Monday, 9 June 2014

War Horses

Saturday 8th - Sunday 9th June 2014; Horses at War Event, Weald and Downland Open Air Museum ( South Downs, West Sussex)

Braided manes and glossy coats, rippling muscle, iron shoes and softest nose. Pulling power and flying hooves; the War Horses are on show!
This weekend, the stunning setting of the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum, nestled amongst green pasture and wooded downs, beneath a summer-blue sky, was host to a major event in the heavy horse and military enthusiasts 2014 calendar. A celebration and commemoration of the engine houses that powered the British and allied armies during World War 1 and other conflicts; the Horse. 
Barrel-chested draught horses, fleet of foot cavalry chargers, pack carrying Mules and home front donkeys all featured in the show ring throughout the two day event. 

Suffolk Punch, a tradtional British Heavy Horse breed

Flaxen mane'd Comtois Horse, a breed from French/Swiss border region

 The Famous Shire, and an officer

The Percheron, a breed from Normandy region of France,
who would have become very familiar to the soldiers and horsemen of WW1

 Percherons showing their pulling power

 The team of six pulling an 18-pounder gun from Fort Nelson, Royal Armouries Museum

 A matching pair of Percherons (left) 
and the Weald & Downland museum's Shire Horse Neville, pulling a horse ambulance complete with fibreglass patient! (right) 

An impressive display; the war horses and their vehicles 

The 16th Lancers Regiment Display Troop going through their paces

 An officer greets his faithful mule 

Bizzy-Bee and I, showing the visitors the usefulness of working donkeys on the Home front...

...and today. Bizzy-bee's sure footedness makes her perfect for woodland management on steep slopes.

The South East Working Donkey Group with Volunteers from the Weald and Downland Museum. 

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