The Prince of Wales is Patron of the British Horse Loggers (BHL), a group of professionals and their supporters who use horses by choice in modern forestry and woodland management. He is also Patron of the Charitable Trust established by the BHL to promote the use of horses and, in particular, to set up and run an apprenticeship scheme that recruits and trains aspiring horse loggers, safeguarding skills and creating jobs. He is Patron, as well, of the British Festival of the Working Horse another grouping set up by the BHL to promote horse logging and the wider developments within horse work.
The British Festival of the Working Horse (BFotWH) is a three day event, hosted by the East of England Show this July in Peterborough. With its own four acre site, the BFotWH will promote the use of horses, effectively and economically, in a range of tasks, the development of new equipment for those tasks and will celebrate the extraordinary role that horses still play in our lives and will continue to do in the future.
There will be horses demonstrating work in forestry, horticulture and agriculture, in vineyards and fruit production, urban work and tourism. New equipment will be demonstrated and paraded in the Main Ring; the very best of the innovatory horse work equipment will be awarded prizes.
The development of new equipment is vitally important; innovations in materials and design can lead to improved efficiency, increased welfare and economic viability. There are very simple pieces of equipment that can assist horses, make their work more pleasurable and increase their outputs whilst improving their comfort. Traditional skills linked with new equipment and developments in design and manufacture of harness will secure horse work into the future.
One aspect that will be central to the future of horse work is the concept of horses as 'energy animals'. That is, to recognise that horses are infinitely renewable, requiring no more than grass and water to breed and to work, taking very little land out of food production. They produce a 'green energy', a renewable source of energy that is comparable to wind and water power. This topic and others will be discussed at a conference and seminar at the BFotWH.
The BFotWH will be held on the 6th, 7th and 8th July as part of the East of England Show and will be visited by HRH The Prince of Wales on Friday 6th. This support and its very public endorsement is welcomed by the organisers of the Festival.
"We are very excited that His Royal Highness will visit us in Peterborough", said Doug Joiner, the power behind the idea and one of the main organisers, "He continues to show an active interest in the viability of working with horses and to pioneer their use. We look forward to being able to show him the very latest in new developments and, of course, some brilliant working horses".
Why not join him in finding out more? Visit the web site for more details and come and enjoy the first ever British Festival of the Working Horse.
Part demonstration, part competition and all celebration it is not to be missed.