After oohing and ahhing over all the fuzzy ponies, we wandered over to the heavy horse area. The indoor stables were closed off as everyone was getting their horses ready for the harness classes, but we were able to walk behind them and see a few being groomed and tacked up outside.
You really forget just how massive some of these horses are until you see them in person!
They're truly deserving of the 'gentle giant' moniker though, as there were so many scenes of the whole family chipping in with the grooming and none batted an eyelid at the small children running around underneath them and between their legs.
Although the classes here are usually full of Clydesdales with the odd team of Shires, there's very often a team of Canadian Belgians too, and jeez, they're big.
The commentator later on mentioned that some of them were 19.2hh which is just insane!
We made our way to the main ring and got some good seats right at the front of the stands for the 'Unicorn Turnout' This was a particular form of heavy horse driving with three horses, one in the front and two behind. It takes a great deal of skill to do so I'm told!
I recognised the one at the back in this next photo instantly from a previous year; that singular star being very distinctive for a breed which is usually characterised by its abundance of white on the face.
They all trotted round the ring a few times and the sound of the harness jingling was really something else - you could practically feel the power behind it!
I was pleased with this shot until I looked a bit closer, haha!
The Belgians really stood out among all the bay hairy beasts!
'as many as eight unicorns in the ring at once'
Now there's a statement you don't hear very often!
Once they'd all trotted round the ring a few times, they lined up and the judge assessed them all individually.
I don't often stay long enough to see the harness classes but I'm glad I did this time as its something you really don't get to see that often these days!
Next up, all the things I couldn't fit into another category! :P