Thursday, 3 December 2009

Shires sponsor Talland School of Equitation

Shires sponsor Talland School of Equitation!

Shires are delighted to announce their support of Talland School of Equitation in Cirencester.

Talland is regarded as a centre of excellence in equitation and is world renowned for the quality of its instructors and horses as well as the excellent level of training offered and the list of top equestrian trainers and riders who started their careers there.

‘Talland has always been very well regarded in equestrian circles,’ explains Rhea Freeman, Marketing Manager for Shires, ‘and we have been lucky enough to work with Talland on numerous photoshoots, with the Performance Riders that work at Talland and with our Cover Star competition. We are delighted to be supporting such an excellent establishment as it really is a beacon to the equestrian community. Equestrian education is something that we are passionate about at Shires and we hope we will be able to work with Talland now and in the future on a variety of projects.’

Emma Harford from Talland added : ‘It has been great to have the opportunity to work with one of the countries major suppliers of Equestrian goods, we are thrilled with the support they have given us this year, as they provide us with affordable, quality merchandise for all our horses, staff and students, we hope this partnership will continue for a long time to come.’

To find out more about Shires, see, email or call 01568 613600.

To find out more about Talland, see or call 01285 740155.

Alice Pearson joins Shires' Performance Rider Programme!

Alice Pearson joins Shires’ Performance Rider Programme

Shires is delighted to announce that eventer Alice Pearson from Bromyard in Herefordshire has become the latest rider to join its Performance Rider Programme in preparation for the 2010 season.

At just 22, Alice has already achieved a huge amount in her equestrian career. She currently has six competition event horses including the Advanced ‘Beau Bear’ and Intermediate ‘Whatever You Want’ as well as a number of younger horses who are just starting to event. During the 2009 season, Alice’s top achievements include 6th place at Bramham CIC*** and 29th at Blenheim CCI***.

Alice has also been selected for the West Midlands Regional Foundation Squad which aims to produce a pool of up and coming talented riders across the four Olympic disciplines - dressage, eventing, show jumping and para-equestrian dressage - and has been set up through funding from Sport England and is being co-ordinated by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF). The aim is that it will identify riders between the ages of 16-24 who show the potential to progress to International sporting success.

‘We’re really pleased that Alice has decided to join the Performance Rider Programme,’ explains Rhea Freeman, Marketing Manager for Shires. ‘She’s a local girl and a talented rider who had a successful 2009 and is set for bigger things in 2010. Her selection by the BEF for the Regional Foundation Squad will also help with her training and performance- meaning she really is one to watch for 2010 and beyond!’

Alice added: ‘I'm honoured to have been selected on the Regional Foundation Squad and feel that the training will really help me get the results I want and to promote myself and Shires in 2010 and further years. It’s exciting to be sponsored by such a quality brand that I can enjoy working with.’

For more information about Shires, see, email or all 01568 613600. For more information about the Regional Foundation Squad, visit

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Even better Brittany!

Oh has been a long time since my last blog entry...and there's a very good reason for why- the 2010 catalogue! We're working on the 2010 catalogue now and have been out on a lot of photoshoots in addition to planning the pages, writing the text, sorting out the pictures, etc. etc. It might not sound a lot but 288 pages takes a lot of doing! We are very lucky at Shires as we do have our own in house graphic designer who is quite frankly brilliant BUT, even with him on the case, there's a lot to do. So, when you look at the 2010 catalogue (which will be brilliant in everyway!) just spare a thought for what we have to go through to get it to you!

ANYWAY, back to the point of this blog, I've just sent out a press release about our fabulous Brittany jacket...please see below...

Shires’ improved Brittany jacket is available now…and features a new soft peachy finish!

The Brittany jacket has been a popular jacket for a number of years but this year’s Brittany has a gorgeous peachy finish to make it even better. The jacket also has warm padding, double zip, rear vents for comfort in the saddle and a lovely contrasting colour lining.

This is a great winter jacket for riding, at the yard or even shopping and retails at just £49.99.

For more information, see, email or call 01568 613600.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Shires' terrific Typhoon!

The new and improved terrific Typhoon!

Shires’ Typhoon has had a facelift for 2009…and it’s available now!

The Typhoon is still a quality heavyweight turnout rug but now has a new 1680 denier waterproof, breathable, ballistic outer; 300g filling, easy to adjust quick fasten breast straps, shoulder gussets, heavy duty fastenings, large tail flap and the excellent fit that is synonymous with the Shires rug collection.

The Typhoon comes with a standard neck, as a half combo and as a full combo- all versions are available in either blue or bronze- a stunning rug for winter!

Sizes: 51”-87”
RRP: £84.99 (Winter Typhoon)
£89.99 (Winter Typhoon Half Combo)
£94.99 (Winter Typhoon Combo)

For more information, call 01568 613600, email or see the website

Friday, 9 October 2009

Shires’ Performance Rider Programme supports Aaron Millar

Shires’ Performance Rider Programme supports Aaron Millar

Shires are delighted to announce that Aaron Millar has joined their Performance Rider Programme.

