Our Shire Horses
A dark bay Shire gelding, he has a dark face with a small white blaze, and four white socks. Prince was foaled in March 2003, and purchased from Jim Yates of Duffield, Derbyshire in January 2007.
Height: 17.2 hands
A dark bay Shire gelding with four white socks and a white blaze, Monty was foaled in 2004 and purchased in September 2009 from Jim Yates of Duffield, Derbyshire.
Height: 17.3 hands
A dark bay Shire gelding with a white blaze and four white socks, Max was foaled in 2003 and purchased from Jim Yates of Duffield, Derbyshire in April 2006.
Height: 18 hands
Prince, Monty and Max are the latest in a long line of Shire horses which, apart from a brief interruption, have served Wadworth for over 100 years. In their heyday, before the arrival of the internal combustion engine, more than 40 Shires were used by the Brewery to deliver their already famous beers to local inns and hostelries. Ponies and traps were used by the Brewery's representatives to call on customers.
Although it is a far cry from those tranquil, golden days, the sight of the Wadworth Shires making their way through the ancient market town of Devizes evokes memories of what used to be. Being four of the very few remaining 'working' Shires in the brewing industry in Britain, they deliver our beers, plus wines and spirits, cider, minerals and soft drinks every weekday (weather permitting) to our pubs and Free Trade customers within a two mile radius of the Brewery, and are a familiar and much-loved part of the local scene. They mainly work as two pair drays, each dray carrying a load of approximately two tons.
Harness and drays were made to specification, including three drays which are used solely for shows, one of which is a 1903 model which has been beautifully restored to a pristine condition, and a modern dray which can be pulled by a single horse.
Although they are essentially working horses, they also take part in many shows, carnivals and country fairs during the summer months, winning many prizes for their immaculate turnout, grooming and show discipline. Whether showing a single horse 'In Hand', a 'Single' or Pairs' Turnout, or even a three or four horse 'Team', the dedication and expertise of the horsemen who care for these gentle giants is a major factor in their continued success in the ring.
Early in 2010 the Brewery acquired a new trailer large enough to carry four Shire horses, a show dray, all show harness, plus incorporating living and sleeping quarters for the horsemen, to transport them to the various shows and events which can often involve overnight stays.
Each horse weighs about 18cwts. Their daily feed consists of best hay, bran, molasses, brewer's grains and the occasional pint of 6X, Henry's IPA or JCB!
A set of shoes lasts three weeks, and a mobile blacksmith visits weekly to keep them well shod.
As a reward for their hard work during the year the horses are put out to grass for two weeks in the summer, when they get the chance to rest their legs and get fit for another year of service.
The stables are open to the public between 1.30pm and 3.00pm Monday to Friday - please contact the Wadworth Brewery Visitor Centre for further information.
April 26 - 13
Red, White & Brew now available!
Celebrate everything that makes Britain great... More
April 22 - 22
Visitor Centre Bank Holiday opening
The Brewery Visitor Centre will now be closed... More
December 31 - 13
Shire Horses Holiday 2013
The Wadworth Shire horses will be on their an... More
Visit the online shop for
our extensive range of
The stables are open to the public from:
1.30pm to 3.00pm Monday to Friday.
Friday 3rd August, 12 noon at the Raven, Poulshot
Return to Stables Monday 20th August