‘Valued team members’: brewery ‘thrilled’ to welcome new working Shire horse

  • The arrival of the latest Shire horse at Hook Norton Brewery is a “bold statement” that the horses are “valued team members” and part of the business’s future.

    The Oxfordshire brewery was “thrilled” to welcome two-year-old Cromwell from a breeder in Lincolnshire, to join retired 25-year-old Nelson and five-year-olds Balmoral and Brigadier.

    Hook Norton, which is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year, is one of three British breweries that still have working Shires to deliver the beer.

    “We’re thrilled to welcome our latest addition to the team,” said head coachman Nicholas Carter. “This young horse caught my eye in October, and after watching his progress we looked to purchase him this February. He’s a remarkable colour match to our other horses and with his inquisitive and friendly nature I look forward to a promising future with him.”

    The horses live on site at the brewery, in its original 19th century stable block, which is open to the public, and fields.

    “Cromwell is now ready to meet the public and will spend the next two years greeting visitors, competing at shows and visiting the brewery’s pubs,” a spokesman for the brewery said, adding that Cromwell’s training to drive will start when he is four.

    “The Shire horses have more than 75 public engagements every year, from competitions to demonstrations, fetes, weddings and television work to name but a few.”

    The brewery became a Shire Horse Society approved centre in 2021, and hosts training and events to promote the breed “ensuring their place in the modern world”.

    Mr Carter added: “This is a bold statement from our team of directors that our Shire horses are valued team members and will continue to remain a prominent part of the brewery’s future for years to come.”

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