Two Shire horses will be trotting into Newark Market Place on Saturday 4th March to help promote the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses, which takes place at Newark Showground the following weekend.
Lady Grey, Brigadier and Head Coachman Nicholas Carter from Hook Norton Brewery in Oxfordshire are due to be welcomed to the town by Newark Town Mayor Councillor Laurence Goff as representatives of the Shire Horse Society.
It’s a return visit for Brigadier who won the hearts of everyone he met last year when he took part in a similar meet and greet as a three-year old. Now a year older and a little bigger, he’s joined at this year’s event by Lady Grey – the rarest colour of Shire horse and the latest addition to the Hook Norton Brewery stables.
The National Shire Horse Show is returning to Newark Showground on 11th and 12th March, having staged its big show there successfully for the first time last year.
It’s the perfect place to see the gentle giants of the horse world in all their finery competing in the ring and tickets are now on sale for the public.
Secretary of the Shire Horse Society and Show Director Victoria Clayton said: “The Shire Horse Show 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 1878, when the charity was named the English Cart Horse Society.
“We had a great time at Newark Showground last year on our first visit to Nottinghamshire and the public really supported us, which was so important as we’d not been able to stage our flagship event in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic.
“We’re returning this year on 11th and 12th March and are delighted that the Mayor of Newark Councillor Laurence Goff will officially welcome us to the area on Saturday 4th March, while Newark Market is taking place. We look forward to meeting shoppers who will be in the town at the time.”
The National Shire Horse Show is the largest gathering of Shire horses anywhere in the world and is an important event for the Shire Horse Society, the charity that organises the show.
“It’s the chance for us to promote the Shire breed, which has played such a key role in the history of the UK, but which is still on the ‘at risk’ register of native breeds,” explained Victoria Clayton. “We hope to welcome lots of visitors and supporters to the show. It’s an interesting day out for the family with lots to see.”
As well as classes in the ring, where the horses will be shown in hand, ridden and in harness, there will also be displays from the Nottinghamshire branch of the National Vintage Tractor and Engine Club and equestrian demonstration group Equistry, plus trade stands and other stalls selling a wide variety of items.
“We’re thrilled once again to be asked by the Shire Horse Society to help promote the National Show this year in Newark, the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses,” said Head Coachman at Hook Norton Brewery Nicholas Carter.
“This year’s promotional day will see the return of Brigadier, our four-year-old Shire horse who greeted the Town Mayor last year and won the hearts of everyone he met, as well as being accompanied by our latest addition, Lady Grey, a majestic 11-year-old grey Shire horse to our brewery show dray. Greys are the rarest colour of Shire horse, a breed which is deemed critically at risk of extinction, with figures from 2018 showing there to be only 200 grey breeding mares left in the world.”
The horses, who both stand around 17.2hh, with Brigadier having more growing to do, will be in Newark Market Place from 10am to noon on Saturday 4th March and meeting the Town Mayor at 10.30am.
The simplest way to buy tickets for the National Show on 11th and 12th March is online, from the Shire Horse Society website, where they are discounted in advance. Admission for adults is £12 in advance, £14 on the gate. For children aged five to 13, it’s £10 in advance and £12 on the gate, with children under 13 years gaining complimentary admission on Sunday 12th March if accompanied by an adult. A family ticket (two adults and two children aged five to 13 years) for Saturday is £40 in advance or £44 on the gate. Car parking is £2 in advance or £3 on the day.
There will also be an option to buy tickets at the meet and greet with the Newark Town Mayor on Saturday 4th March.
Hook Norton Brewery is one of only three breweries in the country to still use horse drawn dray for beer deliveries, keeping true to its heritage. As an approved Shire Horse Centre, the brewery is committed to promoting the role of the Shire horse in the modern world, with its Shire horses and knowledgeable Shire horse team always on hand with a warm welcome at the Brewery stables in Hook Norton near Banbury.
For more information about the Shire Horse Society and the show, visit www.shire-horse.org.uk