Shires Shine at Spring Show

The world’s largest gathering of Shire Horses took place in Peterborough at the weekend.

Thousands of supporters from around the world turned out to watch unique demonstrations and displays of power at the Shire Horse Society’s Annual Spring Show.

The Show, which is held at the East of England Showground, is the main event in the Shire Horse calendar and this year saw almost 400 Shires from the UK and Europe compete in what is regarded as the national championships.

“This year’s event was truly spectacular, with more entries than we have ever had in the past,” said David Ralley-Davies, secretary of the Shire Horse Society.

“It’s reassuring to know that the passion and enthusiasm for the breed is getting stronger and the quality of the turnouts remains high.”

Top honours in the competition went to L M Fountain whose horse Woodhouse Calendar Girl was named Champion mare.

The overall stallion champion went to Metheringham Upton Hamlet, owned by Paul Bedford of Yorkshire.

The Perpetual Challenge Cup for the Junior Champion Stallion went to Hillmoor Eden, owned by M G King, of Congleton, Cheshire.

Despite the wet weather, crowds crammed into the main arena to watch Shires compete in a number of classes including stallions, geldings, fillies and mares – with magnificent displays in the harness classes, trade and agricultural turnouts and the Grand Parade.

“The Spring Show continues to catch the imagination of our audiences and is a fantastic opportunity to show off the power and grace of this magnificent breed and inspire future generations of supporters,” added David.

This year’s event marked the end of a 50-year-relationship with the East of England Showground with the show set to move to a new venue in Lincolnshire next year.

Money raised over the weekend will go to the Shire Horse Society, which works to protect and conserve the breed for future generations.

“Everyone who bought a ticket at the weekend has contributed something towards the future of shire horses in this country and across the world,” said David.

Sue Fox