Shoppers and visitors to Stafford on Saturday 10th March will be treated to the spectacular sight of a stunning Shire horse and a brewery dray as part of the promotion of the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses, which takes place at Staffordshire Showground the following weekend.
The Robinsons Brewery dray and Shire horse will be on display at Stafford Farmers’ Market – with the chance for passers-by to find out more about the big Shire horse show, which is held from 16th-18th March at Bingley Hall.
Attracting around 250 Shire horses from across the Europe, the event is the National Show of the Shire Horse Society and is being held at Staffordshire Showground for the third year running.
Open to the public, it features numerous showing classes in the ring, stable tours on 17th and 18th March, trade stands to browse, as well as a small animal petting area for children, and is a fascinating day out for all the family, said Victoria Clayton, secretary of the Shire Horse Society.
“This year the Shire Horse Society is celebrating its 140th birthday and we would be thrilled to welcome as many visitors as possible to our flagship event, which helps us to raise awareness of the Shire horse breed – a British breed that is still endangered and on the ‘at risk register’,” she said.
“Fewer than 300 pedigree Shire horse foals are registered every year, so it’s vital that we continue to promote and protect this magnificent gentle giant of the horse world.”
The Robinsons Brewery dray and Shire horse Bobek will be joining the Farmers’ Market in Market Square between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday 10th March.
A familiar and much-loved sight in Stockport where Robinsons is based, the horse will be helping to promote the Shire Horse Society National Show – with tickets now on sale, discounted in advance.
The horse is one of the latest in a long line of Shire horses which, apart from a brief interruption during the First World War when all horses were sold for war duties, have served Robinsons Brewery for over 100 years.
Councillor Frances Beatty, Cabinet Member for Planning and Regeneration at Stafford Borough Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Robinsons Brewery dray and Shire horse Bobek, as well as the Shire Horse Society, to Stafford Farmers’ Market on Saturday 10th March.
“Shire horses have played a key role in farming over history, as well as in the brewing industry, so it’s very appropriate that they will be joining us at the Farmers’ Market – giving shoppers and visitors to Stafford the chance to find out more about these horses, and of course the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses, at the Staffordshire Showground the following weekend.”
Adult tickets for the Shire Horse National Show are £10 in advance or £12 on the gate, while tickets for children aged five to 13 years are £8 in advance or £10 on the gate. Children aged 14 years and over are charged at the adult price, while under fives enter free.
Gates open on Friday 16th March at 8.30am and at 7am on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th March.
The event features classes in the indoor ring, trade stands, demonstrations and a children’s animal petting area. New for 2018 is the ridden quadrille – a choreographed ride to music which is often compared to an equestrian ballet.
Stable tours, at an extra charge, are bookable on arrival on the Saturday and Sunday. They are designed to give visitors an insight into what’s involved in preparing and showing a champion Shire horse, as well as an understanding of this magnificent breed.