The Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses return for HOYS 2016

Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses

The Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses return for HOYS 2016

The Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses will be making a nostalgic return to this year’s Horse of the Year Show.  Last seen as a display in 2008, the popular and emotive Musical Drive performance delighted audiences with their superb harrowing display from the 1950’s up until their last display, at Wembley Arena, in 1999.

The Musical Drive of the Heavey Horses was a tradition largely born out of necessity and it was Colonel Mike Ansell who solved the past lengthy disruptions between classes by using teams of majestic Shire Horses to harrow the arena instead of tractors. The Heavy Horse Teams performed the drive to music making it more entertaining and engaging for the audience, carefully choreographed from start to finish.

The jingling of the harrow chains created by the heavy horse’s majestic footing is a harmonious accompaniment to the military style drill music. The spectacle is reminiscent of the traditional driving tasks asked of heavy breeds on farms, in breweries and as modes of transport in a bygone era.

This year at HOYS, teams of 6 pairs ranging from Shire to Clydesdale under the command of HOYS official John Peacock, are set to fascinate the audience each day of the Show.  There will be two performances on Saturday and Sunday.  The Musical Drive will re-enact the complicated patterns as performed at the Harringay and Wembley Arena’s.


HOYS have introduced a Heavy Horse Package for Sunday’s show as an All-Day Ticket.  With both The Shire Horse of the Year and The British Ridden Heavy Horse Championships taking place at Sunday’s Show, coupled with the addition of the Musical Drive, Sunday is a must for Heavy Horse enthusiasts.  Prices start at £46 for Band C to £90 for Premium Ringside.

John Peacock, Musical Drive co-ordinator, has attended HOYS every year bar one since the late 1960’s. Commenting on the addition of the Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses, he said “I first started driving Heavy Horses for the Musical Drive in 1968 where I drove for over thirty years, so it is very much part of me”. “The traditional heavy breeds were the ‘working horses’, and these large but majestic animals would harrow every part of the arena, making intricate patterns in the surface to a military style drill music”. “It was said that these impressive heavy breeds put the ‘Great’ in the term ‘Great Britain’.

Richard Todd, Show Director stated “Heavy Horses are an important part of our equestrian heritage and it is most fitting that Horse of the Year Show is further enhanced by the Musical Drive of the Heavy Horses”.

Tickets for Horse of the Year Show 2016 are on sale now for what promises to be another exceptional event. For show information visit or call The Ticket Factory for tickets 0844 581 8282

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