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Shire Horse

Photo provided by Carol Coleman


The Shire horse is considered to be the extreme heavy draught horse. It was bred in the Midlands shires of Lincoln, Leicester, Stafford and Derby which is where it adopted the name "Shire". The breed descends from England’s medieval war horse,the Great Horse. The Great Horse became known as the English Black, a name bestowed by Oliver Cromwell, in the short period when England was a commonwealth. The average Shire horse can weigh over one metric tonne, and in 1924 they we're found to exert a pull capable of moving 25 tonnes. The average girth measurement of a stallion is between 6 and 8 foot and is combined with a powerful chest. The most important parts of the Shire horse are its hoofs and hocks, which must be open, solid,and perfectly shaped. The hocks have to be broad and flat whilst set at the correct angle for optimum leverage.

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