A British Percheron has taken the Royal Show supreme championship for the third year running. Gordon Bailey’s Willingham Marie won the ultimate prize at the Royal Show, beating in-hand champions from all other equine disciplines. This is the third time a Percheron has taken this accolade. The other winners were Owen Garner’s Hales Uni and Gordon Bailey again, with Willingham Chrystal. All three mares come from the Cambridgeshire village of Willingham!



Suffolks in the UK with American blood are to be registered by the American Suffolk Horse Association (ASHA) as the British Suffolk Horse Society continues to show reluctance to include them in their stud book. Randy Hiscock, who owns one of the largest and oldest Suffolk studs outside the breed’s home county, at Donhead St Mary, Dorset, has resigned from the Suffolk Horse Society in protest at the British society’s failure to include the animals. Mr Hiscock imported an American-born Suffolk stallion, Garettlands Golden Eagle, to the UK recently, following 15 years’ careful research into bloodlines to ensure their purity. Several of his progeny are now on the ground in the UK. Three American-born fillies are also in this country.



Wessex Heavy Horse Society held its first spring working in Wiltshire, with 29 horses present. All the British breeds were represented along with a pair of Belgian Draughts.



A working horse has returned to an historic mineral tramway in Cornwall 200 years after horses were first used to pull waggons along the line. Keith Trickey and Shire, Jimbo, removed small trees and vegetation from the site as part of a £1.6 million mineral tramways heritage conservation project.


Features in this issue include . . .
  • Teams at The Royal – a feast for the eyes – photographs of heavy horse teams at Britain’s top agricultural show
  • At home with the Richmond Park Shire Horses – how heavy horses are busy at work in the city of London
  • 2007 Royal Highland Show
  • 2007 Suffolk Horse Society Breed Show· 2007 British Percheron Horse Society Breed Show· Full report on The Royal Show
  • A carrier’s journal – Howard Yates starts a diary about his commercial horse-drawn carriage company
  • The wheelwright’s craft – building a wheel at Gus Kitson’s Suffolk workshop
  • Horses and Machines: getting the job done – William Castle’s last article in his extraordinary series about horse farmers in the UK today
  • British Horse Loggers brainstorm on harness fitting


And . . .
  • Heavy Horse World Calendar 2007 – out NOW!
  • New book – Breed of Giants by Joyce Stranger, a novel based on the Lymm Shires of Cheshire in the 1960s



The famous Young & Co Brewery’s Black Shires are to be phased out by October 2007 following the company’s decision to pull out of its historic Wandsworth site and move to Bedford. Four hundred years of brewing heritage will end with the sale of the prime south west London site and the joint venture with Charles Wells Brewery in an £80 million deal. The Young’s Shires, under the current leadership of head horsekeeper Kevin Flynn, have provided a benchmark for excellence in heavy horse presentation and driving standards and the team’s demise has caused widespread dismay throughout the heavy horse sector. As Heavy Horse World went to press news was received of another brewer going out of heavy horses – Adnams Brewery, Southwold has stopped delivering beer with its Percheron pair in the Suffolk town following the move of its distribution depot out of town. This is the third retirement of brewery horses this year, as Tetley’s withdrew in the spring.



Shire breeder Jim Higgins of Oldham, Lancashire, is nurturing twin filly foals from his home-bred six-year-old mare Farholme Princess. The twins’ sire is Ray Williams’s Moorfield Edward.



Brand new English harness was stolen from the premises of The Green Estate in Sheffield, only days after they took delivery of the equipment from Shropshire harness-maker Terry Davis. The harness was for 16.3hh Clydesdale, Arclid Brian London, known as Big Lad. The working horse project is one of a number being undertaken by the company from its base at a 16th century hunting lodge in the heart of the city and an old hill farm associated with it. The aim is to develop the site into a productive, educational and heritage attraction. Horsemen Anthony Walker and Robert Cairns are receiving tuition from Mike Bingham. Further information: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..



Was it a record? Milestones – Hampshire’s Living History Museum at Basingstoke – held its annual Festival of Fireghting featuring no less than four working steam fire engines, including two drawn by horses. They were John and Rowena MacDemott’s 1908 Shand Mason engine from Braemore, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, and Derek Wheeler’s 1876 Shand Mason engine drawn by David Baker’s four Percherons from Ovingdean, near Brighton, East Sussex.


Plus . . .
  • On the road – John Bryant’s column from heavy horse shows around the country
  • Tomorrow’s Horsemen – Pip Breakwell and Stephen Smith
  • Your Letters – three pages packed with heavy horse interest
  • Heavy Horse World Shop with our comprehensive selection of books, videos 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

**STOP PRESS – too late for Summer issue**

Young’s Brewery is closing its famous Ram Brewery at Wandsworth, London and moving to Bedford. The Young’s Shire horse team, which was one of the last to undertake daily deliveries in the UK, will be phased out by October. Further news in the Autumn issue of Heavy Horse World magazine.