The South West Film and Television Archive (SWFTA) is the regional film archive for the South West of England. Established in 1993, SWFTA's core collection comprises of the combined programme libraries of Westward Television and TSW (Television South West). The archive also cares for a significant number of donated film collections, both amateur and professional, dating back to the early 1900s.
This film is part of Free
Shire horses' Competition in Minehead
Shire horses compete and farmers compare furrows
From the collection of:
A duo of shire horses plough a field in the traditional manner. Shire horses have tirelessly served man for centuries, in battle, on the land and in transporting goods. The term Shire horse was first used in the 17th Century and they are bred to be large and strong. Primarily they are used as cart horses moving goods from the docks into the countryside and traditionally for delivering ale to public houses.
In 1878 the British organisation the Shire Horse Society was founded originally as the English Cart Horse Society. Shire horses were exported to the USA but due to WWII and the increase in mechanisation the need to draft horses fell and the 1950s and 1960s saw the lowest numbers of shire horses in both the UK and US. The Shire horse has won many awards for being both the largest and tallest breed. They normally stand at 17 hands in height but in 1848 a shire horse named Mammoth stood at 21.2 hands.