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Autumn 2017 Issue

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.

Top tips for ridden heavy horse classes

HHW was delighted when former Horse of the Year Show champion, ride judge and trainer, Nigel Fuller, agreed to give his top tips for winning ridden heavy horse exhibitors in this issue! “For many people in the heavy horse world, moving into the ridden field of horse showing is a whole new ball-game,” he said, before exploring all the issues, including finding a suitable horse, fitness, feeding, training, and showing. This year’s contenders for the Barber Family Ridden Heavy Horse of the Year championship at HOYS as well as the Kilmannan Ridden Heavy Horse championship at Equifest will no doubt get much out of the feature. Thanks to Wendy Toomer-Harlow for her help in sourcing this article.

Heavy Horse World 2018 Calendar + two new books!

The Heavy Horse World 2018 Calendar is now out! Undoubtedly the best UK calendar featuring entirely draught horses, enjoy 12 fantastic colour photographs of heavy horses from all over the country throughout next year! It’s available now at £9.50 (+ £3.50 postage UK). Plus, we have two new books for you. The Last Herd is the story of London’s last working Shires told in pictures – the Shire horses in the Royal Parks and the Historic Royal Palaces, London feature in this new book from photographer Paul Stewart with a foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales. And the National Horse Brass Society has brought out Volume II of its Collector’s Anthology of Antique Horse Brasses. It costs £29.50 + £4.50 postage. You can buy both through the magazine or from our online shop.

Two profiles on top Shire breeders

We talked to two of our top Shire breeders, John Williamson of the Snelson Stud, Cheshire, and John Etches of the Royston Stud, Derbyshire. John bred this year’s National Shire Horse Society Stallion Champion, Snelson Gatsby, owned and shown by Alistair & Matthew King, and his stud’s animals have won championships for many years. John and Susan Etches, whose yearling filly, Royston Katie, took the trophy for her class at the National Show this year, look back over the family’s long dedication to breeding Shires from the limestone hills of the Derbyshire Dales, stretching back to the days of the stallion walkers.

Ten breeds at 2017 British Horse Loggers Competitions

No less than 10 different draught breeds were entered for this year’s British Horse Loggers’ top event, held near Nailsworth, Gloucestershire. Suffolk, Friesian, Dales, Traditional Cob, Shire, Percheron, North American Spotted Draft, Comtois, Ardennes and Dutch Draft all competed! They took part in the obstacle course for singles and pairs and the fell & extract competition, showcasing the wide variety of skills needed for these versatile working horses.

Real jobs for 50 heavies at Beamish’s annual event

Beamish Museum in Co. Durham again welcomed the heavy horse community to its annual Horses at Work event, now extended to three days due to its popularity. Shires, Clydesdales, Percherons, Comtois, Irish Cobs and a pair of Percheron/Friesian cross-bred carriage horses were ploughing, cultivating, harrowing, muck spreading, rolling, fertiliser spreading, carting, manure-spreading, hauling colliery tubs, and people-moving!

Other features in this issue include…

  • Suffolk, Shire and Clydesdale numbers alarm Rare Breeds Survival Trust
  • Under saddle – enjoy our series for ridden heavy horse enthusiasts!
  • Driving trials novices enjoy a weekend in Hampshire
  • Farmcraft – getting it right with horses on the farm
  • Horse brasses – the biggest collection in the world?
  • Searching for Essex wagon rarities


  • Mailbox – your views and news – packed with heavy horse interest
  • From this side of the fence – our column on current issues
  • 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 – £28 (£30 Europe/£32 Rest of the World)!