Stand down Commander, your work here is done.

We’re beyond heartbroken to announce the sad passing of our Clydesdale, Commander on Saturday night, after a short illness.

Commander, joined the brewery in 2019, a larger-than-life horse, with the gentlest of hearts and cheekiest of characters. A friend and colleague with a CV which no horse will ever beat. He was an iconic TV star appearing alongside Pam Ayres, inspiring her to pen a poem, and transporting Martin Clunes at The Horse of The Year Show. A winner of hearts with all that he met be that at village fetes, outside local pubs or gracing the grounds of Blenheim Palace, he always drew a crowd of admirers.

He was a recent show ring superstar winning numerous trophies and rosettes, all proudly displayed at the brewery. Heavy horses have always been a key part of life and tradition at Hook Norton Brewery and Commander, through his time here has left his mark on that rich tapestry.

Stand down Commander, your work here is done.
“The love of a horse knows not it’s own depth until the hour of separation.”

Hook Norton Brewery, now one of only three breweries in the UK with working, delivering Shire Horses work hard to promote and support the heavy horse breed. Shire Horses remain at critical risk of extinction, with their numbers rapidly declining due to no longer having a use in agricultural work, despite this they do make fantastic riding horses and their popularity is slowly growing year by year. The Shire Horse Society aims to spread awareness and promote the breed, striving to ensure their survival for future years to come. Hook Norton Brewery has recently achieved the accolade of ‘Shire Horse Society Approved Centre’ status, meeting a rigorous set criteria ensuring their stables confirm to the highest of standards and the knowledgeable team on site are working in unison with the society to support and raise awareness of these magnificent animals.