June 01, 2016 at 2:12 PM

A welcome return for the Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses for 2016

Making a nostalgic return to the Andrews Bowen International Arena is the Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses at Horse of the Year Show.  Last seen as a display in 2008, the popular and emotive Musical Drive performance delighted audiences with their superb harrowing display from the 1950’s up until their last display at Wembley Arena in 1999.


The Musical Drive was a tradition largely born out of necessity and it was Colonel Mike Ansell who solved the past lengthy disruptions between classes by using teams of majestic Shire Horses to harrow the arena instead of tractors. The Heavy Horse Teams performed the drive to music making it more entertaining and engaging for the audience, carefully choreographed from start to finish.

The jingling of the harrow chains created by the heavy horse’s majestic footing is a harmonious accompaniment to the military style drill music. The spectacle is reminiscent of the traditional driving tasks asked of heavy breeds on farms, in breweries and as modes of transport in a bygone era.

This year at HOYS, teams of 6 pairs ranging from Shire to Clydesdale under the command of HOYS official John Peacock, are set to fascinate the audience each day of the Show.  There will be two performances on Saturday and Sunday.  The Musical Drive will re-enact the complicated patterns as performed at the Harringay and Wembley Arena’s.

HOYS have introduced a Heavy Horse Package for Sunday’s show as an All-Day Ticket.  With both The Shire Horse of the Year and The British Ridden Heavy Horse Championships taking place at Sunday’s Show, coupled with the addition of the Musical Drive, Sunday is a must for Heavy Horse enthusiasts.  Prices start at £46 for Band C to £90 for Premium Ringside.

John Peacock, Musical Drive co-ordinator, has attended HOYS every year bar one since the late 1960’s. Commenting on the addition of the Musical Drive he said “I first started driving Heavy Horses for the Musical Drive in 1968 where I drove for over thirty years, so it is very much part of me”. “The traditional heavy breeds were the ‘working horses’, and these large but majestic animals would harrow every part of the arena, making intricate patterns in the surface to a military style drill music”. “It was said that these impressive heavy breeds put the ‘Great’ in the term ‘Great Britain’.

Richard Todd, Show Director stated “Heavy Horses are an important part of our equestrian heritage and it is most fitting that Horse of the Year Show is further enhanced by the Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses”.

The 2016 Horse of the Year Show will host the finals of the most highly regarded national Showing and Showjumping Championships, alongside International Showjumping and an exciting line-up of equestrian entertainment including the spectacular Gilles FortierVulcanium – Dreams of Fire’ Performance, a Dressage Master Class sponsored by Arbonne with Olympian Carl Hester MBE the Virbac 3D Worming Pony Club Mounted Games for the Prince Philip Cup, Osborne Refrigerators Double Harness Scurry Championship, as well as the world famous HOYS Puissance. The popular Parelli Natural Horsemanship Interactive Feature Area will make a welcome return, and of course the famous HOYS Retail Village featuring hundreds of trade stands.

Tickets for Horse of the Year Show 2016 are on sale now for what promises to be another exceptional event. For show information visit www.hoys.co.uk or call The Ticket Factory for tickets 0844 581 8282



For more information on Horse of the Year Show 2016, or to request a selection of copyright free images, please contact:

Horse of the Year Show Press Office
Grandstand Media Ltd, Stoneleigh park, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2LZ
Tel: 02476 858 205
Email: press@hoys.co.uk

Category: News