Aaron has been successfully eventing for a number of years but was chased into the limelight this year at Badminton when his horse, Stormstay, was pursued by a lurcher on the cross country phase of the event,

“My first priority was to ride as safely as possible under the circumstances, but in the back of my mind was the knowledge that Stormstay would definitely go clear, and within the time so I just kicked on!”

StormStay finished 43rd at Badminton which was quite an achievement for anyone competing at that level- let alone on your first time at Badminton after a rather trying cross country round! As for the rest of the season, StormStay has also competed at Gatcombe, Powderham Castle, The Festival of British Eventing and, of course, Burghley. In addition to Aaron’s top horse, he has a string of promising event horses competing at various different levels including Allercombe Ellie, Leonardo VIII, Dantino, Maraca, Butterfly II, King of Hearts, Shiriff, Yawl Hillbilly and Allercombe Poppy.

“After years of hard work it all feels like it is starting to pay off, after a good run at Badminton I have also been selected onto the BEF Regional Training Programme, so 2010 looks to be an exciting year”

“We’re thrilled to be working with Aaron,” explains Rhea Freeman, Shires’ Marketing Manager. “He’s a hugely talented young rider who is amazing to watch, terribly modest and we’re sure will go far. We look forward to working with Aaron and wish him every success now and in the future.”

“The support from Shires Equestrian is phenomenal, it really means a lot to have a great company backing you and makes me proud to achieve good results, I look forward to working with the team for the future”.

For more information on Aaron, see his website and, to find our more about Shires and the Performance Rider Programme, see

Rosie Thomas has ‘best season ever’ with Barry.

Rosie Thomas, one of Shires’ Performance Riders, has declared that this season has been her top horse’s best season ever, culminating in 9th place at this year’s Burghley.

Rosie and Barry’s Best (Baz) were in 50th position after the dressage on the first day at Burghley and, with the new shortened format on the cross country, the phase where Baz traditionally excels, the pressure was certainly on Rosie on the Saturday: ‘Baz is a cross country machine, but with the shortened cross country, and after walking the course, I was a little worried as the time had been shortened, there were the same amount of jumps but, critically, the long gallop had been removed; the stretch where you can make up time if required,’ Rosie explains. However, once aboard Baz, all seemed to go to plan, ‘I was meeting all my minute markers on time and Baz was brilliant. We were one of five to finish inside the cross country time and this put us in to 11th place before show jumping.’ With all to play for on the last day, Rosie and Baz entered the show jumping arena and, after a super round, finished 9th overall. ‘Baz has been show jumping really well this year so I was hopeful, but finishing 9th was just brilliant, I was thrilled!’

After a brilliant season, Baz is having a bit of time off before he comes back into work and starts his dressage and showjumping training in the winter. As for next year well, as Rosie explains, there really is all to play for: ‘we’re aiming to go to Badminton for the third time and Burghley for the fourth. I think Burghley is my favourite event and we’re aiming for a finish within the top four next year!

To find out more about Rosie, see To find out more about Shires and the Performance Rider Programme, see

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Rain stops play...but we will try again tomorrow!!

Well, we were lucky enough to go and take some pictures for the catalogue at Julie Tew's yard and house today...but sadly the weather decided that we should not have too much of a good thing and after a really successful morning of taking boot pictures, it started to rain and sadly didn't stop! That said, not to be disheartened and with the help of a very obliging group of people, we are back tomorrow to finish off the shoot. So, let's just keep EVERYTHING crossed that tomorrow doesn't turn into a wash out too!

To find out more about Julie, see

Friday, 2 October 2009

...and the winner is...the official press release about the winner of our Cover Star 2010 competition!

Shires Cover Star Competition…and the winner is…Mary Liversidge!

We’re delighted to announce that Mary Liversidge has won the Cover Star 2010 competition and will appear on the front cover of the next catalogue.

The competition was tough at every stage- from the boxes of entries we received, to the assessment day at Talland, through to the cover star photo shoot and, of course, the voting. All three finalists did incredibly well and coped with the torrential rain on the assessment day and the tail end of a hurricane on the photo shoot admirably and with good humour- but the public voted and crowned Mary the winner of this year’s competition.

After being told the news, Mary said: ‘Wow! The whole process entering and being announced as the 2010 cover star has been a once in a life time experience which I will never forget. I initially entered the competition thinking that it would be fun have a go at but never thought that I would be selected for the final 10 so when I got the phone call I was very excited. The Semi Final was held at Talland School of Equitation- unfortunately the weather was a typical summer day in England- pouring with rain and blowing a gale, we all met up in one of the exam rooms and were told about the day and given some clothes to wear. We all had 2 hours of fantastic tuition 1 hour being jumping and the other dressage. I had the opportunity to ride 5 of the lovely horses from Talland one in particular that I fell in love with which was the horse I was lucky enough to ride for the cover shoot. We also all had a good lunch and were interviewed in the afternoon. At the end of the day the Shires team presented us with loads of lovely things to take away. A couple of days later three of us were told we had made it to the last three for the cover shoot day. We all met up at Talland on yet another rainy day for our shoot. The Shires team brought along what was called the magic van, which was cram packed with clothes so throughout the day we kept jumping in and out in loads of different outfits for our photos. All three of us had a great day and it was such an experience for all of us. I would like to thank everyone who voted for me and of course the Shires team for the opportunity to be their Cover Star for 2010 it is truly an amazing experience.’

