Skip to main content

The Wadworth Shires

A treasured tradition at Wadworth, our gentle giants are as much a part of the Wadworth heritage as our real ale recipes!

Sam

Sam is the latest in a long line of Shire horses which, apart from a brief interruption, have served Wadworth for over 125 years.

Sam's partner Jac unfortunatley passed away in June 2021.  Our horse team, Martin and Callum Whittle are currently looking for a new Shire horse to join the team.

In their heyday, before the arrival of the internal combustion engine, more than 40 Shires were used by the Brewery to deliver our 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 are a familiar and much loved part of the local scene. Being one of the very few remaining 'working' Shires in the brewing industry in Britain, Sam delivers our beers on weekdays (weather permitting) to our pubs within a two mile radius of the Brewery.

Did you know? Each Shire horse weighs about a ton

Harness and drays are made to specification - the handmade collars are specific to each horse, and their harness is fully adjustable. We have five drays - two for everyday work and three that are used solely for shows and public relations events, one of which is a 1903 model that has been beautifully restored, and a modern dray which can be used with a single horse.

Did you know? A Shire can pull double their own body weight

When travelling outside of the Devizes area, and throughout our estate, the Shires are transported in a large articulated trailer, which can take a dray, the horses and all their harness, plus has living and sleeping accommodation for the horsemen when overnight stays are required. 

Although they are essentially working horses, they also make promotional visits to many of our pubs and take part in county shows and other public events throughout the summer months, winning many prizes for their immaculate turnout, grooming and show discipline.

Did you know? A set of shoes lasts about four weeks and a mobile farrier visits regularly to hot show them wtih a mobile forge

The dedication of our Head Horseman Martin Whittle and Horseman Callum Whittle, who care for these gentle giants, is a major factor in their success. 

For further information and to see photos of the boys in action, please follow them on Facebook.

Come and see us!

Meet Sam on Thursday mornings.

He'll be outside the Brewery Tap & Shop before he heads off to make his deliveries. 

Sam will be there most Thursdays but if he's off at a show, or there are breaks for holidays, he may be unavailable.  Please do check on the Shire Horse Facebook page for up to date news before you travel.