Heavy Horses Feature in Northam at the Western Australian Championships

The LiveLighter Horse and Harness Championships of Western Australia will be held in Northam this weekend.

Organised by the Working Horse Society of Western Australia (WHSWA), the championships will highlight the many breeds of draught and heavy horses including Clydesdales, Shires, Percherons, Friesians, Drum Horses and Gypsy Cobs.

The aim of the championships is to celebrate these magnificent horses whilst providing a fun and enjoyable event for people to participate in.

Held at the Avon Valley Pony Club, Suburban Road, Northam, the program for Saturday kicks off at 9am and features the in-hand classes, which showcase the different breeds of heavy horses. This will be followed by the ridden horse classes.

The Sunday program focuses on the skills of the working horse in harness with classes for long reining, log snigging, obstacle courses, farming implements and carriage and wagon classes with some novelty competitions thrown in for some fun.

Spectators are encouraged to come along and enjoy the rare and unusual sight of working horses and enjoy watching and interacting with the breeds of horses that were an important part of the early development of Western Australia.

Working Horse Society of Western Australia president Kim Johnson said she was anticipating a large display of various heavy horses at the event.

"We are looking forward to hosting the championships and would like to encourage people to come along as spectators to watch and interact with these beautiful heavy horses," she said.

"Additionally, we are excited to be offering a huge $500 cash prize to the winner of the Best Working Horse of the show. This challenge will consist of each competitor gathering points throughout the harness classes with the horse and driver with the most points taking home the prize money."

The WHSWA have invited special guest interstate heavy horse judge, Mr Ian Stewart-Koster, to preside over the heavy horse judging at the championships.

Mr Stewart- Koster has many years of experience in breeding, training, working and showing heavy horses.

Accredited as a Federal Clydesdale judge and president of the Queensland Clydesdale Society, Mr Stewart - Koster's expertise is rarely accessible in Western Australia.

To celebrate his visit to WA, the WHSWA has organised a clinic, to be held in Northam, on Monday, July 22.

The WHSWA warmly invites anyone that is interested in the history, breeding, showing and owing heavy horses to attend the clinic.

An expert in restoring horse drawn wagons and carriages, and a specialist in traditional sign writing, striping and scrolling, Mr Stewart-Koster will be sharing his expertise used to restore over 300 horse drawn vehicles during the clinic.

The show will also cater for other breeds of horses with well respected WA judge Diane Bennett presiding over the judging of the thoroughbred, standard bred horse and part bred heavy horse classes.

Highly regarded judge from WA, Karen Mori, will be officiating the judging for the Miniature, Shetland, pony and light horse classes.

Further details on the championships and the clinic can be obtained by contacting Working Horse Society of Western Australia secretary Aleesia Smith on 0435 718 633 or secretary.whswa@gmail.com.