All the news and photos from your favourite shows!
Our big centre-page section brings you over 20 pages of photos and reports from shows and events held all over the country in the first half of the 2018 summer season. With little rain to bother show organisers for a change, exhibitors were instead coping with the hot dry weather! Shows covered include Nottinghamshire, Suffolk County, Derbyshire, Royal Cheshire, Lincolnshire, Royal Three Counties, Royal Norfolk, Royal Highland, South of England, and more. Pictures by Adrian Sinclair and Kevin Wright.
Suffolks go tribal in Worcestershire!
Mike Clarke and his daughter Alison breed Suffolk Punches in the West Midlands, and their annual open day in July is a hugely popular event with the public, helping spread the word about this iconic rare breed. Mike Clarke spoke to Heavy Horse World about how the whole thing developed. After applying for the tenancy of Holbeache Farm they had their opportunity to buy their first Suffolk, and the journey began! Mike talks about the mares and stallions they have bred and used, and the foals they have produced – they run a tribe of between 30 and 40 Suffolks, all except one home-bred. Kevin Wright’s superb photos of the horses in their paddocks accompany our story.
British Percheron Horse Society Centenary Celebrations
Nearly 50 Percherons gathered in West Sussex to celebrate 100 years of the British Percheron Horse Society since the stud book was originally set up after the First World War. Most were from the UK, with Percherons and their owners travelling from the east of England – their traditional heartland – to the Weald & Downland Living Museum in West Sussex for the event. But its proximity to France also enabled 15 Percheron owners and their horses to cross the Channel for the occasion, and other guests included supporters from Canada and Ireland. A superb series of activities showed the versatility of the breed and highlighted its success in this country since those early days. This issue also includes our feature The Heyday of the Percheron, with William Castle’s original research into the breed’s zenith in the 1920s-40s and its relationship with the other draught breeds – new information and not to be missed.
Heavy Horse World Calendar 2019
Heavy Horse World’s annual 2019 Calendar is selling well, and includes 12 glorious colour photographs of all the heavy breeds busy with a wide range of activities all across the country, including showing, riding, turnouts, ploughing and decorated harness. We’re really pleased with our fantastic front cover of Stephen Ledsham’s Shire in his striking yellow wagon, taken by Kevin Wright. The calendar costs just £10.00, plus £4.00 p&p (slightly more for overseas). You can buy your calendar here.
Holding the baton for Shires in the Borders
Farmers John & Christine Fairbairn of Berwick-upon-Tweed have had great success in the showring with their animals recently. Heavy Horse World talked to them to discover their story. Triumphs this year have included winning the decorated harness class, and single and pairs turnout at the Northumberland County Show and going on to lift the driving championship. Danny and Vince are their driving geldings, both with “tremendous temperaments” and there are nine more Shires at home including five breeding mares and their own stallion. Their horses are produced on their mixed 235-acre family farm which includes 200 breeding ewes, holiday cottages and static caravans. John has had past success with ploughing too, and hopes to return to it soon.
Build your own hames and halters
Ploughman Paul Brook-Nolan has made his own wooden hames and ‘Yorkshire’-style halters following his interest in improving his own horse equipment and inspiration from Heavy Horse World editor Diana Zeuner’s book, Heavy Horses. His journey included contacts with several experienced horsemen, help from a harness-maker and a blacksmith, and manufacturing his own loom. Lots of great images show how he did it.
Soper’s working horse art to be celebrated in East Anglia
Ambitious plans to celebrate an exquisite family art collection dedicated to rural life and the working horse have been backed by TV presenter and Suffolk horse enthusiast Paul Heiney. The Soper Collection comprises more than 700 works of art by George Soper which will be well known by many Heavy Horse World readers, as well as artwork by his daughters focusing on country life. The Soper collection was the brainchild of the late John Baker whose widow, Joy, is leading the project to bring the art together in a gallery and education centre near Lavenham, Suffolk.
British Horse Loggers three-day event at Chatsworth
The British Horse Loggers held their annual Competitions & AGM weekend at Chatsworth’s Three-Day Event this year, organised by logger Max Hibbert, who works on the Derbyshire Estate, writes Carole Coates in BHL’s Timber Tongues. Highlights included the obstacle course on a very challenging hillside site, the exacting fell & extract competition judged by Chatsworth’s forest manager, John Everitt, and an appearance in the main ring, providing a great opportunity to raise the loggers profile with the public.
It’s all happening in Australia!
Heavy Horse World brings news of an important importation of American Suffolks to Australia, the celebration of the Shire Horse Society Australia’s 40th anniversary, and finds out how Nara and Gavin Stevens are getting on since they emigrated from Kent. Suffolk horse breeders in Australia were thrown a lifeline by American colleagues who have donated three young animals to help re-start Suffolks in the country. It was 40 years ago when a small number of dedicated enthusiasts launched the Shire Horse Society Australia to reintroduce the modern Shire and numbers have now reached 400-450. And destiny calls for the Stevens’ Clydesdale Spectacular reserve champion, Drayhorse King of Spades, born using semen from their UK stallion, Drayhorse Ace of Spades. “We are doing exactly what we loved doing in the UK, but in warmer weather!” says Nara.
Other features in this issue include. . .
- Shire Society’s new young judges’ competition
- Harness and machine from the 1920s at Nottinghamshire show
- Learning more with the Midlands group
- Beamish event marks the end of the First World War
- Getting your Shire fix
- Feeding the heavy horse
- Heligan and Cornish Society mount first working horse weekend
- ‘Power of the Horse to Horse Power’ at Cheshire Show
- Watch out for Sycamore seeds
- Open event in Hampshire for driving trials enthusiasts
Plus . . .
- Mailbox – your views and news – packed with heavy horse interest
- Heavy Horse World Shop – our comprehensive selection of books and DVDs on heavy horse subjects
- Heavy Horse World Classifieds – where to go for all your needs – horses, harness, vehicles, books etc
- Heavy Horse World Breeders’ Directory – locate the breeder of your choice
- Plus…order an annual subscription to Heavy Horse World for friend or family – £30 (£32 Europe/£34 Rest of the World)!