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Annual ploughing event proves popular
THE gentle giants of the horse world captivated the crowds again at the Southern Counties Heavy Horse Association’s annual ploughing match in Breamore on Sunday.
For 41 years thousands of people have come to watch skilled farmers plough the fields with their faithful Shires, Clydesdales, Percherons and Ardennes.
For the last three years, 30 teams of heavy horses have taken spectators back to the days when farming was a gentle way of life at Charford Manor in Breamore.
Show secretary Anne Dawson said: “People love coming to watch the ploughing match and I think it is because the horses are so gentle and lovely and these beautiful horse breeds are not something that people see very often.
“Watching skilled farmers plough with these big gentle giants makes people feel very nostalgic.”
Certain breeds, such as the Suffolk Punch, are listed on the critical list, with only 100 pairs left in the UK – making them rarer than the giant panda.
Others including the Clydesdale are listed as ‘vulnerable’ with just several hundred breeding pairs remaining.
Meanwhile, Shires – Britain’s best known working horse breed – are said to be “at risk”.
Experts say the animals are dying out before they can be replaced because of a reduction in the number of UK breeders.