THE gentle giants of the horse world ploughed the fields at Harbridge Farm near Ringwood in the Southern Counties Heavy Horse Association’s spring event on Sunday.
The sun shone on the crowds as families and visitors came to watch skilled farmers plough and harrow the fields with their shire, Clydesdale, Percheron and Ardennes animals.
Children enjoyed wagon rides and 30 teams of heavy horses took spectators back to the gentle days of farming life.
Robert Sampson is the fifth generation of his family to farm at Harbridge on the Somerley estate. His father introduced Percheron horses to the business to help with many jobs around the farm.
Mr Sampson grew up with them and, though he does use a tractor, the Percherons are too close to his heart to give up. He still uses them for regular jobs such as hauling out the winter feed or dragging a four-tonne roller to flatten ruts in the fields.
Percherons come from France and were originally brought over by William the Conqueror. Mr Sampson and his wife Barbara also train Percherons for farm working.