An East Lancashire horse has been crowned winner at a contest that celebrates the legendary animals that once delivered beer to pubs. 

Daniel Thwaites’ newest Shire horse, Regal, was crowned ‘Championship Turnout’ winner at The National Shire Horse Show 2024.

Returning to Staffordshire Country Showground in early March, the event sees the world’s largest gathering of pedigree Shire horses battling it out for victory.

Famous for their legendary Shires, Daniel Thwaites horses have been part of the team since the company was founded in 1807.

Originally, the trusted Shire horses were tasked with delivering beer to pubs across Blackburn.

Having been replaced in the 1920s by steam and mechanisation, the tradition returned in 1960 when the Thwaites Shire horses were reintroduced to deliver beer to local landlords until the early 2000s.

Based at the brewery’s on-site stables, Regal and the other veteran Shire horses are looked after by the team of horsemen, led by Richard Green, who has been part of our Thwaites Shire Horse team since 2000.

This is the ninth occasion that the team has won this award under Richard’s leadership.

Mr Green, head horseman at Daniel Thwaites, said: “I’m so proud of Regal and the rest of the team for winning such a highly coveted award.

"We put a lot of time into not only training our Shire horses but selecting them to be part of the team, and to have their talent be recognised in a show of this grandeur, is a fantastic feeling.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Throughout the three-day event, Shire horses are put through their paces in various classes, giving horse lovers a unique insight into the gentle giants of the horse world, with Regal reigning supreme in the ‘Championship Turnout’ category.

At seven years old and standing 18 hands tall, Regal is the latest Shire horse to join the team and has been a part of the Daniel Thwaites family for just over 12 months.

Regal, who’s name pays homage to King Charles’ coronation, has undergone daily training for the competition.

Lancashire Telegraph:

He was chosen to compete by the brewery’s team of horsemen for his size, striking colour and strong nature.

Working closely with the other horses, Drummer, Thunder and Rocket, Regal will now spend his time out and about, travelling the UK and meeting fans at the company’s award-winning pubs, inns and spa hotels.

When not at an event or munching on spent grain from the brewery, Regal loves to sample Thwaites ale.

In 1985, the horses were awarded the Freedom of Blackburn after 25 years of service to the community.

Today they act as beautiful ambassadors for the Lancashire-based hospitality group.