To see some pictures from the day or to find out more about Shires, see, email or call 01568 613600.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

What's navy, spotty or red all over?

OK, not the most original title for anything but when I was writing the press release below about our Highlander rug turnout range and our super limited edition polka dot version it made me smile!

What's navy, spotty or red all over...Shires Winter Highlander Combo!

Shires’ Winter Highlander Combo is now available in red and, for a limited time, black with pink polka dots!

Shires’ Winter Highlander Combo is one of the most popular winter turnout rugs in the Shires range due to its quality and competitive pricing. It has a 600 denier waterproof, breathable, rip stop outer, 200g polyfill insulation, breast straps, cross surcingles, shoulder gussets, leg straps, a tail flap, an anti rub lining in the chest area and, as it’s a combo, it has a built in neck cover too to help keep the horse extra warm and snug.

So, whether you want your horse to stand out from the crowd in red, get spotted in black with pink polka dots or you’d rather a more traditional coloured navy rug- the Winter Highlander Combo is a great rug for this winter.

Colours: Navy, Red, Black with Pink Polka Dots (for a limited time only, while stocks last)
Sizes: 48”-87” (54”-84” Polka Dots)
RRP: £69.99, £79.99 (Polka Dots)

For more information, see, email, call 01568 613600 or see your nearest Shires stockist.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Shires' Performance Rider Programme extends to the dressage arena!

As always, sorry for the length of time it has taken me to write to you- as always, it's a bit busy here!

Anyway, I bring exciting news of the Performance Rider Programme, we're now supporting two dressage riders too- have a look at the press release below...

Shires’ Performance Rider Programme extends into the dressage arena!

Shires are delighted to announce that two dressage riders have now joined their Performance Rider Programme.

Justine Sole and Beth Miller are both instructors at Talland School of Equitation near Cirencester and have brilliant records in the dressage arena.

Justine Sole currently competes two horses, he own Koning, a 6 year old KWPN, and Dom Lumiere, a 4 year old Hanoverian. Both horses are currently doing well at Elementary and Novice level respectively, but Justine has high hopes for both horses and hopes that Koning will be competing at PSG by 2011, and that Dom Lumiere will be doing all the young horse classes next year and competing at Elementary. Justine herself has an excellent competition record and an impressive set of career credentials. She has competed up to Inter II level and holds her BHSI.

Beth Miller currently owns an 8 year old Westfalian German Warmblood called Finley. Their latest achievements include winning the Elementary Freestyle Championship at BYRDs under 25 festival, 6th in the BD national talent spotting competition in 2008 and being selected for the BYRDs teams including the BYRDs Home International. She is also squaded as an A squad rider. Beth is a student of Justine’s and recently passed her Stage 4 riding and is yard manager at Talland.

‘We’re pleased to be supporting both Justine and Beth. Both bring something special to the Performance Programme and we look forward to working with them now and in the future,’ explains Rhea Freeman, Marketing Manager for Shires Equestrian. ‘We’re dedicated to supporting the great riders of today and tomorrow as well as those who just want to enjoy their horses.’

To find out more about Shires, see, to find out more about Talland and their instructors, see

Good eh?! Well, we're really pleased and, as the press release says- we look forward to working with both Justine and Beth now and in the future- GOOD LUCK!!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Who would decide to do a cover photo today?!

Well, I suppose the answer would be Shires! The plan behind today's shoot was good- or genius (it was my plan after all) and that was to photograph all three finalists in the sunny summer month of August as there are few photographs that can't be helped be a bit of sunshine. As our three finalists are busy people, they sent over all their available dates and, to cut a long story short today was THE day that they were all available. So, we had a chat with our friends at Talland, sorted today out, prayed for sunshine, I mean, after all it IS August and...what do you know...we caught the tail end of hurricane Bill (I believe that is the hurricane's name anyway).

