Equine beauties to flaunt their finest points in a magnificent Horse Parade

 Providing a traditional countryside ‘wow’ factor, amongst the BMX bikes and the Dog Agility and the Biking Vikings, for this year’s Slaley Show on Saturday 12th August will surely be the Native Horse and Pony Parade, a main ring event due to take place at 1.30pm. Up to 15 equine beauties from large to small will flaunt their finest points accompanied by their owners who will tell of their attributes, their rural roles and their breed history.

 Organised by Laura MacDonald, the show committee’s special advisor on horses and former Horse and Pony section secretary, the parade will certainly include a New Forest, a Welshie, a Connemara, an Exmoor, a Dales, and a Fell, some of which have been bred and raised in the area.

 Laura knows her horses. “I have been riding since I could walk’ Laura says. She was a keen and successful competitor as a youngster “I don’t ride anymore, but I am finding I prefer to be behind the scenes” she says. “I have loved being able to organise this showcase. My previous relationship with horses was more about my own enjoyment and the excitement, thrills and spills of riding; I was very ‘gung-ho’! Now the horse comes first, and I get pleasure from being able to use all the knowledge and experience I have gained over the years.”

 Laura will be accompanying her own Dales mare in the parade “My own mare has been successfully shown and bred her first colt foal last year; he has been placed 2nd at the Dales Society breed show” she says. This native breed is from the Upper Dales of the Eastern Pennine range and was used locally to carry pig iron in the 1800’s during the height of the local lead industry. “It is thought to originate from the 17th Century Scottish Galloway breed which was considered to be the best pony for ‘pack’ use as well as farm and mining cart work; sadly, also for war which almost saw the Dales breed die out” she says. Even today they are on the critically endangered list by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust.

 The Dales are a popular breed and considered to be a good all-rounder, intelligent, kind natured with an impressive trot, lots of stamina, weight bearing and keen to jump so are ideally suited for riding, hunting and even forestry work.

 Immediately following The Native Horse and Pony Parade, the horses and owners will all be available for a ‘meet and greet’ in a special holding pen clearly indicated by signage on the show field.