The arrival of a foal is always a cause for celebration, but when it’s the first of a new breeding programme for an equine that the Rare Breed Survival Trust deems to be “at risk”, that’s extra special.
Following in the well-trodden footsteps of a certain famous America brewery that breeds heavy horses, Britain’s Robinsons Brewery has set up its own breeding programme for Shire horses.
The brewery welcomed the arrival of their first Shire foal, Hillgate Henrietta-Anne, at 11.17pm on 27 April. Her dam Horsemans Princess Giselle foaled successfully in a field owned by the Robinsons family, and both mare and foal are “happy and healthy” as shown by these pictures.
“She is a bay filly foal with four white legs and a blaze and she is absolutely perfect,” said Robinson Brewery’s head horse person Helen Preece.
“We now have our own registered prefix, ‘Hillgate’, with the Shire Horse Society, which all future foals will inherit.”
Members of the Robinsons family, along with nearby farm owner Jonathan Worthington and head grooms Helen and Lisa, were on 24-hour foal watch in the run up to the important birth. The mare’s waters broke at 10.58pm and the foal arrived less than 20 minutes later.
“We are all so proud to be preserving and promoting the Shire horse breed – something Robinsons have been passionate about since the beginning of their business time,” added Lisa.
“The team and I are excited to welcome the special new edition to the family and are honoured to be involved with the beginning of a new era for Robinsons.”
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Shires are in the “at risk” category on the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s watchlist, with only 240 Shire foals registered in 2017.
Based in Stockport, Robinsons Brewery dates back to 1838 and owns around 260 tenanted and managed pubs, inns and hotels across the north west.
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