The Shire Horse
Breed Standards & Points of the Horse
A scale of points for the breed has been carefully drawn up and this has been amended when necessary, to meet modern requirements.
For instance, years ago, a great characteristic of the Shire was the wealth of hair, or feathers, on the legs. Today the demand is for a cleaner legged horse, with straight fine, silky hair.
The standard of points laid down by the National Shire Horse Society is as follows:
A good Shire Stallion should stand from 17.0 hands (173 cms) upwards, and weigh from 18 cwt (900 Kg) to 22 cwt (1100 Kg) when matured, without being overdone in condition.
He should possess a masculine head and a good crest with sloping, not upright, shoulders running well into the back, which should be short and well coupled with the loins. The tail should be well set up and not what is known as "gooserumped".
Both head and tail should be carried erect. The ribs should be well sprung, not flat sided, with good middle which generally denotes good constitution. A Stallion should have good feet and joints; the feet should be wide and big around the top of the coronets with sufficient length in the pasterns.
When in motion, he should go with force using both knees and hocks, which latter should be kept close together, he should go straight and true before and behind.
A good Stallion should have strong character.
Modifications or Variations of Stallion Standard Points for Mares
A Mare should be on the quality side, long and deep with free action, of a feminine and matronly appearance, standing from 16 hands (163 cms) and upwards on short legs. She should have plenty of room to carry her foal.
Modifications or Variations of Stallion Standard Points for Geldings
A Gelding should be upstanding, thick, well-balanced, very active and a gay mover. He should be full of courage and should look like and be able to do a full day’s work. Geldings weigh from 17 (850 Kgs) to 22 cwt (1100 Kgs).