So, what did we do? We ploughed on of course, the weather was better than on the Cover Star assessment day (granted, that was torrential rain) but the light levels weren't brilliant so our photographer had to work his magic. All of the cover star finalists (that's Natalie, Alex and Mary) show jumped first thing, then we had a well deserved cup of tea and regroup. We planned to do the next session on the drive at Talland with horses which we did, then we had lunch and finished off with some horseless shots. The weather did deteriorate and there was a serious breeze (and a few shots where the girls' hair is a little on the vertical side) but all in all, everything considered, I think that the day went very well...all we have to do now is keep everything crossed that the photos look OK!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Brilliant day at Hartpury International

Sorry this is a bit late...I was going to write this blog entry last week to tell you all about the great day that I had at Hartpury International. I went on the Wednesday which was the BYEH day and the first inspection for the * and ** classes, so there was plenty going on and we got the chance to catch up with three of our Performance riders.
The first rider we met up with was Aaron Millar who is one of our newest Performance Rider recruits. He had his top horse and a mare with serious potential at Hartpury...he also rode a friend's horse in the BYEH class where he rode beautifully- one of those people that is fabulous to watch but you are green with envy throughout- but hey ho! Anyway, we took some pictures and interviewed him in front of the camera for when we launch our revamped website.
Next up, we met Nici Wilson and Mini Mr Bigglesworth (her horse) who is the sweetest skewbald horse I've ever met...he just stood there chomping on the grass oblivious to the fact he was at an International horse trials. We spoke to Nici in front of the camera too and took some pictures of her- it was lovely to meet up with her and, again, we will get some info about her and her horses up on the revamped website.
Last but certainly not least, we met up with Julie Tew and saw her with Ballagan and Lord of the Owls- two very sweet horses who seemed to be taking the world in their stride. It was great to see them all.

Hartpury is a really, really super place. We were lucky enough to be able to have a look round at their indoor arena, outdoor arena and stables-have a look at their website if you're interested, it's

Anyway, tomorrow I'm off to a photoshoot- so let's hope it's not going to rain, I seem to have a knack for finding the rain at the moment. I've been out on three work outings this August- cover star, a local photoshoot and Hartpury and each every time I have got wet. So, if anyone's got any influence on the weather, I could really do with some sunshine tomorrow-we're snapping 2010 spring turnouts!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Brilliant Cover Star Semi Final!

Well,I have just returned home from a brilliant cover star semi final. All 10 people arrived bright and early at Talland nr Cirencester and the 'fun' started at 9am! Everyone had an introduction to the team, got equipped in appropriate kit, had a briefing about the day and then had a look around the Talland stable yard that has the most amazing horses in it! As everyone approached the outdoor arena for lessons to begin, the heavens opened. Half the group took part in an hour jump lesson, half had an hour's flat lesson with two of Talland's brilliant instructors. Many of the riders changed horses within the hour and then it was time for a total change, so the 10 flat riders moved over to the jumps and visa versa. Well, it rained again (you could say that the rain was the theme of the day) and the lessons took place over the next hour. After two hours and numerous drownings, the group retired to get changed and dry whilst lunch was being prepared. All riders were truly excellent, we had some flying changes in both arenas, some hair raising jump moments and a few misplaced poles...but it was very good all the same. An excellent lunch was served and then all the semi finalists were interviewed. After this, everyone was thanked for their attendance and dismissed...the final three will find out that they were successful in the next few the website for voting!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Well...entries closed for this year!

Well, the entries for this year's cover star competition have closed and I have to say that I have been thrilled with the standard and the quantity of entries. It's a shame that we can only put 10 people through as there were so many fabulous entries. I think that the main differences from last year's lot (which were, let's not forget, very special and brilliant too) is that the quantity has gone up considerably, the age range has widened (which is great) and people's determination to get their entries in on time has made me smile as people really do want to enter the competition. This year we've had last minute phone calls, people delivering their entries by hand, frantic emails...I have to say that I wouldn't have been that surprised to see a carrier pigeon with an entry attached to it today! It's been really good to have so many keen people. The final 10 will be notified in the next few days but I would like to say (and I really do mean this) that if anyone is reading this who finds out that they didn't get through- please don't be disheartened and do enter again next year. I'd also like to thank everyone..the effort that has been put into some of the entries forms is brilliant...we've had personalised DVDs, poems, movies to music, stunt videos- the lot!

Anyway, I'll keep you all posted with he next stage of the competition...thanks everyone!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Cover star entries drawing to a close!

There are just 8 days, that's 8 days, until the Cover Star 2010 competition closes for another year...and I have to say the entries look really it's going to be a super tough job choosing just 10 from the entries we have received so far...and the entries haven't closed yet!

We've had some lovely photos sent our way...I think the most memorable has been someone who, with their horse, seemed to be covered in polka dots! I do like a bit of variety so it was a welcome addition to the mound of other photos that have been received! That said, you can't beat a nice horsey photo can you?!

I'm really looking forward to the cover star semi-final, we're going to Talland this year (I think my personal no. 1 horsey place in the UK) so the lucky 10 will have super horses and excellent instructors at a place that has top class riders arrive for training...honestly, what more could anyone ask for...I am very excited.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

...and here it is!'s like buses isn't wait for one and then two show up at once...well...our blog can draw that similarity today!

I promised you the full Julie Tew press release and here it is:

Julie Tew joins Shires’ Performance Rider Programme

Shires Equestrian is delighted to announce that International Event Rider Julie Tew has joined the Performance Rider Programme.

