Aut_12_Shires_moment_in_the_sun_at_Olympics_opening_ceremony_239Shires moment in the sun at Olympics opening ceremony

Shire 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”.



Terry Keegan 1931-2012

In June the heavy horse world lost one of its greatest supporters, Terry Keegan, whose Heavy Horse Enthusiast business supplied a wide range of heavy horse brasses and decorations, books and gifts, playing a major role in encouraging the heavy horse revival which began in the 1970s. The business continues, run by his daughter. This Autumn issue is dedicated to him.








Shows from a wet and windy season!

Despite the weather, which saw the postponement and cancellation of many shows up and down the country, many went ahead and we have our usual Aut_12_Shows_from_a_wet_and_windy_season2_350spread from the first part of the show season in this issue. They include the Royal Highland, Newark & Notts, the Percheron and Suffolk Breed Shows, Cheshire, Three Counties, East of England, Royal Norfolk and Derbyshire.







Aut_12_War_Horse_350War Horse

The highlight of this year’s summer heavy horse event at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum, West Sussex was its spectacular War Horse display, bringing together restored First World War horse-drawn equipment, some fine horsemanship and commentary by Andy Robertshaw, the consultant to the Steven Spielberg blockbuster.



Aut_12_Jacks_of_all_trades_350Jacks of all trades

Horse logger Crunchie Whitby reports on his ‘busman’s holiday’ in Canada where he met farmers Vern Kemble and partner Connie Chalice who run their business ‘Horsedrawn Rides for All Occasions’. He gets involved in working Belgian X Quarter horses on ra variety of farm tasks and discovers how they do things on the Edgewater Ranch.


Other features in this issue include. . .


  • Royal Parks and Historic Royal Palaces link to share working horses

  • New horse-drawn omnibus service for The Lizard

  • Working heavies at Chiltern Open Air Museum

  • Portsmouth Parade 2012

  • Tomorrow’s Horsemen – Stacey Fletcher

  • Community gardening with the help of a horse

  • The Bakewell family and the heavy horse trade

  • 2012 British Horse Loggers Competition



Aut_12_First_British_Festival_of_the_Working_Horse_held_in_July_350First British Festival of the Working Horse held in July

The first British Festival of the Working Horse went ahead at the East of England Showground, Peterborough in July with demonstrations of horses at work in forestry, farming, horticulture, land management and viticulture.

There was a well-attended conference on the Saturday focusing on Working horses in the 21st century and HRH The Prince of Wales visited on the Friday, talking to all the participants. Doug Joiner, British Horse Loggers chairman and promoter of the festival, was delighted with the way this first event had gone. “Enthusiasm from all involved and many of the spectators has been overwhelming”. The next element of the Festival is the European Horse Logging Championships in Warwickshire on 13-15 September.




Heavy Horse Tails – our new mini-series

Read about Suffolk Punch, Jude, and Ardennes, White Ash Raya, in our new series which publishes your stories about your own horses. We would like to hear more from you!






Heavies put to work for the Police

Three pure-bred Shires are currently working in the Thames Valley Police Mounted Section, and a pedigree Percheron has been bought by the London Metropolitan Police – find out who they are and how they got their new jobs!








Aut_12_Top_turnout_driver_John_Goodwin_is_profiled_350Top turnout driver John Goodwin is profiled

John Goodwin’s victory in the turnout championship at the National Shire Horse Show this spring was the icing on the cake for a man with the Midas touch in competitive heavy horse classes. Anna Bruce went to meet John to uncover his journey to the top. From his early life on the Isle of Sheppey through every conceivable type of interest with equines, John recalls how he became one of our most successful drivers.


Aut_12_Hurricane_in_the_Welsh_Woods_350Hurricane’ in the Welsh Woods

Josephine Roberts reports on a logging job in the Conwy Valley, North Wales, where Chris Wadsworth’s Percheron, Ouragan (French for ‘Hurricane’), and British Horse Loggers apprentice Steffi Schaffler extracted timber from muddy conditions in woodland on the Bodnant Estate.




  • Your Letters - your views and news - packed with heavy horse interest

  • From this side of the fence: William Castle’s column on current issues

  • Heavy Horse World Shop – our comprehensive selection of books and DVDs on heavy horse subjects plus the new book, Ron Creasey: Last of the Horselads, the new DVD, National Shire Horse Show 2012, as well as the HHW 25th anniversary commemorative horse brass and the 2013 Heavy Horse World Calendar

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  • Heavy Horse World Breeders Directory – now two and a half pages! Locate the breeder of your choice

  • Plus…order an annual subscription to Heavy Horse World for friend or family – just £24 (£26 Europe/£28 Rest of the World)!