Cotebrook Loch Anna to lead Tarporley Remembrance Day parade

Tarporley Royal British Legion – Remembrance Parade 2019

Cotebrook Loch Anna plated up with poppies will be leading the Rememberance Day parade from 10:15 from the top end of Tarporley high street down to St Helens Church, the parade includes the Cheshire Constabulary Band, the Police, the Fire Brigade, the Army Cadets, the Brownies, Guides and Scouts, Tarporley High School and Primary School.

After the service Anna will head back up the high street to the Tarporley War Memorial which is celebrating its centenary then to the community centre, where there will be an opportunity to have a picture with Anna.

Anna will return to Cotebrook at around 13:30 to join Alistair who will give a special talk at 14:00. After the talk there will also be a further opportunity for photos with Anna.

Cotebrook Loch Anna

Cotebrook Loch Anna is a 5-year-old Shire Mare. The Shire Horse is the largest breed of horse in the world and Anna is the biggest at Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre standing at 19hh and weighing over a tonne.

Anna has twice been Supreme National Champion Female at the National Shire Horse Show (the largest shire show in the world) 

She is also the three times Supreme Champion at Nantwich Show. 

Anna is carrying her first foal and is due towards the end of April 2020. 

The Shire Horse – the original War Horse

We should never forget the role that the Shire Horse has played for hundreds of years both in this country and world-wide.

First it was used as a War Horse carrying knights in armour in medieval times and then it was the main source of power in agriculture and industry for 250 years. 

Again, it became a War Horse in the 1st & 2nd World Wars pulling the heavy artillery in appalling conditions. 

In Medieval times the War Horse needed to be an extremely heavy animal. Not only did the horse need to carry a knight in full armour with his huge lance, but also the horse wore body armour.

During the reign of Henry VIII, acts were passed in 1535 and 1541 forbidding the use for breeding of horses under 15 hands in height, also prohibiting all exportation, even into Scotland, in order to increase the numbers of big heavy horses.  

It is from this heritage as a War Horse that the Shire Horse of today was originally bred

The Shire Horse again played an important part in the 1st & 2nd World Wars pulling the heavy artillery

A War Horse is often thought of as a huge cavalry charger but during the First World War horses’ roles were much more varied. They were essential to pull heavy guns, to transport weapons and supplies, to carry the wounded and dying to hospital as well as to mount cavalry charges. Without these hard-working animals, the Army could not have functioned.  

The Army needed thousands of civilian horses to serve alongside its soldiers and in the first year of war the countryside was emptied of Shire Horses and riding ponies, heart breaking for farming families who saw their beloved horses requisitioned by the government. Many were hidden in woods to avoid being taken as only the very young or old animals were left behind to support agricultural activities.

1 million horses went to war in WW1 and only 62,000 returned.

The Shire Horse nearly became extinct after the 2nd World War. With the improvement in mechanism the Shire was no longer needed in either industry or agriculture and in the 1950’s was nearly doomed to extinction.

It is only through the dedication of breeders, like Alistair King, that has prevented the Shire Horse from disappearing from our countryside for ever. At Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre there are currently 18 Shires and 9 foals due in 2020.