Shire Horse Society National Show attracts thousands
More than 5,000 visitors attended the Shire Horse Society’s National Show – the largest gathering of Shires in the world.
With almost 300 entries from across the UK and Europe, the event was held over two days at Arena UK, Allington near Grantham.
The King George V Champion Challenge Cup for the best stallion in the show was awarded to Schumann’s Eregon, owned by Mr Volker Schumann from Hattingen, Germany. It was the first time that a German stallion had taken the top spot.
Woodhouse Calendar Girl, shown by Mr Martin Fountain, from Ashbourne, Derbyshire, was awarded The Henry Young Perpetual Memorial Cup as champion mare in show.
The Shire Horse Society’s 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.
The show is the flagship event of the Shire Horse Society, 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 Shire is recognised as an at risk breed under the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.
Shire Horse Society secretary David Ralley-Davies said he was delighted that so many members of the public had turned out to see the horses being shown in the ring and to support the charity at its showcase event.
“At one point, the Shire horse breed faced an uncertain future, but thanks to a dedicated band of enthusiasts their numbers have steadily increased and they are now experiencing a resurgence in popularity. However, there are still fewer than 500 new foals registered every year so it’s very important to continue the charity’s work of protecting and promoting the breed to ensure that we can enjoy these wonderful gentle giants for generations to come,” he said.
“I’d like to say a big thank you to all those who came from far and wide to compete at the event, and also to all the visitors who supported both the charity and the competitors who work so hard showing their Shires. Thanks also are due to all the volunteers, stewards and judges who helped deliver such as successful event.
“Shire horses have a unique history and heritage and our national show plays a key role in highlighting their past and in promoting their future, so we are delighted that so many people joined us for the two-day event.”
The evening performance on Saturday March 21st was opened by Household Cavalry drum horse Major Drummer Mercury.
As well as the show classes, with horses shown in-hand, ridden and in harness, the event also featured a range of trade and other stands, as well as a food hall. For the first year the Shire Horse Society welcomed as a partner the Lazy Jacks clothing company, who provided brand new society merchandise.
Notes to editors:
A full list of winners is on the Shire Horse Society’s Facebook page.
For more information or to arrange interviews with David Ralley-Davies from the Shire Horse Society, please contact Louise Duffield at Perfect 10 PR.
To contact David directly, call 01536 771611 or 07788 422506.
The Shire Horse Society, whose patron is Her Majesty the Queen, runs the Save Our Shires appeal. Although experiencing a resurgence in popularity, the breed is still endangered with fewer than 500 new foals registered in the UK each year.
Visit www.shire-horse.org.uk to find out how to support the appeal or contact the charity on 01536 771611.
Press release issued by Louise Duffield, Perfect 10 PR.
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