Shire horses thunder down track in British spectacle

| 16 June 2013 10:04 pm

The thunder of hooves resounded around Britain’s Lingfield Park Racecourse on Saturday as eight huge Shire horses battled for line honours in a track spectacle.

The Showerking Flying Feathers Maiden Stakes was the first Shire horse race to be staged in Britain on a racecourse.

And what a sight it was, as the gentle giants showed their turn of speed in what proved to be a closely fought contest between the first three across the line.

Joey with his connections after the race.

Joey with his connections after the race.

The victor was Joey, who won all the accolades of a true champion.

Joey, owned by Hurst Green Shires, was ridden to victory by Mark Grant.

The contenders may not have shown a thoroughbred’s turn of speed, but they were an impressive sight as they pounded their way down the all-weather track in the two-furlong race.

The horses were all ridden by professional jumps jockeys, and took off from a standing start.

Each of the horses stood between 17.3 and 18.2 hands and weighed up to 1.1 tonnes.

The race served to raise awareness for the endangered breed, which features on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s “at risk” list.

The race was as part of Lingfield’s annual Countryside Raceday.

Each horse was sponsored by a local company, with the money going towards the Countryside Alliance Foundation.

All the horses were provided by Hurst Green Shires.

Joey storms to the lead with Mark Grant up in the Shire race at Lingfield.

Joey storms to the lead with Mark Grant up in the Shire race at Lingfield.

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  1. Kay says:

    What a wonderful ending though I was rooting for Curious George… Such magestic horses and a great fundraising idea!

  2. Angela Pennock says:

    This was fantastic to watch! The best bit was at the end after the actual race, every single one of those Jockey’s had a smile on their faces! Yes, even the ones who didn’t win. This is the typical reaction to riding a heavy horse! YOU HAVE TO SMILE. They are fabulous horses and I have two Clydesdales – rarer than Shires but we don’t want them to be rare breeds…no matter who rides my beloved heavies, they always, always smile. heavy horses are meant to be loved and enjoyed. Wonderful!!!!

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