Working horses

Ploughing with Heavy Horses

The Course

A day giving participants the opportunity to work with the Museum’s team of heavy horses and have a thoroughly enjoyable day. The course is hands-on and very physical.

On this day participants will learn the basics of ploughing, including preparing the harness and the plough for work in the field. Beginners and improvers equally welcome.

The Tutors

Robert Sampson has worked with Percheron horses all his working life. He now breeds Percherons and trains them and other breeds of heavy horse to work. He is a registered farrier and farms 250 acres (using his Percherons whenever practical) on the edge of the New Forest. A keen supporter of the Heavy Horse Driving Trials Club, he competes regularly in their events with his sons. He is also well-known as a big-team driver, the largest team to date being 18 Percherons. He will be entering for the British team again this year for the Route du Poisson, a challenging relay race for heavy horses held in France.

John McDermott has ploughed with Percheron horses since his late teens and now owns four Percherons. His horses are frequently seen demonstrating the St Giles steam fire engine at shows and events. He competes very successfully in heavy horse driving trials and he has won the David Briggs Memorial Trophy. In the first New Forest Heavy Horse Relay he was chef d’equipe for the winning Wessex Percheron Club, collecting the Chris Zeuner Memorial Trophy. He entered the British team this year for the Route du Poisson with his wife Rowena. Last year he entered six ploughing matches and won his class in five of them and was champion in two. Also in 2008 he won the Heavy Horse Obstacle Driving Championships.

Andrew Robinson is the Weald & Downland Museum’s working animals supervisor. Responsible for taking care of the Museum’s three heavy horses and working with them.

Participant Information

The course is limited to 8 participants.

Everyone must wear sensible warm and waterproof clothing and suitable steel toe-cap footwear, and gloves.

Fee & Refreshments

£90 per person per day, including tuition and a light lunch, please bring any other refreshments you may need and please let the Museum in advance if you have any dietary requirements.


Sun 1 November 2020






Heavy Horse Courses