AUTUMN 2008 ISSUE


Percheron Mare Willingham Marie

Percheron mare Willingham Marie received The Royal Show TopSpec Supreme In-Hand Equine Championship for the second time for Gordon Bailey who exclaimed: “I’m over the moon!” She also took the top title in 2006. Gordon Bailey won the honour with another of his mares, Willingham Chrystal, the previous year, in 2005. The judges, from all equine disciplines agreed she was “absolutely outstanding”. This was the fourth time in five years that a heavy horse had won the championship. Gordon Bailey received the rosette and sash from HRH The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Marie also won the Royal Show heavy horse championship and the British Percheron Horse Society breed show championship.

 


 

British European Draft Breeds SocietyA new society to look after the interests of owners of European draft horse breeds in the UK is to be established. The inaugural meeting will be held at Hardwick Court Farm, Chertsey, Surrey on Saturday 25 October at 7.30pm. The idea for the society grew from the realisation that more and more UK enthusiasts were seeking draft breeds from overseas. The Ardennes and Comtois are popular, often among people keen to work their horses who find the modern Shire and Clydesdale too tall and ungainly in woods and on smallholdings. Jane Wordsworth said: “While the emphasis is on the working horse for this new society people wishing to take part in riding, showing and driving trials will also be very welcome.” Further information: 01256 844821/07970 957515.

 


 

Royal Highland Show Supreme Champion

Paul & Walt Bedford’s unicorn won the supreme championship at the Royal Highland Show under Canadian judge Steve Gregg from Ontario. It was a special thrill for the multiple-champion Yorkshire-based brothers, as they have won four reserve supremes in the driving classes at the same show. Leading the horses was Miranda, returning from two winning seasons in the USA and Canada. The Bedfords’ pair, driven by Paul Bedford’s 21-year-old son, Matthew, also won its class. One of the few professionals working with heavy horses for a living, Matthew delivers beer for Samuel Smith’s Brewery in Tadcaster as well as assisting his father with the Deighton stud at home.

 


 
Restoration of Early Pea Drill

Horse-drawn implements are still out there, all over Britain, rusting in hedgerows and old barns, testament to an era when highly inventive engineers developed machines for every conceivable agricultural task. Wendy Toomer-Harlow talks to her father, Dennis, and his friend, George Ivatt, about their passion for bringing horse-drawn implements and vehicles back to life, and in the second part of this new series, describes the restoration of an early pea drill.

 


 

Drayhorse Shires' pair of stallions

Drayhorse Shires’ pair of stallions are spearheading a new heavy horse business in Kent. Nara and Gavin Stevens have no qualms about using stallions in their turnout team and took part in this year’s Portsmouth Parade, the biggest heavy horse parade in the UK. The stallions are used for breeding at home and were broken in and trained by the Stevens’ themselves. Ddrydwy Drayhorse Ace of Spades and Ddrydwy Drayhorse Prince Albert also draw the dray for weddings and funerals in the family business. Nara says it has taken about five years to get their matching black four-horse team together and this year it has all “fallen into place”.

 


 

Plus . . .

  • Your Letters – two pages packed with heavy horse interest

  • Big Shows Section – featuring shows from the summer season

  • Heavy Horse World Shop with 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


 

 

Percheron Willingham AxlMeanwhile Willingham Marie’s brother, Willingham Axl, who took the British Percheron Society breed show stallion championship this year, demonstrates that heavy horses can turn their hoof to anything.

 

 

St Giles Steam Fire EngineRobert Sampson is pictured hunting him with the Wilton at Martin, Hampshire, but Axl is also a key part of his ploughing and cross-country driving teams, and took part this year in drawing the St Giles steam fire engine, owned by Robert Sampson’s sister and brother-in-law, Rowena and John McDermott, which is celebrating its 100th
anniversary.

 


 

British Heavy Horse Cross Country Driving TrialsBritish Heavy Horse Cross Country Driving Trials competitors took part in several meetings across the south during the spring and summer, preparing for this year’s British challenge in the 2008 La Route du Poisson (The Fish Run) on 18-22 September. Five pairs of Percherons, three pairs of Suffolks and a pair each of Shires, Comtois and Ardennes will take part in the 27-hour relay race commemorating the transport of fresh fish from Boulogne to Paris. The British came third in the last Fish Run (2005), an international event involving hundreds of people and draught horses from all over Europe.

 


 

 

 

Incredible Journey by Agricultural Lecturer Mike Bingham

Agricultural lecturer Mike Bingham continues his series in Heavy Horse World, The Incredible Journey, designed for the new heavy horse owner. This issue he focuses on working a single horse, explaining how he builds up a bond with his horse before beginning light regular work. He emphasises safety and focuses on common pitfalls for new owners. The next issue will cover working a pair of horses.


 

 
Dray Horses at Archaeological Dig in Chichester An archaeological dig in Chichester, West Sussex has unearthed the remains of ‘dray’ horses, buried in three pits alongside the city’s East Walls area, which may be linked with a brewery on the site in the 18th century. The 15-16hh horses are thought to represent typical heavy/cart horses used in Sussex in the brewery industry in the 18th

and early 19th centuries. The bones were discovered during archaeological excavations between 2004 and 2007 on the site of the former Shippam’s meat paste factory.

 


 
Features in this issue include . . .
  • Clydesdale Ormiston Mains Amelie picks up the Cawdor Cup
  • Reduce your carbon footprint – use a horse
  • New Suffolk Punch Trust appeal launched for visitor centre

  • New presidents for heavy horse breed societies

  • Obituaries – David Baker, Ron Creasey

  • Clydesdale recreates canal scene from the 1920s

  • Local produce delivered by horse in the Somerset Levels

  • High turnout for UK’s top heavy horse parade

  • Northumberland heavy horse secretary on a mission


 

 

And . . .

  • Heavy Horse World Calendar 2009 – now available!

  • Heavy Horse World Video Sale – snap up the few videos remaining

  • Wagons and Carts – new book by David Viner, available from October