Equis ISSN 2398-2977


Contributor(s): Bob Langrish, Vetstream Ltd


  • Coldblood.


  • Shire   Shire  .

General information

  • Bred principally in the UK.
  • Originally used as a draught horse, but now popular for showing.
  • Largest horse in the world.
  • Enormous power.
  • Very gentle and docile.
  • Very hardworking.
  • The Shire horse is in Category 4 ('at risk') on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) Rare Breeds Watch List, officially classifying it as a rare breed in the UK, with numbers between 900-1500. This is based on the number of registered breeding females in the UK.
  • Visit the RBST website to view their full Watch List 2014 -  https://www.rbst.org.uk/watchlist-2014.pdf . 


  • Friesian   Friesian  -> Old English Black Horse -> Flanders Horse -> Native stock.

Principal uses

  • Draught.
  • Showing.


  • Registered.

Biologic Data

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to purchase a 30 day trial, or Login

Further Reading


Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Hendricks B L (1995) International Encyclopedia of Horse Breeds. University of Oklahoma Press. ISBN 8-8061-2753-8.
  • Ball C (1994) Horse and Pony Breeds. Quintet Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85076-500-6.
  • Hartley Edwards E (1994) The Encyclopedia of the Horse. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 1-7513-011-59.


  • Shire Horse Society, East of England Showground, Peterborough, PE2 0XE, UK.
  • British Horse Society, British Equestrian Center, Stoneleigh, Kenilworth, Warwickshire CV8 2LR, UK.
  • The American Shire Horse Association, Lowell Wagoner, Rt. 1, Box 10, Adel, IA 50003, USA.