Julie currently has a yard full of talented event horses including her Advanced horse and Badminton/Luhmuhlen ride Sir Roselier, Advanced eventers Been Admired and Look Out, Intermediate rides Lord of the Owls, King of the Catwalk and Arctic Monkey II, Novice eventers Ballagan, Master Magic and Montiny and Pre Novice horse Simply Sox in addition to a number of talented horses for the future.

Julie’s successes include competing at Badminton three times, being 5th and 11th at Luhmuhlen in 2008, being 6th in the World Cup Final in 2007, winning silver medals and pony and young rider levels and winning at Weston Park two star to name but a few…her British Eventing record is very impressive.

‘We are really pleased that Julie has joined the Performance Rider Programme,’ says Rhea Freeman, Shires’ Marketing Manager, ‘we’re delighted that such a well regarded and talented rider has joined us and we look forward to supporting Julie through 2009 and beyond. We wish her every success in the coming season. We will be introducing a Performance Rider area to our website in the not too distant future to enable all fans of Julie and our other Performance Riders to keep up to date with what they are up to and any achievements. Once again, we wish Julie every success for the 2009 season and look forward to working with her.’

For more information on Shires or the Performance Rider Programme, see, email or call 01568 613600.

To find out more about Julie Tew, visit her website

Julie Tew joins Shires' Performance Rider Programme

Hello blog followers,

I am VERY sorry for the length of time it has taken me to post another blog entry...we've been super busy at Shires, but that's no excuse and I will try and change my ways!

Anyway, I am going to post the full press release that was sent out to all the magazines about Julie Tew joining the Shires Performance Rider Programme but, in the meantime, have a look at this link...

There will be plenty of press releases about our other riders in the not too distant future and I will keep you updated.

Don't forget our Twitter page or our facebook page !

Friday, 12 June 2009

Shires' Fantastic Huntingdon Jacket

We're thrilled with a report we received from a member of our T&T panel...the strange (and great!) thing was that we didn't send this product out to be tested!! Have a read below...

Shires’ ‘Fantastic’ Huntingdon Jacket

Zara Brown, a member of Shires’ tried and tested panel emailed in with a rather unusual request…not that she wanted to test one of the products from June’s T&T list...she was so pleased with her Huntingdon Jacket that she wanted to write a report about it! Here’s what she had to say:

‘My initial impressions of the jacket where that it looked expensive, well made and had beautiful colouring and lovely velvet finish on the collar and pockets,’ explains Zara. ‘The fit was fantastic, never had a jacket that looks so tailored to my individual shape. Every part of this product is in perfect proportion. Better still, it kept me very warm hunting during the winter and does not restrict the shoulders whilst jumping, nor do the sleeves creep back. The second time I wore the jacket it performed even better than the first! It felt like it had moulded to me, looks timelessly elegant and can be worn all day, so much so I am disappointed when I have to take it off!’

As the Huntingdon Jacket is 100% wool with a luxurious lining, you might think that the care aspect would be an issue but, as Zara says: ‘If muddy, I dusted with a clothes brush and it came up as good as new. I have also sent to the dry cleaners and as came back as good as when it was bought.’

‘I adore this product,’ explains Zara, ‘it has definitely become a firm favourite in my wardrobe. I have used other makes of jackets in the past that have been more expensive, but they have not performed to the same extent this has. The quality and workmanship make this jacket better than its competitors for the price. I certainly feel better in the ring when I am wearing this, as they say ‘if you look good, you feel good’ and this is what is needed in the ring.’

Zara’s marks for the product were as follows:

Packaging 8
Product appearance 10
Fit 10
Function 10
Value for money 10
Performance 10

Thank you Zara for a great report!

The Huntingdon Jacket is available in Green Check, Navy Check, Beige/Green Tweed and Green Herringbone in sizes 30”-42” and retails at £89.99.

To find out more about Shires products, see the website, email, call 01568 613600 or see your nearest stockist.

Monday, 8 June 2009

Shires Equestrian announces support of Rosie Thomas

Thought you'd like to see the official press release about Shires' support of Rosie Thomas....

Shires Equestrian announces support of Rosie Thomas

Shires Equestrian is delighted to announce its support of event rider Rosie Thomas. Rosie is the first member of Shires’ new Performance Rider Programme which has been designed to help support the talented riders of today and tomorrow.

Rosie lives in Tenbury in Worcestershire and competed at Badminton for her second time this May. Rosie has been riding for as long as she can remember and now successfully competes a string of event horses including Barry’s Best, her own 4 star horse. Notable achievements in recent years include finishing 13th at Burghley in 2008 where she was the pathfinder and was one of only two riders to finish the cross country phase inside the optimum time; winning the Jemima Johnson Memorial Trophy for the rider that epitomises the spirit of the sport and has not been awarded senior Union Jack flag, and the Martin Whiteley Trophy for the rider who gained the most points on one horse and has never been entitled to wear the Union Jack flag or won the award before. She also finished 31st at this year’s Badminton and won the Glentrool Trophy for the rider who moved up the most places after the dressage phase.

In addition to riding Barry’s Best, Rosie competes 10 other horses from Intro up to Advanced. She’s also Chief Instructor of the Ludlow Pony Club and teaches at her parents’ riding school.

