Shire horses will be demonstrating their roles throughout
history when the national Shire Horse Society stages its first ever open day at
Shire Farm, Rockingham Castle. 
The event on Sunday September 7th will show how
these magnificent horses have been involved in trades such as brewing, woodland
management and agriculture over the years. 
It will celebrate the survival of a breed that nearly died out
a century ago, and will also mark the first anniversary of the opening of the
national charity’s headquarters at Rockingham, near Corby, on the
Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border. 
“The Shire Horse as
a breed has had a fascinating history,” said Shire Horse Society secretary
David Ralley-Davies. “Native British horses were quite small and unable to
carry knights wearing heavy suits of armour, so heavier breeds from the
continent were introduced to Britain. 
“They were later
used in agriculture and for pulling large loads on canals and to haul trams,
wagons, drays and buses. When technology developed, the need for Shire horses
declined and Shire horse numbers fell from well over a million to just a handful
by the 1960s and the breed was in serious trouble. Since then a group of
enthusiasts has worked to ensure that the breed survives. 
“The open day will
be the chance for people to find out more about these gentle giants, which are
now experiencing a resurgence in popularity both as a working animal and a
riding horse. We mustn’t be complacent, however, and must ensure that we
continue to raise awareness of the breed.” 
The Shire Horse
Society, which is based on Uppingham Road, Rockingham, is the only charity
dedicated to the protection, promotion and improvement of the Shire horse.
Since 1878 the organisation has been working to protect the breed, which was
then known as the Old English Breed of Cart Horse. 
It moved to Leicestershire from its previous headquarters at
the East of England Showground near Peterborough a year ago, and the open day
will be the first chance that the charity has had to welcome visitors to its
new base. 
The event, which runs from 10am to 4pm on Sunday September 7th,
offers the opportunity to find out more about Shire horses in general and to
see them working in the many roles that they have had throughout history and
right up to their modern day use in riding, in-hand showing and at events such
as weddings and promotions. 
Demonstrations include agricultural work and a display by Young’s
Brewery dray horses. There will also be the chance to see a farrier in action,
to learn more about the breeding of Shire horses, and to see some of the
impressive horse brasses which have become synonymous with the breed. 
Tickets cost £5 on the day, with all profits going to the
Shire Horse Society Charity, which runs the Save Our Shires campaign to protect
the breed for years to come. There is free entry for children under 12. 
The Shire Horse Society is sponsoring the match ball at
Corby Town Football Club’s home game against Truro City on Saturday August 30th
and earlier in the month, led the home team out ahead of its clash with Arlesey
Town. Corby Town season ticket holders will receive a discount on tickets to
the open day on presentation of their season ticket. 
The open day event is being supported by structures
manufacturer Boldscan Ltd, which is providing a club house and will be
showcasing its range of tents and other structures. 
“We hope the open day will raise awareness of the Shire
Horse Society as a charity, will draw attention to the fact that the Shire
horse is an endangered breed, and will raise funds so that we can go on
protecting and promoting this noble breed,” added David Ralley-Davies. 
For more information visit or follow the
charity on Facebook or Twitter –
and @saveourshires
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR