The South Eastern Shire Horse Association was formed in 1983 by a group of likeminded people to further the knowledge, understanding and love of this fine breed of horse.
The Association encourages and supports competitive endeavour, responsible ownership and breeding, our members are often found at shows with their animals showing in hand, turnout and ridden.
You do not have to be a horse owner to join the association; enthusiasts are welcome for their input and support.
Why SESHA was created
A small number of Shire breeders in the South East felt that the area needed some sort of assistance and decided to form a Stallion Hiring Society. A total of 20 Shire enthusiasts met, successfully agreeing to create an Association. An interim committee was formed comprising of Graham Bournes (Chairman), Brian Searle (Secretary) and Mike Lingard (Treasurer). To initially raise funds the Association was donated £200 from The Shire Horse Society (SHS) upon our formation, plus £200 annually form thereafter.
Starting with a small group of members we were able hold our first show. Held at Mount Pleasant Farm, Marden hosted by Brian and Betty Searle an astounding £3,500 profit was raised. As the Secretary Brain believed there should be rules put in place, with the assistance of Roy Bird (Secretary of The Shire Horse Society). It was recommended to apply for a charitable status to be applied for, once we submitted out rules the Charity’s Commission approved them and gave us our charity status. 98% of these original rules still apply to this day.
From this point on shows were held annually and became very successful, gaining traction we were becoming to get recognised as a hiring society. We were invited to send a member to represent SESHA at SHS council meetings held in Peterborough.
Our very first residential stallion Metheringham Joseph (Bay) stood at stud at Town Farm, Brenchley where Graham Bournes was the stallion keeper. Joseph had been a three-time Champion Stallion and two-time Reserve Champion at the SHS Spring Show in Peterborough. He was used by SESHA for three years covering a total of 64 mares before being returned to Derbyshire. The second stallion SESHA hired was from Mr Williams called Blackden Prince Regent (Black), he was difficult to handle but a good stock getter. He was hired for four years, covering an average of 15 mares a season.
The final stallion hired by SESHA was Cotebrook Majestic (Bay) owned by John Dean. We hired him for one season covering a total of 10 mares. Unfortunately the hiring of stallions became problematic, not only because it was hard to find someone who could be the Stallion Keeper but because the members could not always agree on the colour and type of stallion SESHA should hire.
At the time of agreeing not to hire another stallion Lesley Mannington (the Secretary) proposed that in the future a subsidy should be offered to assist mare owners towards the cost of keep, travel and covering fees when visiting a stallion. A condition was that the member wishing to claim this subsidy has to be a member for over three years. Over the years this system has been fine-tuned and has worked very well, now used by other hiring societies throughout the country.
Where our Logo came from
It was discussed at an early committee meeting that some sort of identity ought to be made by way of a logo, which would be on our letter heads, pin badges and flags etc: to be recognised immediately.
No agreement could be met so it was decided that it would be put out to members in a form of competition. There were five entries, all good but one stood out which we have to this very day.
The winning design was an entry by Louanna Winter (Gerald & Angela’s eldest daughter) symbolizing exactly what the Association is all about, A stallion standing over the South East of England. With this design, Louanna has given the Association a very successful logo.
Other Committee Members:
To improve the health of the breed and promote the breeding of Shire Horses.
SESHA greatly appreciates all the strong support in the past and for the future. We hope to raise awareness for the breed and help to keep them around for generations to come!