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Blists Hill celebrates work of Shire horses with special event

Visitors to a Shropshire living museum have witnessed the world's largest horse breed in action at a special weekend-long event celebrating the majestic creatures.

Heavy Horse Weekend at Blists Hill
Heavy Horse Weekend at Blists Hill

The annual Heavy Horse weekend took place at Blists Hill Victorian Town, in Ironbridge, this weekend, which showcased the vital role that Shire horses played during the Victorian period.

Pictured from left, Decade the horse, Alison Morris, Max the horse and Kevin Morris - Warwickshire Horse Carriages

People were treated to demonstrations by the horses, which pulled carts and trade vehicles, with some of the horses kitted out in harnesses used for shunting on the railways and pulling barges on the canals.

Blists Hill is a member of The Shire Horse Society, gaining accreditation from the organisation in 2021, which aims to protect and conserve the horse breed – an important part of national heritage.

Kieran Smith with Casey and Bernie

According to the Shire Horse Society website, to which Her Majesty the Queen is a patron, the role of a shire horse was important during the industrial revolution due to an increased demand for goods.

Richard Aldred, the trust’s marketing manager at Blists Hill Victorian Town, said: “We’re very proud to be a member of The Shire Horse Society.

"Shire horses played a fascinating and vital part in the history of The Gorge and of the wider industrial revolution, from drawing large wagons and drays to pulling barges along the network of canals, and it’s only right that we celebrate this.”

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