Shire Horse History
The Shire is the most popular draft horse in the United Kingdom. The Shire made its first appearance on British soil in its original form of the Great Horse, which was brought by William the Conqueror in 1066.
The name was changed in the late 1800s to the Shire, possibly in honor of its development in the Fen country of Lincolnshire, and its use in the counties of Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire.
Today, the horse is used to pull drays (carts) for pub deliveries and in parades.
Shire Horse Characteristics
The Shire is the largest draft horse, standing up to 19 hands high and weighing a ton. Its colors include black, brown, grey and bay with white feathers on the legs.
For More Information:
- The American Shire Horse Association, www.shirehorse.org;
- The Shire Horse Society (United Kingdom), www.shire-horse.org.uk
This breed profile was originally published on December 15, 2006.