Home Farm’s pride and joy….Tatton Greyfriar
The excitement is palpable at Tatton’s Home Farm as stunning shirehorse Tatton Greyfriar who will be three in May, is prepared for his very first show.
The National Shirehorse Show is due to be held on March 15-17th at the East of England Showground, Peterborough. This is where homebred Tatton Greyfriar, or Friar for short, will be following in his father’s hoofprints to try to win national acclaim for Tatton. His father, Arclid Minshull Monty was National Champion in 2007. A century earlier Tatton Dray King, born in 1904 was the winner of many national shows.
The role of horses at Tatton has always been a significant one. At one time between eight and twelve Shire and Clydesdale work-horses were used at the farm for carting, drawing machinery and general transport around the estate. The powerful ‘heavy horse’ breed, the Shire is bred on the farm today, with Friar being the finest of the four horses currently resident at the Farm. In recent years there have been five foals, one of which is shown in Germany, and another in Switzerland. With such a high pedigree, hopes are high for Friar’s performance at the show.
Training and preparing Friar will be a labour of love for the Home Farm staff. This will be a big event for the impressive shire horse and will be his first time away from the farm. At the show he will be judged on his movement, correctness when standing and his appearance. He will be well looked after and pampered, having his legs oiled will be one of the spa style treatments he will receive in the run up to the show!
Jayne Chapman, farm manager, said of the forthcoming show: ‘I am so excited to be taking Tatton Greyfriar to the Nationals. It’s going to be a real learning curve for him. He will be a great ambassador helping to put Tatton and Cheshire East on the map.’
For those who would like to learn how to groom and prepare a heavy horse for a show, Tatton Home Farm is running a course called Showing Heavy Horses on Saturday 8th June, 10-12pm at a cost of £18. (Minimum age 12 years). On arrival you will be introduced to the horses and then you will wash and groom the horses before learning the skills of plaiting and harnessing. A great way to get up close and personal with our beautiful heavy horses, and to see first hand what goes into preparing them for a national show.
Tatton’s Farm is open in low season (to March 22nd) every weekend 11am-4pm, last entry 3pm. In high season (March 23rd to October 27th) it is open every day except Monday 12pm to 5pm (last entry 4pm). Entry charges apply.