Shire horses – with their imposing stature at times even in excess of 2 metres at the withers for a weight of more than 1,200 kg – are considered not only one of the most powerful draft horses in the world but also one of the most docile and kind, duly earning the title of “gentle giants”.
What is the story behind Shire horses?
The origins of shire horses trace their roots to the interweaving of diverse cultures and traditions. In 1200, as requested by King John of England, about one hundred stallions of great stature and bulk were imported from Holland. Crossing with local English horse breeds gave life to the imposing draft horse we all know today.
The name Shire, however, was coined at the end of the XVI century by Henry VII who – a great admirer of the majesty of these animals – even went as far as to issue a law forbidding the use of horses of less than one and a half metres in height in cross-breeding.
Stature is undoubtedly the main characteristic of Shire horses but what makes them truly unique is also the elegant profile of the head, the long neck, the thick mane and the tapering limbs covered with thick locks, without forgetting the coat varying in colour the more common black, to bay, dark bay, grey and sorrel, with frequent white markings on the head and limbs.
People are very easily won over by the beauty, intelligence and gentle character of these animals and thanks to Fieracavalli young and old will be able to admire them at first hand and learn more about all the secrets of this majestic and ancient breed.
The appointment to admire Shire horses at first hand is set for Verona 9-12 November 2023 in Area D. Only at Fieracavalli.