Thousands attend as heavy horse festival makes return

Festival of the Heavy Horse at Milfield.
Picture by Lighthouse Films

Festival of the Heavy Horse at Milfield. Picture by Lighthouse Films

Thousands of people flocked to the Festival of the Heavy Horse at Milfield on Sunday to watch rare breeds being put through their paces.

Despite the weather being colder than last year, more than 3,000 people attended the event - the second of its kind.

The showcase celebrated rare breeds like the Clydesdale horse, once a common sight in the fields of Northumberland.

The main ring entertainment featured Clydesdales, Suffolk Punch, Shires and Pecheron, as well as gun dogs displays.

Elsewhere, vintage machinery and traditional agricultural skills could be seen with wheelwright and blacksmith demonstrations.

A crafts tent proved popular as did the birds of prey and bouncy castle. Food stalls included the Northumberland Sausage Company, Brenda’s Kitchen and a hog roast.

Show secretary, Viv Cockburn, of the Milfield Heavy Horse Association, said: “The numbers were the same as last year which is great considering the weather wasn’t as warm.

“Last year we were amazed at the number of people who attended and we did wonder whether we could sustain it but we have, so it looks as though the Festival of the Heavy Horse is here to stay.

“Any teething problems we had last year have been sorted and I would particularly like to thank the Air Cadets for doing such a fantastic job with the car parking.

“We would also like to thank everyone who attended on Sunday because without them it would not have been the success it was. We even had a visitor from Brazil - Paulo Drudge de Lacerda, a cattle nutritionist - who commented on having a wonderful day watching both the horses and mastercrafters.”

She added: “We are very grateful to those that have supported us over the past year as well as Mike Keeble, commentator, for his extensive knowledge and advice, East Coast FM - Jimmy Anderson and crew for all their advertising and promotion; all our sponsors and all the people who came with their vintage tractors. We wish them all the best for the Chillingham Tractor Rally on July 6.”

RESULTS: Ridden champion, Eyke Diamond. Ridden reserve champion, Highland Perfect Expression. Clydesdale-in-hand champion, Auchengree Ted. Clydesdale-in-hand reserve champion, Shatton May Blossom. Shires-in-hand champion, Marshall Meadows Mascot. Shires-in-hand reserve champion, Edward. Suffolk Punch-in-hand champion, Eyke Diamond. Suffolk Punch-in-hand reserve champion, Long Meadow Alice. Driving champion, A Govan. Driving reserve champion, G Holmes. Overall show champion, A Govan with Edward, Tom, Mac and Donald, with Glenskenno. Overall show reserve champion, J Fairbairn with Marshall Meadows Mascot.

PICTURES – PLEASE CREDIT Lighthouse Films, apart from the reader heavy horse picture.

Horse 7/5/2/1: Action from the Festival of the Heavy Horse.

Horse Glenskenno (x2): Glenskenno – Overall Show Champion. Glenskenno – Overall Show Champion.

Reader heavy horse: Action from the event. Picture by Ian Glendinning.




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