook Ben Macdhui. Earlier in the year his son Matthew had taken the Clydesdale Stallion Show championship and Cawdor Cup with his MGK King of the Ring, beating fellow Englishman Martin Fountain with Woodhouse Lucky Strike. Both shows are reported fully in this issue.


A new society has been formed to further the interests of turnout and in-hand harness showing.

Heavy Horse Turnout SocietyThe Heavy Horse Turnout Society (HHTS) was inaugurated in Burton-on-Trent in November. The society’s flagship activity will be a prestigious annual Turnout of the Year Championship based on accumulated points gained by members throughout the season. This year it will be held in the new indoor arena at the East of England Showground on 6 September and £15,000 is being sought to cover the event. A working manual describing turnouts’ practical requirements is being drawn up to help show organisers and it is hoped they will affiliate to HHTS, helping to regulate standards. A panel of judges and judging criteria will be established. Membership fee is £20 and anyone with an interest in turnouts or harness classes will be welcome. Further information: David Lambert on 01636 821255.


The Lord Mayor’s Coach was pulled by a team from Waldburg Shires in November,

Lord Mayor's Coach pulled by Waldburg Shires Teamthe first time the coach could not be pulled by brewery horses, following the demise of Young’s Shires in the capital. Waldburg Shires, run by Elspeth Ross and David Lawless, won the contract after it was put out to tender. The team of six was driven by Alan Tillier, with Elspeth Ross riding postillion, backed up by a brakeman, footman and six walking grooms. Many weeks were spent in preparation and practice at the Waldburg Shires base at The Shire Horse Society’s centre at Sacrewell Farm & Country Centre near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.



Capespan Shires took the supreme driving championship at The Royal Show this year.

John Goodwin’s unicorn of bays from the Isle of Sheppey beat Welsh ponies, hackneys and stagecoach turnouts.


The 2007 National Shire Horse Show

takes centre stage this issue, with a double page spread of pictures and a five-page analysis of this major two-day heavy horse event. Tony Bull of Arclid Shires, Church Minshull, Cheshire took the coveted King George V Champion Challenge Trophy for best stallion at the show. Home-bred bay Arclid Minshull Monty topped the four-year-old class and went on to take the top spot, 20 years after his owner last won the cup with the sire of Monty’s dam, Hillmoor Prince Charles. Other winners were Graham Ward of Gorefield, Wisbech with female champion and top senior mare, Decoy Princess Dawn, and gelding champion Farholme Prince William, who won for the Bedford brothers from Deighton Stud, Yorkshire. Read all about the classes, discover fascinating stories unearthed by contributor John Bryant, and take the opportunity to buy the official 2007 National Shire Horse Show video.



Heavy Horse World Magazine celebrates its 20th Anniversary

with the publication of the Spring 2007 issue, which for the first time in its history is in full colour throughout – and at no extra cost to subscribers! A 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Horse Brass has been created to mark the milestone. Like the 1997 10th Anniversary brass it has been designed by Terry Keegan, whose Heavy Horse Enthusiast business, now run by his daughter, Ali, has been such a staunch supporter of the magazine over the years. This issue features reflections on 20 years of the magazine and of heavy horses from editor, Diana Zeuner and contributor, Edward Hart. Champion ploughman Charlie Coffen was on the front cover of the Spring 1987 issue and is pictured in this issue still taking part in matches today.


Jamie Mason’s Grange Farm Lady Fiona

took the 2006 Shire Horse of the Year Championship at Stafford in September. Judge Bob Gardner praised her “power, flat clean bone and well-placed limbs” and congratulated her owner on his presentation. Second and third were Paul & Walt Bedford’s Delma’s Double D and FWO Richardson & Sons’s Mawstone Winnie.


A British Percheron has taken the Royal Show supreme championship for the third year running. Gordon Bailey’s Willingham Marie won the ultimate prize at the Royal Show, beating in-hand champions from all other equine disciplines. This is the third time a Percheron has taken this accolade. The other winners were Owen Garner’s Hales Uni and Gordon Bailey again, with Willingham Chrystal. All three mares come from the Cambridgeshire village of Willingham!