Rosie comments: ‘I am really pleased to be working with Shires. Mum and dad run a riding school in Tenbury and I’ve had lots of experience of Shires’ products on my own horses as well on livery horses and those in the riding school. Shires make a wide range of goods and I’m looking forward to working with them now and in the future.’

‘We are thrilled to be supporting such a talented rider,’ explains Rhea Freeman, Shires’ Marketing Manager, ‘we’re handpicking the people for our Performance Rider Programme and Rosie’s links with the local area, her reputation in the eventing world, her skill, modesty and fabulous attitude are ideal for the programme. We wish Rosie every success throughout the current season and look forward watching her continue to succeed.’

For more information on Shires, see the website, email or call 01568 613600. Information on Rosie and the Performance Rider Programme will be available on the Shires website shortly.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Good day out of the office!

Well, the sun has been shining and I've been outside on a summer rug's a tough job but someone has to do it! We decided to take advantage of the suunshine, the buttercups, the lush green grass and the leaves on the trees to refresh some of the summer rug photos to get ready for the next catalogue (this won't be out until next year but it's not like we are inundated with glorious predicable weather in the UK is it!?). We photographed the Performance Maxi-Flow, the Maxi-Flow Fly Combo, the Tempest Fly and the Summer Highlander Combo. I'm sure that the horses thought we were ever so slightly crazy when we put a lightweight waterproof on one of them! Anyway, the shoot was a success and the horses behaved well so we didn't have to spend all day in the sun!

On another note, we've updated the front page of the website and now our Cover Star 2010 entry form is online. The competition is going to be run in a very similar way to last year with a few little tweaks, and a press release will soon be sent out to all the magazines that reveals more details about the contest...and about the venue for the cover star's stunning and I'm sure we are going to have an excellent day there. Judging by the interest we've had so far, I think we are in for a good one! If anyone want to know more, just drop us an email...the sales email will be fine and it will find its way to

Anyway, will blog again soon,


P.S...if you haven't received a Shires catalogue yet, email us with your name and address and we will put one in the post.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Shires Equestrian supports Veteran Horse Welfare

Shires Equestrian is thrilled to announce its support of Veteran Horse Welfare, a charity based in Wales which is dedicated to the needs of veteran horses.

The charity’s head office in Pembrokeshire is home to around 20 horses and ponies who are in retirement or require rehabilitation, but the charity is responsible for contributing to the welfare of many horses across the United Kingdom and, indeed, the world as Julianne Aston, the charity’s founder explains, ‘Veteran Horse Welfare is a charity totally dedicated to the care and welfare of older horses. I am delighted to welcome Shires as sponsors of both the horses and staff’s clothing and equipment. Already their rugs and grooming equipment is proving excellent and I am sure the horses will put their new rugs to the test this winter. I would like to thank Shires for their support and for choosing Veteran Horse Welfare as one of their nominated charities.’

‘We are pleased to be supporting such a worthwhile charity,’ explains Rhea Freeman, Shires’ Marketing Manager, ‘Veteran Horse Welfare helps thousands of horses and their owners each and every year, whether this is through providing advice over the phone about feeding, finding a new home for an ageing horse or rehabilitating a horse who needs professional help. We are excited to be working with the charity and look forward to the future working together.’

For more information on Shires see, email or call 01568 613600.

For more information on Veteran Horse Welfare, see or call 01239 881264.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

The latest press release from Shires!

Here's a sneak peak at our latest press's about our gorgeous new Salisbury collection:

Stunning Salisbury!

Shires’ new Salisbury leatherwork range is available now and provides the horse owner with a stunning collection of bridles, breastplates, martingales, girths and accessories…all at an excellent price.

All Salisbury leatherwork is made from quality leather and uses attractive stitching detail, clever design touches and superb craftsmanship. Here are just a few products from the range:

Leamington Bridle
Quality leather bridle featuring extra wide padded headpiece, padded browband and flash noseband. It is available in two lovely colours with sturdy fastenings and matching accessories available.

Colours: Australian Nut, Black
Sizes: Pony, Cob, Full
RRP: £39.99

Five Point Breastplate
Super five point breastplate which attaches to the saddle d-rings and the girth to give maximum performance. This breastplate also comes with a martingale attachment and padded breastgirth section for added comfort.

Colours: Australian Nut, Black
Sizes: Pony, Cob, Full
RRP: £59.99

Leather Belly Girth
Shaped leather girth with attractive stitching detail, strong elastic at both ends and stainless steel fittings.

Colours: Australian Nut, Black
Sizes: Pony, Cob, Full
RRP: £69.99

This is just a snapshot of the range. To see the full collection and to learn more about what makes Shires’ Salisbury range so special, call 01568 613600, email, see, see your nearest Shires stockist or contact Shires to receive their latest catalogue.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Fabulous tried and tested report for Shires!

As some of you may know, we have a tried and tested panel that we use to test our products. We've got quite a number of people on this BUT if you're reading this thinking that you would be an excellent tester too, then please email and you will be sent a questionnaire to fill in.

