Farmers Weekly Interactive

Horse power pulls in the crowds

They were once the indispensable backbone of farms across Britain – pulling ploughs, haymaking and delivering milk and beer.

Well ploughs, combines, tractors and cars might have taken over the hard graft, but the memory of the working horse is still very much alive, as the recent Heavy Horse Festival proved.

With the help of some very rare bank holiday sun, the one-day event, held at Whitton Hill Farm in Milfield, Northumberland, attracted 3,000 people through the gates – far exceeding the expectations of event organiser Viv Cockburn.

HHF Haymaking demo
Clydesdale, Cleveland Bay and Shire breeds were all out in force in the main ring and as well as one of the most endangered heavy horse species in the country – the Suffolk Punch.

Fife farmer David Nelson demonstrated hay-making the old-fashioned way (pictured) and there were also farrier, master saddler, wheelwright and sheepdog demonstrations.

The event was organized by the Milfield Heavy Horse Association after receiving nearly £30,000 in funding from the Lottery’s Village SOS Fund.

Rachel Jones

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