The UK’s first major heavy horse festival for all the breeds will take place next year, thanks to a Lottery grant.
Milfield Heavy Horse Association (MHHA) has secured £29,700 from the Lottery’s Village SOS fund — which aims to revitalise struggling villages — to run the show on 5 May 2013 and make it an annual event.
The festival in Milfield, Northumberland, will feature ridden, in-hand and driven showing classes for pure and part-bred horses, as well as displays by farriers, saddlers, and a farmers’ market.
Organiser Viv Cockburn told H&H: “I keep 10 Clydesdales in a field beside the A697 and they have become quite a landmark in the area. People divert from the A1 to see them. That’s what gave us the idea.”
An educational heavy horse centre is also planned for the nearby Ford and Etal Estate.
David Ralley-Davies of the Shire Horse Society said: “We are very supportive of anything that flies the flag for the heavy horse industry.
“We welcomed 250 shires to our show [at Peterborough] this year, but if you are based in Northumberland it’s a long way to travel.”
For more information go to www.heavyhorsefestival.co.uk
This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (28 December 2012)