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  • Writer's pictureLinda Andrews - Editorial Assistant, Nuse Online

Shire Horses Trot To Staffordshire Farmers’ Markets

Two farmers’ markets in Staffordshire will welcome some big guests in March as part of the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses.

Shoppers at Stone Farmers’ Market on Saturday 2nd March and Stafford Farmers’ Market on Saturday 9th March will get to meet magnificent Shire horses who are helping to spread news about the National Shire Horse Show.

The big show, which is the flagship event of the Shire Horse Society charity, is taking place at Staffordshire Showground from Friday 8th March until Sunday 10th March. Organisers are hoping to encourage as many members of the public as possible to attend and support the event.

Shire horse Mordearg Pendragon, an 11-year-old grey gelding, who was born and bred in Staffordshire, will be at Stone Farmers’ Market on 2nd March from 10am, with the Mayor of Stafford Borough Councillor Andy Cooper welcoming him at 10.30am.

On Saturday 9th March the Hook Norton Brewery dray and Shires Brigadier and Balmoral will be at Stafford Farmers’ Market between 9am and 11am with Councillor Cooper greeting them at 10.30am.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Stafford Borough, Councillor Andy Cooper and Mrs Judy Cooper, will also be visiting the Shire Horse Show on Sunday 10th March.

Victoria Clayton, CEO of the Shire Horse Society, said:

“The National Shire Horse Show is our biggest annual event. It’s the opportunity for Shire horse owners to showcase the breed and for members of the public to find out more about these beautiful animals."
"Fewer than 300 new Shire horse foals are registered every year, and the breed is still on the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s endangered breed list, despite seeing a resurgence in popularity in recent years. So it’s so important that we continue work to promote and preserve Shire horses."

“We’re delighted to announce that Shires will be attending the farmers’ markets in Stone and Stafford in March to help us to promote our big show. And excited that the Mayor of Stafford Borough will be welcoming us back to Staffordshire. We’re very pleased to be returning to Staffordshire Showground this year and look forward to seeing lots of visitors from Staffordshire and the wider West Midlands.”

The world’s largest gathering of Shire horses is returning to Staffordshire Showground in March 2024 for the first time in five years with a bigger and brighter programme.

The National Shire Horse Show will feature even more opportunities to see the gentle giants being put through their paces in all their finery after 12 new classes were added to the ring timetable.

New for 2024 are extra classes for young riders and handlers, to encourage the next generation of Shire horse owners, breeders and riders, plus more opportunities to see eye-catching turnout classes.

The world’s largest gathering of Shire horses was last held at Staffordshire Showground in 2019 – providing a super spectacle for horse lovers who travel from across the UK and from overseas to see the magnificent Shire horses in action.

After a gap in 2020 and 2021 due to the global pandemic, the event was subsequently held outdoors at Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire but is now returning to an indoor venue at Staffordshire Showground for three days from Friday 8th March to Sunday 10th March 2024.

Tickets are discounted in advance via the Shire Horse Society’s website here. Adult tickets are £13 in advance (£17 on the gate), child tickets are £10 for Friday and Saturday (£12 on the gate) with children free on Sunday 10th March when accompanied by an adult. Family tickets (two adults and two children on Friday or Saturday) are £38 in advance (£45 on the gate). There are also motorhome, campervan, and caravan camping opportunities available.

Photo Credit: Hook Norton Brewery and Daydream Equine Art


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