Horse lovers in the East Midlands are being urged to support one of the nation’s
favourite breeds when the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses takes place
on the doorstep next month (March). 
The iconic breed was in danger of dying out just a few
decades ago, and even now fewer than 500 new foals are registered every year by
the Shire Horse Society. 
The charity has been running a Save Our Shires campaign to
raise awareness about these gentle giants and numbers have steadily increased,
thanks to the dedication of a band of enthusiasts. 
On March 21st and 22nd the society
stages its national show at Arena UK, Allington, on the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire
border near Grantham. It’s billed as the world’s largest gathering of Shires,
and is expected to attract horses from across Europe and visitors from around
the globe. 
The event is believed to be one of the oldest, almost
continuous, horse shows in the world, having been held for the first time at the
Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London, in 1880, when the charity was
named the English Cart Horse Society. 
Now local horse lovers are being urged to support the event,
which includes a range of classes, as well as trade stands, stalls and
“The Shire Horse Society’s National Show is the perfect
opportunity for members of the public to see these gentle giants of the horse
world in all their glory,” said Shire Horse Society secretary David
Ralley-Davies. “The breed has a unique history and heritage. The pedigree Shires
will be put through their paces over two days of competition and it’s the ideal
place to see them shown in style – in-hand, ridden and turned out. 
“The show is quite a spectacle and we’re urging people to
come along and support us in what is our annual showcase event. Their support
will help us to carry on protecting and promoting a breed that was once crucial
to the nation’s industrial and economic development, as well as having a
vitally important role in World War One.” 
The annual show,
taking place indoors at its new home at Arena UK for the second time, is the
flagship event for the Shire Horse Society, which 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. 
The show runs from 8am until about 10pm on the Saturday to
include the championship in the evening. It will be open from 8am until 4.30pm
on the Sunday. Adult day tickets cost £8 in
advance, with under 12s and seniors £6, and are available from Day tickets will be £10 and £8 on the gate. Free admission to Shire Horse
Society members on presentation of their society badge. 
Sponsors for the
event include botanical brewers Fentimans, Fullers Brewery,
Young’s Brewery, Boldscan
and Fosters Foods. 
For more information visit or follow the
charity on Facebook or Twitter –
and @saveourshires
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR