Final preparations are being made for the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses which takes place at Staffordshire Showground from 22nd to 24th March.
Last year’s event was hit by the ‘beast from the east’ with snow and bad weather hampering travel plans for spectators on two out of the three days.
But with the forecast looking good this time, now is the chance for those who missed out last year to see the gentle giants of the horse world in all their finery.
Around 200 horses are expected to take part in a range of classes at the National Shire Horse Show – the flagship event for the Shire Horse Society. Spectators can watch the iconic breed put through its paces in-hand, ridden and in-harness.
“The show is all indoors, but last year, the weather badly affected people’s travel plans on the Saturday and Sunday,” said Shire Horse Society secretary Victoria Clayton. “This year, the forecast looks good so hopefully those who were unable to attend last year will make it this time round. It’s a great day out for all the family.”
As well as showing classes in the ring, there will be various trade stands, along with a food section, which is new for this year. There’s a play bus for children, and opportunities to pet small animals.
The event is the chance to find out more about Shire horses and their role throughout history, and to help preserve one of Britain’s native animals which is currently regarded as an ‘at risk’ breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
“Just a few decades ago the Shire horse was in danger of dying out as a breed, but thanks to a dedicated band of enthusiasts and the Shire Horse Society, things have been turned around,” added Victoria. “Having said that, fewer than 300 pedigree Shire horse foals are born in the UK every year, so it is vital that we continue our work to protect and promote the breed.
“Our big event is the largest gathering of Shire horses in the world and we are looking forward to staging it once again in Staffordshire and welcoming lots of visitors, as well as our members.”
The show starts at 9am on Friday 22nd March 2019 (Saturday and Sunday 8.30am) and closes at approximately 5pm on Friday 22nd March and Sunday 24th March (6pm close on Saturday). A grand parade and stable tours take place on Saturday and Sunday.
Tickets can be purchased in advance up until the end of Thursday 21st March online for a discounted rate here: http://bit.ly/2APWimn or on the gate on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (cash only). Shire Horse Society members gain free admission as well as under 5s.
For more information please visit: www.shire-horse.org.uk/national-show.
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