British baking icon Mary Berry learnt to plough in the series finale of her latest cookery show.
The former Great British Bake Off star visited Robert Sampson’s farm in Hampshire to learn about working horses and how they are still relevant in today’s world.
Mary, who admitted she “loves” horses, helped to harness Percherons Edith and Norse before heading out to the fields and trying her hand at ploughing.
“It’s never too late to teach an old dog new tricks,” said Mary.
“Walking the dog is one thing, but two tonnes of determined workhorse is quite another.”
After a successful first furrow, Mary headed back to the kitchen to whip up a leek and stilton quiche for lunch.
“Some traditions are definitely worth saving,” said Mary.
“Whether it is recipes from the past or an old-fashioned way of farming the ingredients.
“Like many of the horses he breeds, Robert was born on the farm and he has never strayed from the old ways of working the land.”
The Sampsons have been breeding and working Percherons since 1951 and frequently take part in heavy horse driving trials and ploughing matches.
“My father never fully mechanised, he worked tractors along with horses and vice versa, so dad never got rid of the horses when everybody else did,” said Robert, who ploughs with up to eight horses at a time
“I was brought up with them, they sort of grow on you somehow.
“There are days when you think ‘I don’t know why I’m doing this at all’ but it is a joy. If it goes well there’s nothing better.”
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Mary also met Robert’s farrier sons Tom and Fred in their forge and learnt how they hand-make shoes for carthorses and what it takes to become a farrier.
Fred explained the skill and learning that goes into becoming a farrier, while Tom demonstrated how they hammer bars of steel into shape.
In return, Mary promised to make then a banoffee pie to enjoy with a cup of tea.
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