The world’s largest gathering of Shire horses is returning to Staffordshire Showground in March 2024 for the first time in five years with a bigger and brighter programme.
The National Shire Horse Show will feature even more opportunities to see the gentle giants being put through their paces in all their finery after 12 new classes were added to the ring timetable.
New for 2024 are extra classes for young riders and handlers, to encourage the next generation of Shire horse owners, breeders and riders, plus more opportunities to see eye-catching turnout classes.
The world’s largest gathering of Shire horses was last held at Staffordshire Showground in 2019 – providing a super spectacle for horse lovers who travel from across the UK and from overseas to see the magnificent Shire horses in action.
After a gap in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid pandemic, the event was subsequently held outdoors at Newark Showground in Nottinghamshire.
Now it is returning to an indoor venue at Staffordshire Showground for three days from Friday 8th March to Sunday 10th March 2024.
The show is the annual flagship event of the Shire Horse Society – the only charity dedicated to the protection, promotion and improvement of the Shire horse.
Victoria Clayton, CEO of the Shire Horse Society, said: “We can’t wait to return to Staffordshire Showground to host our National Shire Horse Show in March 2024. We’re planning more classes for our members to compete in, which will provide extra interest in the ring for the public.
“We’ll also have interactive opportunities for families to find out more about Shire horses, plus there will be trade and other stands to browse.
“On previous occasions when we have held the world’s largest gathering of Shire horses at Staffordshire Showground, we have had a very warm welcome from people in Staffordshire and the West Midlands. We hope they will join us once more and help us support this wonderful breed, which despite a resurgence in recent years is still on the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s endangered breed list.”
The show is believed to be one of the oldest, almost continuous horse shows in the world, having been held for the first time at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London, in 1878, when the charity was named the English Cart Horse Society. It’s been held at only a handful of venues in the UK since then.
The event in March will be the opportunity for members of the public to watch the horses compete in the ring – ridden, in-hand and in-harness. They will be able to see the spectacular brewery drays, horses decked in stunning harnesses, and enjoy the fancy carts being pulled by this beautiful breed, plus much more.
Tickets make great Christmas presents or Mother’s Day gifts, with the Sunday of the show coinciding with Mothering Sunday. Children also go free when accompanied by a paying adult on Sunday 10th March – making it a perfect day out for all the family.
Tickets are discounted in advance via the Shire Horse Society’s website, www.shire-horse.org.uk Adult tickets are £11 in advance, a saving of £6, child tickets are £8 for Friday and Saturday, a saving of £4, with children free on Sunday 10th March when accompanied by an adult. Family tickets (two adults and two children on Friday or Saturday) are £34 in advance, a saving of £11. There are also motorhome, campervan, and caravan camping opportunities available.