Fans of heavy horses will be heading to Nottinghamshire this spring, as the county’s show is the only one in the country to hold classes for all breeds of heavy horse.
At this year’s Nottinghamshire County Show (9-10 May) there will be separate in-hand classes for Clydesdale, Suffolk Punch, Shire and Percheron — and all breeds will compete together in the turnout classes.
The show also is hosting a qualifier event for Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) shire of the year in 2015 after a break last year.
Entries are expected from all over the country for the qualifier — which was last held at the show in 2013.
Liz Lambert has attended the show for more than 40 years and is now the chief steward of the heavy horse classes.
She feels it is important to keep heavy horses a regular feature of county shows.
“It is important to maintain the future of the heavy horse classes and keep that aspect of county shows alive,” said Mrs Lambert.
“The Suffolk in particular is an endangered breed and there are very limited numbers or opportunities for them to be showed to the public and compete.”
Heavy horse breeders travel from Scotland, Kent, Hampshire and Wales who want to take part.
Jayne Olney, showground manager said: “This is an exciting year for the equestrian world as we host the shire horse of the year qualifier.
“We want the show to be perceived as having those traditional classes but also moving with the times and sharing the Nottinghamshire Country show’s history with a modern audience.”
The 132nd show is open from 8am-6pm on both Saturday 9 May and Sunday 10 May. Tickets are £15 on the gate, £10 online or over the phone.
For more information visit www.nottinghamshirecountyshow.com
The largest gathering of shire horses in Britain can be seen at the Shire Horse Society show at Arena UK in Lincolnshire on 21-22 March.
More than 250 shire horses from across Europe are expected, as well as spectators from around the globe.
“It is the chance to celebrate a breed that was once in danger of dying out but is now experiencing a resurgence in popularity, both as a working animal and a riding horse,” said Shire Horse Society secretary David Ralley-Davies.
Adult day tickets cost £8 in advance, £6 for under 12s and seniors.
For more information visit: www.shire-horse.org.uk