The world’s largest gathering of shire horses takes place at East of England Showground from 16-18 March.

More than 200 of the heavy horses will compete at the Shire Horse Society Spring Show – the society’s largest show ever.

Competitors will travel from Switzerland, Holland and Sweden to take part.

“We started planning this year’s event before the last rosette was awarded in 2011,” said David Ralley-Davies, secretary of the society.

“At the heart of what we do are the shire horses that provide an incredible sight, which everyone can appreciate.”

The Shire Horse Society is a registered charity that helps raise funds to support the threatened breed.

Shire horse numbers fell from well over a million to just a few thousand by the 1960s.

A small group of breeders came to rescue though and the shire is enjoying a resurgence in popularity as a working animal and riding horse.

But there are still fewer than 1,500 breeding mares in the world and the breed is classified as “at risk” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.