There are few better sights than one of Hook Norton’s beautiful shire horses, stamping its feet and snorting on a cold winter’s morning, fully harnessed to pull its loaded dray through local Cotswold villages and country lanes. These wonderful ‘workhorses’ have been an integral part of brewery life since day one and for many, many years were the reliable backbone of its delivery system. At present, the Brewery has three shire horses, Nelson, Commander and Lucas.

The sight of two shire horses leaving the brewery is extremely impressive and is a thrilling part of any visitor’s tour.

The horses usually make a local delivery on Wednesdays to the Sun Inn, Thursdays to the Pear Tree and Fridays to the Gate Hangs High (weather permitting). If you are planning a visit to the brewery and would like to see the drays on their delivery rounds it is always best to phone ahead and check that the shires will be working on that day. The tour of the brewery includes a tour of the stables and we aim to have the horses in the stables during your visit but this may not be possible due to operational or weather reasons. See our Shire Horses in action – Racing UK TV Horse of the Year Show 2018 with Martin Clunes


Dedicated to the protection, promotion and improvement of the Shire Horse since 1878. The Shire Horse Society works hard to protect the breed. To help them with their work why not become a member?

Become a Member

Help this society continue with their wonderful work promoting and protecting the Shire Horse.

Members Benefits

  • FREE ENTRY to the Shire Horse Society’s National Shire Horse Show.
  • FREE ENTRY to other nominated Society Events, Shows and Head Office Open Day at Rockingham.
  • Register approved Shires in the Society’s Stud Book and Grading Register at discounted rates
  • Compete for the Society’s special awards at Affiliated Shows
  • Entitlement to voting rights at General Meetings
  • Qualification for election to the Council and for appointment to its key Committees
  • Free entry into Society Approved Centres.