Heavy horses to burst onto Florida show scene

The horse world’s gentle giants will rub shoulders with their sport horse contemporaries for the first time next month in the equestrian village of Wellington, Florida.

The inaugural Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show is coming to Crab Orchard Farm, the Wellington home of Frank and Monica McCourt, for three days of exciting six-horse hitch competition, offering a contrast to the usual dressage and showjumping sports most common in the area.

At the show on February 8 to 10, the top five North American teams for each of the three featured breeds Clydesdales, Percherons and Belgians, will compete for winnings of up to $25,000. The one-off show is free to the public.

Hammersmith Belgians were 2017-18 Six-Horse Hitch Reserve World Champions.

The Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show was established by lifelong horsewoman Victoria McCullough.

Held as part of the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic (NASHHCS), the show’s debut in Wellington will be a jewel of the series. The NASHHCS culminates in the final championship in which the four highest point hitches in each of the three breed classifications are invited to compete for the lion’s share of the prize money.

The show will also support two charities that are close to McCullough’s heart; The Equus Foundation and the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches.