The Kent County Show is proud to be hosting a number of equine classes that showcase rare and endangered breeds. Many of these breeds are central to British farming heritage and would have once been seen working fields and farms across the country. With the mechanisation of the farming industry, these breeds, and especially the working horse breeds, have become less commonplace. The rare breed classes at the Show are the perfect opportunity to see these amazing animals up close and personal. Check out the Clydesdales, which were originally bred from Flemish stallions and native draught mares in the early Eighteenth Century, in the Heavy Horse Village and meet these giants in person.
From enormous Clydesdales to the smaller Dales and Fell ponies, we’ve got the spectrum of horse breeds covered. Don’t miss out on seeing the Dartmoor In-Hand competitions and see these characteristic ponies, most commonly seen on the harsh moors of Dartmoor, in person. These ponies have a long history in Britain with the oldest known pony dating to 3500BC and evidence suggesting that they were domesticated from as long ago as 1500BC. Although not as closely related as once thought, the Exmoor Pony has a similar history to its Dartmoor counterpart with William the Conqueror’s Domesday Book recording ponies on Exmoor from as long ago as 1086.
The much larger Shire horse will also be putting on a show. These giants of the equine world have most popularly been used to pull brewers’ drays to deliver beer and ale to their customers. Shire horses have also been used in forestry to extract timber and are still used to this day as an environmentally friendly method of managing woodland areas. You can meet some of these giants of the equestrian world in the Heavy Horse Village which is situated next to the Astor Ring.
The rare breeds representatives will be joined by a host of other horses taking part in competitions including in-hand showing, scurry driving, show jumping, horse showing and heavy horse turnouts.
See these rare breeds and more in action throughout the Show in our four equine rings as well as in the Woodland Area and the Heavy Horse Village.