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Old traditions brought to life.

Fordingbridge residents are in for a treat when they are invited to bring a picnic to watch a demonstration of a working pair of heavy horses in idyllic surroundings. The event organised by Fordingbridge Museum and the son of one of the founders of the museum, David Shering, will take place in a field behind St Mary’s Church on Saturday 25th September.

David Shering said, “Comtois horses are common in France but are less well known in this country. They are famous for their stamina, good nature and intelligence. They are particularly suited to forestry work and we will be demonstrating logging and tree management tasks undertaken by man and horse that will bring traditional skills to life. My late uncle John founded Fordingbridge museum and my father Richard was actively engaged with the development of it until his death.  I am very keen to perpetuate their legacy and supporting the museum by putting on this event seems an ideal way of doing that.”

The display will include tree felling and loading a timber wagon, sawing logs with a display saw pit and pulling out fence posts. Also on show will be a restored rare old timber carriage.

Jon Ingham, Chairman of the Friends of the Museum said,” Heavy horses are always a favourite with the public and David’s Comtois horses are some of the most beautiful and impressive they will come across, with their flaxen tails and manes contrasting with their powerful chestnut bodies. Working horses would have been a very familiar sight in the town in the past both on the roads and the farms and it is great that David is helping to promote the breed and the working practices that would otherwise be lost.”

The event will take place in the fields behind St Mary’s Church at 3.00 pm on Saturday 25th September. Access is along the track besides the Church and parking is in a level field.  Tickets at £5 for adults and £1 for children (aged 5 to 16) are available from Fordingbridge Museum, Monday to Thursday 11am to 4pm or from The Fordingbridge Bookshop. Tickets are also available on the gate and all proceeds go to Fordingbridge Museum. There will be an ice-cream vendor on site and you are invited to bring your own chairs, gazebo or sunshade and picnic.

Posted on 19 Sep 2021

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