||I’ve spent much of my life working with heavy horses and in those early years I worked solely with Shire horses. Although I enjoyed attending the various County Shows and showing my horses, I was much more interested in working my horses. During the late nineties and early noughties, I was finding it increasing difficult to find what I’d describe as a traditional working Shire horse. By that I mean something under 17hh with shorter back and leg that I could work and drive both socially and at competition level.
While at one such competition - La Route du Poisson (Fish Race) in France, I came across many alternative European breeds, the Comtois being one of them. I loved the look of the Comtois and so I began researching the breed. In 2006 and with great trepidation I brought my first two Comtois over from France, a breed that was seldom seen in England and wasn’t really known within the heavy horse establishment.
I certainly had no need to worry about my choice of breed, as I discovered the breed to be better than I could ever have imagined. They are so versatile, good natured and learn so fast. What really appeals to me is that they have the speed and agility of light horses yet the strength and power of the heavy horse. I was immediately besotted and addicted to the Comtois!
I still enjoy working with the horses but the Comtois have given me so much fun with other equine areas.
With my Comtois I carry out many activities, my favourite being driving trials, closely followed by ridden dressage, we take part in charity rides and drives, pull timber, take part in many County Shows and really enjoy doing the New Forest Heavy Horse Musical Drive, we plough, ride side saddle, and to be honest there isn’t much that we don’t do.
They are great horses that have the strength and power of the heavy horses but the speed and agility of the light horses so it makes them such a versatile breed.
My horses have taken part in the Beer Run in the New Forest which is a 50 mile relay race around the New Forest with special stages as well.
La Route du Poisson is a 200 mile relay race from Boulogne-sur-Mer on the north coast of France to Paris with 10 pairs of horses over 24 hours non-stop. Driving through the night cross-country at competition speeds can only be described as fun, in a slightly crazy sort of way!
La Route du Luxemboug Belge, we had a great time here in 2013, Major won the Dressage to Muisc https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwBf65Pi4_o and Major and Rodeo came 5th in the obstacles, sadly we had a few time penalties or we would have been 2nd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwBZ6oi9JYM and then a great run on our night stage coming 2 seconds from the optimum time. These horses have given me so much pleasure over many years.