Shire star Captain bows out

One of the tallest Shire horses in the country, Captain, has died at the age of 18, from a severe bout of colic - almost a year after his lifelong partner, Moonlight.

One of the tallest Shire horses in the country, Captain, has died at the age of 18, from a severe bout of colic - almost a year after his lifelong partner, Moonlight.

The pair of heavy horses took part in ploughing matches across the Eastern Counties and were a great attraction at the Spring Fling, held at the Norfolk showground.

Heavy horse enthusiast Arthur Clouting said that Captain, who stood 19.1hh and weighed almost one tonne, had been turned out as usual in a field near Buxton Mill. When he returned an hour later, Captain, was suffering from colic and Mr Clouting immediately called the vet, who is a neighbour.

Chris Tomlinson, of the North Walsham-based veterinary practice, Westover, got to the field within eight minutes and did his best to relieve the pain.


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However, a few minutes later, Captain died.

Almost a year ago, Moonlight, the 16-year-old grey mare, died.

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The pair were regular attenders at fetes and ploughing matches in Norfolk.

Mr Clouting replaced Moonlight with a young horse, Bruno, which was bred by Broadland farmer and contractor, Bryan Banham, of Acle.

"Bruno and Captain were starting to work together really well. Bruno is just three and was learning from the older and steadier horse," said Mr Clouting.

Bruno, who was hand-reared, shows every sign of being ever bigger than Captain, who was born at Toftwood, near Dereham, in May 1988.

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