Every year over the May Bank holiday weekend, there is a Heavy Horse show at Southsea. There has only been one year missed, due to restrictions following the Foot & Mouth outbreak. This year it was the 23rd show, and as ever, was delightful!

The picture at the top is of one of the Fullers Brewery pair, this one is Pride, and he’s JUST gorgeous! He is 18 years old now, so quite elderly, is HUGE and..he has BLUE eyes. He alos won the obstacle race, with a good time and no penalties, a steady old boy is Pride.

He also works in a pair with Griffin, they are seen below.

As well as the horses, there was a very entertaining hour spent with a shepherd and his dogs. But this was no ordinary shepherd, this guy worked his dogs and explained the method he uses to train them, it certainly works, they were VERY well trained indeed. He also used GEESE and DUCKS for them to herd rather than sheep, and that made for a few laughs along the way as well.

The chap got the dogs to herd the ducks around an obstacle course at the end, and let lots of kids join in, they and we, had a lovely time.

Apart from all the fun and frivolity though, this show raises an awful lot of money for local charities. The guys give their time, and show the horses to their very highest standard, for pride, yes, but also to raise money. Over the years, tens of thousands of pounds have been raised, this year was for the Wessex Cancer Trust, I hope they made a packet again!

Perhaps one other major point of shows like this, is the maintaining of the breeds. These horses are NOT used for working any longer, there are some breeds that no longer exist, and those that DO only exist because of dedicated people like these guys that come to shows like this.

One lady has a pair of horses from Austria, there are ony the pair in Britain, and they are NOT classed as heavy horses, as such, she could not be placed in the race, even though she took part and the horse did well. She brings them to these shows for the fun element, and to keep them in good condition, well trained and in the public eye.

The people who keep the horses and keep them trained up for ploughing shows etc, are preserving our heritage. Long may they do so I say, and long may these giants of the horse world keep us all enthralled by their might and majesty.