Speed the Plough

Another day, another form of horse racing. This is Hokkaido, Japan, where the descendants of heavy European draught horses imported for agricultural work in the nineteenth century now fight it out in Ban-ei races. They drag an iron sled over a course of deep sand a couple of hundred yards long, and climb over ramps …

Heavy Horses: Peak Oil

The 1960s and 1970s saw a surge of interest in heavy horse breeds just as the animals were vanishing on British farmland, replaced by the tractor and the truck. People began to start working with horses again, keen to “preserve the old ways”, and heavy horse visitor centres sprung up where tourists and locals could …

Heavy Horse Week: Opium for Shires

How to Manage a Vicious Horse so as to do anything with him [a recipe from horseman Jack Juby‘s notebook of horse cures] Take Oil of Fennel, oil of Cinnamon, oil of Thyme, oil of Rosemary, Tincture of opium, Tincture Arnica, illontara, oil of Nutmeg, oil of Anniseed, one ounce of Lunas powder. Take a …

Heavy Horse Week: Jack Juby

Jack Juby MBE, who died in 2004,  was one of the last of his breed. “Groom” doesn’t begin to sum up his work. “Horseman” he certainly was, and a trainer and master of heavy horses in Norfolk – a service for which he received his MBE. He was employed by the Peacock family for most …