The British Shire

The British Shire, as befits his ancestry, is the largest, pure-bred horse in the world.

A modern Shire can shift five tons with ease, and his enormous strength, stamina and docility were some of the qualities progressively stabilized and improved after the Shire Horse Society was formed in 1878.

These horse breeds are still being exported to some American states, but like the Suffolk are now less common the other side of the Atlantic than the Belgian, Percheron and Clydesdale.

In Elizabethan times strong 'punchy' short-legged horses, less handsome than the modern version but of similar type, were needed to draw the first cumbersome coaches along the rutted tracks of England.

Nowadays the excellent workers called Suffolk Horses or Suffolk Punches that are always colored some shade of chestnut, are exported to the Argentine, Canada and to the U.S.A. where the several breeders have formed an American Suffolk Horse Society.