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140 years for the Shire Horse Society
The 2018 National Shire Horse Show celebrated 140 years of the society which nurtures and promotes the UK’s numerically largest heavy horse breed. There were innovations and challenges this year, including the introduction of new shoeing rules and incredibly wintry weather – but out of it all came wins for William Bedford’s Landcliffe Charlie as the National Stallion Champion and King George V Cup winner, and Martin Fountain’s Woodhouse Calendar Girl, last year’s Shire Horse of the Year, who triumphed as champion female. Other successes included John Goodwin with his unicorn, and Robinson’s Brewery’s Acle Thomas, champion gelding, produced by Paul and Matthew Bedford. Photographs: Kevin Wright.
Celebrating the centenary of the Percheron in Britain
The British Percheron Horse Society celebrates its centenary (1918-2018) this year, with a major two-day event at the Weald & Downland Living Museum near Chichester, West Sussex on 2/3 June. The celebration will be part of the museum’s Living History Festival and coincides with special demonstrations using draught horses to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, in which Percherons played an important part. The BPHS event will not be a show but a demonstration by members reflecting the part played by the Percheron in this country. Special guests from France, home of the breed, will be attending. In the picture is Michael White with his Percheron mare Willingham Mary and her foal at Ashby Show last year. Photograph: Kevin Wright.
Top triumphs in Shire Horse of the Year and Ridden Heavy Horse Championships
The second half of the shows season is dominated by these two events at the Horse of the Year Show, and congratulations go to a much admired Shire mare who has come on steadily over the years and a multi-versatile Percheron who rounded off his first year as a ridden heavy in style – Martin Fountain’s Woodhouse Miss Dynamite and David Curtis’ Hales Hector. Our big events section covers the whole country and includes the Royal Welsh Show, the Suffolk Spectacular, Leicestershire County Show, the Great Dorset Steam Fair, the Wessex In-hand and Harness Championships and the Midland and North West & Wales Shire Foal Shows.
Triumphs and sadness in 2017 Show season
Our huge centre-page Shows section features the Suffolk and British Percheron breed shows as well as top county events such as Nottinghamshire, Royal Bath & West, Royal Three Counties, Suffolk, Royal Norfolk, Royal Cheshire and the Royal Highland. The first half of the season saw some great triumphs – notably, and for the second year running, the Stuart Group Supreme In-hand Championship at the Royal Norfolk Show for Fiona Clark’s Shotleyfield Dazzling Duke, who was Suffolk champion there as well as the supreme champion at the Suffolk Horses Society’s Breed Show. We also included a fantastic shot of John Goodwin’s unicorn of Shires at Suffolk County Show, taken by Kevin Wright. But there was also sad news at the height of the summer and after HHW had gone to press with the passing of Richard & Robert Bedford’s multi-champion and much-appreciated Shire mare, Hartcliff Rhianna. She was admired at many of the shows we report on this issue.
King family triumphs at 2017 National Shire Horse Show
The 2017 flagship event for the Shire Horse Society saw history made when the King family from Cheshire took the stallion, mare and gelding championships, a feat rarely achieved. Three days of showing at the event’s new home, Staffordshire County Showground, visitors enjoyed in-hand, turnout, ridden and harness classes. Pictured is Matthew King with stallion champion, Snelson Gatsby, and the qualifier for the Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year at HOYS in October, J Anderson’s Gautby Arclid Flashman, ridden by Morag Snow.
30 years of Heavy Horse World magazine!
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-drawn 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!
Congratulations 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.
Celebrate the winners at shows around the country!
Enjoy 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.
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 Wales Cup, Ronnie Black’s Collessie Jennifer and National Shire Horse Show King George V Cup winner Jonathan Worthington’s Shire stallion Leverton Leon. Stacy Fletcher became the first ever qualifier for the new Heavy Horse Ridden Championship to be held at this year’s Horse of the Year Show in October. Kevin Wright took this classic shot of the decorated harness winner, Faye & Mike Bottomer’s Fifield Admiral.
Meet the noses!
You 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.
Biggest shows section ever!
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, Norfolk, 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.
Top Shire prize goes to Germany
The 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 breed 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.
Suffolk mare wins top award
Tom 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.