Anyway, recently we sent our new Reflective Brushing Boots out on test and this is the report that we got back:

Product name: Reflective Brushing Boots
What were your initial impressions of the product in terms of packaging- could you tell what the product was and how it should be used, etc? I was extremely impressed with the bag they came in as I am able to hook them up outside the stable, I could tell straight away what they were for & how to use them.
What were your initial impressions of the product’s appearance? They are very stylish and different to the standard Black & Yellow/Pink boots, my partner does not like using the pink or yellow reflective boots but he wanted to use these ones as soon as we had received them.
How did you find the product’s fit? The product fitted well once we bent them in to shape.
Was it easy to use? Very easy to use
How did the product perform the first time that you used it? Some times using brushing boots they turn slightly but these were perfect for schooling in.
How did you clean/treat the product after use? Due to the dry weather we only had to brush the hair off inside.
How did the product perform the second time that you used it? They did not perform any differently, they are fantastic boots.
What are your overall thoughts about the product/do you use any other products usually for the same purpose and what do you particularly like/dislike about the products that you usually use? For hacking out we use brushing boots with Pink reflective strips but they slip down the horses legs, my partner won’t use them as they are not very manly so when he had the opportunity to use these he was happy as they look good.
What was the thing you liked the best about the product? The style
What was the worse thing about the product? Due to being flat packed the first time we used them we had to bend them into shape.
Are there any changes that you would make to the product and why? No changes at all
Are there any changes that you would make to the packaging and why? May be do a more rounded bag so the first time you use them they are already the correct shape.
Please rate the following out of 10:
Packaging 8
Product appearance 10
Fit 10
Function 10
Value for money 10
Performance 10

Would you buy this product again? Yes definitely
Would you recommend it to your friends? Already recommended
Do you have any other comments that you would like to make? I really enjoyed this tried & tested; the boots are fabulous & look really good. I think they will appeal to the female & male riders for safety out hacking.

As I’m sure you’ve guessed, we are thrilled with this report…thanks Rebecca!

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Hello blog followers...sorry for the neglect!

Hello blog followers,

I'm VERY sorry that you have been somewhat neglected over the past week. I do feel bad about it but I am determined to make a change...and I can tell you what I've been up to!

There are lots of things going on at Shires, I'm looking at riders for the new Performance Rider Programme and I've been looking at cover star venues, actually, I've seen two potentials this week and am going to see another one tomorrow...should be able to make up my mind then! I'm really looking forward to the cover star competition this year. Quite a few people have been enquiring already so I think it's going to be a really good one! As soon as I know more, I will keep you posted via this blog, through Twitter and, of course, through the website.

On another note, I was thrilled to see Rosie Thomas's groom at Badminton on BBC1's red button on Saturday sporting a Shires jacket. Rosie is a rider on the Performance Rider Programme and Shires are thrilled to be supporting her. I thought she did an amazing job making her way through the rankings after the dressage...well done Rosie!

There will be more guest bloggers on this blog in the not too distant future but I thought that, just to make sure you knew you hadn't been forgotten, I'd better write something!

Anyway, keep watching the blog, tell your friends and I'm sure I'll be back very soon!

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Rosie Thomas blogs for us!

Rosie Thomas, a rider on Shires' new Performance Rider Programme has written a blog entry about her preparations for Badminton!

Preparations for Badminton have gone really well, I think that the training that British Eventing has given me has really helped along with the British Dressage Classes he (Barry's Best) has done and even won at Medium and Advanced Medium Level. We started the season at Tweseldown in the Open Intermediate, which he did a fab test and jumped a good double clear and came home 3rd. Gatcombe he unfortunately pulled a shoe off in the cross country but the dressage and show jumping were great. Weston Park he did the Advanced and I decided to give him a steady run cross country and not push for the time. We went down to Powderham Castle and he did a cracking test and show jumped really well, with only two weeks before Badminton, we didn't want to risk him cross country, so we withdrew him. Which I don't think he was too pleased about as cross country is both of our favourite discipline.
At home we have been doing plenty of fast work, we have got some really steep banks on the farm and the ground has been just perfect to work him on them. He's been doing plenty of dressage training and we have marked out a 20m x 60m grass arena with all the white boards so we can practise the moves for our dressage test. It's surprisingly different on grass, we all get too comfortable with our all weather arenas! We have been BSJA jumping and have jumped some good rounds, at home we have been doing lots of grids, to keep him supple and to really make him work.
At Badminton I'm number 91, I would prefer to be earlier as there is less hanging around, but more time to get him settled. I just want to get there and get on with it. I will be leaving for Badminton on Tuesday lunch time, I still have the lorry to clean and pack! I will meet Tracey Garrett my groom for the week there and she will help me unload and get everything organised. My family will drive down each day that I am competing, they have to go back and forwards to do all the work!
The two horses stabled each side of Baz, Graftons Jackpot and Watzmann, have both recently won classes at Sapey, so we have told Baz no pressure but! I think he knows all this build up is for something special, He's just the kindest horse that always tries his hardest for me and I love him to bits no matter what.

