The annual City of Portsmouth Heavy Horse Parade was again held on the May bank holiday Monday and celebrated its 15th year. With in excess of sixty entries it was the biggest parade to date with Horsemen and women attending from all over the U.K and with some seven breeds of heavy horse being re presented. The parade, the largest of its kind in the U.K, consisted of a wide variety of trade and agricultural turnouts, horses in plough harness and in hand.
After all were assembled in the castle field on Southsea seafront to receive rosettes from the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth the parade moved off to follow a route around Southsea Common, stopping for a short break at the far end before returning via the sea front, to line up again in Castle field whe re every entry was presented by the Lord Mayor with a unique commemorative horse brass, a journey of some two and one half miles, and a truly spectacular sight.
The parade was preceded on the Sunday with a qualifying round of both singles and pairs British Heavy Horse Obstacle Driving Championship. With some thirty three entries in the singles event and twenty six in the pairs it was not only an exciting spectator event but also the largest qualifying ro unds in the national competition. The singles event was won by Colin Horler from the Whitbread hop farm with John McDermott of Fordingbridge second and Ann Williams from Dartmoor third. John McDermott won the pairs competition, with Tom Brewster from Scotland second and Colin Horler in third place. All will go through to the finals at Newbury in September.
Sponsors George Gale & Co Ltd waiting to compete in the singles event
This whole weekend was most generously and superbly organised by Portsmouth City Council in aid of charity with sponsorship from George Gale & Co Ltd. Without their support and dedication this unique event would be almost impossible to run and certainly would not be as enjoyable. On behalf of all the horsemen and their grooms that attended our most sincere thanks.
In excess of £3000 was raised by this event and donated to The Wessex Cancer Trust making the total raised to date almost £60,000. If you are at all interested in heavy horses either as a horseman or spectator then this is a show not to be missed in the future.
GREAT ALL ENGLAND HORSE PLOUGHING CHAMPIONSHIP AND SHOW OF HEAVY HORSES
Sunday 17th October 1999 At Manor Farm, West Worldham, Alton, Hants.
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