Visitors to the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses will be able to get up close to the gentle giants of the horse world in a series of special stable tours.
The Shire Horse Society, which is staging the three-day National Shire Horse Show in March 2018 at Bingley Hall, Staffordshire Showground near Stafford, is organising the tours as part of the event.
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.
“The Shire horse has played an immense role in our history, but as a breed it is still regarded as an endangered species, with fewer than 300 pedigree Shire horse foals registered every year,” said Shire Horse Society secretary Victoria Clayton.
“The stable tours will be given by Shire horse owners, breeders and enthusiasts and will focus on everything from how to look after a Shire horse to how to prepare for a show.
“It’s a great opportunity for horse and animal lovers and those who like nostalgia to find out more about this magnificent breed, and to support the work we do, as a charity, to ensure that the Shire horse has a future.”
The show, which attracts around 250 pedigree Shires from across Europe, runs from 16th to 18th March, with stable tours being held on Saturday 17th March and Sunday 18th March.
Tickets are now on sale for the event, which is an ideal day out for all the family, featuring classes in the 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.
Visitors will have the chance to buy tickets for the stable tours on arrival at the show on the Saturday and the Sunday.
Next year is a special one for the Shire Horse Society, as it marks the charity’s 140th anniversary.
“This will be the third year we have held our national show – the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses – at Staffordshire Showground, and we hope that hundreds of people will join us to help with the celebrations,” added Victoria.
Adult tickets 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.