Sadly because of the appalling weather in the run up to the 2012 show the conditions underfoot were not safe for the Shire & Heavy horses and unable to show these magnificent animals. We will be showing this year, so come along and see the big boys, who have a long and colourful history providing the power to plough and transportation of heavy loads before tractors, lorries and buses came along. In the not too distant past the Shire horse was the engine of farm machinery and the HGV of the transport industry.
Where do you think the term “horsepower” comes from when you are talking about your car engine? They did their work all year and then when the local Show came around they were washed and dressed up in their ribbons, had their harness decorated and went to compete and put on a show.
These days a dedicated few keep the breed going. In this country a small number are still used on farmland or for logging or by breweries for deliveries but most of the animals seen in the show ring today are not working horses. There is, however, a growing trend here and especially on the continent for using the Shire in equestrian sports i.e. riding; dressage and carriage driving trials so hopefully there is a good future for them. We may be glad of them again one day.
The Shire Horse Section is split into in-hand and turnout classes.
The in-hand is judged on the conformation of the horse - how it walks out, trots, turns and backs up. Size, shape and condition of hair may come into it if there is very close competition.
The turnout classes are judged on the condition of the vehicle and the cleanliness of the harness as well as the obedience of the horses whilst being driven. However, these days turnout classes are few and far between because of the large costs involved in keeping a team and vehicle. Unfortunately we have not had a turnout class at Goosnargh and Longridge for some years now.
We do have a young handler class in which the said young person has to prepare and show a horse in-hand by themselves. This is to encourages the younger generation to get involved with Shire Horse.
The Shire Horse section Secretary
Inskip, Preston PR4 OTT.
Tel: 07854 798892
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