Down to the Wire: 3.18.14 – Heavy Horse Moves

Down to the Wire

Down to the Wire races to deliver the latest Equine and Equestrian news to Counter-Canter Culture

Heavy Horse Moves


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According to Charlotte Ricca-Smith of Horse&Country, “A new society for ridden heavy horses has been launched to encourage a greater understanding of these magnificent animals, and bring showing classes in line with other organisations.


The British Ridden Heavy Horse (BRHH) Society is for ridden purebred heavy horses registered as a British Shire, Suffolk, Clydesdale and Percheron. It also has a section for first-cross heavy horses, who are by a registered sire or dam of one of these four breeds.

‘The Ridden Heavy Horse Society will both champion our indigenous heavy horse breeds as a ridden show horse, some of which are now endangered and others on the rare breeds list, whilst trying to encourage more shows to put on ridden heavy horse show classes with proper ride judges who understand the unique character of the heavy horse breeds under saddle,’ said Wendy Toomer-Harlow, one of the society’s founders.”


The timing is perfect as the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses occurs March 22 -23 in Arena UK in Grantham, Lincolnshire where competitors will show in a variety of classes which include in-hand, ridden and driven turnouts as well as dressage to music.


The BRHH website cautions that it’s only the beginning, “The Society in its infancy, will inevitably face many challenges and critics over the next few months. It is not designed to be all things to all men and will take time to become fully operational and won’t happen overnight. The guidelines will be reviewed at the end of the year and amended if necessary.  It is hoped that in due course to establish a list of approved ride judges for shows to call on and for the Society to hold periodic study / training days for both riders and judges.”

Cotebrook Ben Dearg and Cotebrook Loch Carrie

More information on these big bad boys can be found at The Shire Horse Society website with articles on the history of the breed and their efforts since 1878 to protect, promote and improve the magnificent Shire horse.

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