If you are looking for a draft horse, check out this new horse for sale.
“Baby Huey” is a Shire / American Belgian cross stud horse. He is coming 3, is halter-broke and very easy to handle. If you are interested in learning more about Baby Huey, CLICK HERE.
Sir Walter Gilbey, an early authority on the breed, had this to say on the introduction to Volume 1 of the stud book.
“The Shire horse is the purest survival of an early type which was spoken of by medieval writers as the ‘Great Horse.’ If this horse did not originate in England, this country at a very early date acquired a widespread reputation for producing it. Indeed, the English ‘Great Horse’ seems to have been a native development of that British ‘War Horse’ whose strength, courage and aptitude for discipline are spoken of in high terms by the -chroniclers of the Roman legions at their first landing upon these shores.
“There are good reasons for believing that in the English Great Horse, modern Shire horses were originated. It really seems to be true that the most powerful animals now existing in England, for the advance of agriculture and commerce, (i.e., the arts of peace) are the direct descendants of the horse which, when Julius Caesar arrived here, attracted his attention for its efficiency in the assistance which it rendered to our forefathers in the pursuits of war.”
The destiny of the Shire and of England is inexorably entwined. In the period between the reign of Henry II, 1154, and that of Elizabeth (commencing in 1558) it seems to have been a constant aim of the government to increase the size and number of horses called “The Great Horse.” Little wonder, the weight of many horse soldiers in armor was upwards to 400 lbs. for rider and armor.
The Shires coming out of their historic home, the fenlands of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, tended to have more bone and hair than those of their neighbors. Yorkshire and Lancashire, for instance, were noted for horses of a finer texture and more endurance. The rugged demands of the Liverpool market, where thousands of stout geldings were used, certainly contributed to correct type, and soundness, and great strength in the case of northern breeders-as London did to the south.
So when the demand for draft horses developed in our country, the Shires of England became one of our primary sources for the improvement of our equine stock,
An American horseman from that period, a dealer in several breeds and an acknowledged expert, had this to say about the Shire. “I have had opportunity for extended personal observations and inquiry as to the result of crossing them on native American mares, as well as on the grades and crosses of other breeds, and the evidence is of unqualified satisfaction. They have been found competent to transmit and impress their own characteristics with remarkable certainty, and the name “Shire Horse” had become a synonym for strength, constitution, energy, and endurance. “