Rosie will be writing another blog for us when she returns from Badminton...GOOD LUCK ROSIE!!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Another good day for Faye and Rocky!

Hello there, and thanks for reading the Shires blog. Guest blogger and Shires sponsored rider Faye Berry has written another installment about her latest horsey outings and successes with Rocky...

Rocky was a star on Sunday afternoon; mum took us up to Hargate Arena in Derbyshire to jump the Sports Horse Classic Blue Riband/Foxhunter class, which was a qualifier for the BSJA Scope Festival. We arrived at the showground at about 2.30pm, thinking we would have time for coffee and some lunch and get jumping. We had more than enough time we didn't jump our first class until 6.40pm as the show was so busy.

Rocky was not easy to warm up to start with, I think she was bored with standing on the lorry and now because she was being asked to work, she didn’t think it was a very good party. There were 40 starters in the Blue Riband, in the ring she was great, jumping clear in the first round along with 8 others, only 6 qualified, and in the jump off she jumped another clear with the fastest time winning the class. The next class we jumped was a 1.25 open class. We were first to go and again Rocky jumped well but I had a shocking stride to the first fence and she had it down. I was pleased with her so I washed her off and put her back on the lorry. On the way out of the showground, I stopped at the ring to see how many people had jumped clear in that class, to find I was being called for a jump off. Only Rocky and the last horse to go in the class and jumped with 4 faults. Mum spoke to the other competitor and they decided we would split the first place, because neither of us wanted to jump off.

Rocky was a star winning two classes and I was so pleased with her. I will let you know how I get on next week at Weston Lawns.

Bye for now Rocky and Faye

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Guest blogger- Shires' Sponsored Rider Faye Berry!

Well, I did promise you we'd have other people blogging and to kick this off, Faye Berry, who's one of our sponsored riders, has sent over some news for the Shires blog! Faye lives in Herefordshire and show jumps competitively...she's also been modeling for our new catalogue so look out for her! Anyway, here's her blog entry...

After a quiet winter we went off to the Blue Chip Championship at Hartpury Arena in Gloucestershire. On the Wednesday we had entered a 1.20m class which was held in the main arena. Rocky went well, but struggled down a distance and had a stop. The following morning we returned to Hartpury and jumped the Devoucoux Star Championship class. There were 84 starters in this class and we were drawn fairly early, Rocky was on good form and after chatting with Gary Morgan and Nick Price, my trainers the previous evening, I was feeling a bit more confident.

Rocky went into the ring bucking as normal, so I knew she was going to go well, she jumped a nice clear round, although maybe a little too fast. We then had to rush outside to the outdoor arena to jump the 1.25m class, which was run 2 phase. Rocky jumped well in this and had a clear and 4 faults, which I was very pleased with. Nick Price had arrived at the show by then, and he helped me warm up for the Star jump off. He told me to take some very tight tuns and go for it, as I had nothing to lose. Rocky went into the ring and jumped a great round finishing second – what a result.

The following week Rocky had a bit of a rest, as I was on holiday in Turkey. Mum looked after Rocky and kept her ticking over so that she was ready for our next show. I arrived back from Turkey on a Tuesday morning and went straight to Bromyard Equestrian Centre for some BSJA training with accredited coach David Austin. I found this useful and picked up a few tips from him.

On Thursday we went off to Weston Lawns, where Nick is based and jumped a Foxhunter class and a A,B, and C handicap, she jumped 4 faults in the Foxhunter and clear and 4 faults in the Handicap.
On Sunday off the Weston Lawns again and we jumped the same classes and got the same result. Rocky is going well and has moved up the levels nicely, hopefully she will be ready to jump the Newcomers Second Rounds when they start in June.

Bye for now Rocky and Faye

Monday, 20 April 2009

So much to do before the weekend!`

Well, as our warehouse sale and equestrian event approaches, we are all super busy making sure everything is done, dusted, priced and sorted before the gates open at 10am on Saturday morning! We're all hoping that the weekend will be really successful and that everyone will have a good time. We've got a number of other companies attending like Dengie, Baileys, Classic Showjumps, Redmills, NEW, NAF, Equiami, Equinevolution, Warwickshire College, Veteran Horse Society, Fort Dodge and the Blue Cross...and maybe some others too, and we are putting together a series of talks from a number of experts as well as a free raffle and, of course, the warehouse sale! We are having the sale with three of our local retailers: Barnstormers, Fox Saddlery and Equestrian & Country Leisure and there will be loads of super bargains! So, if you're in our neck of the woods (that's Leominster) we're open both days so do come along!!

As for the talks, well, I really hope I get some time to listen to them. We've got the master from our local hunt coming to do a talk about a year in the life of the hunt which I for one am really looking forward to! Dengie are hoping to bring a lifesize digestive system...and I'm looking forward to that all I need to do is book the weather!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Hello and welcome!!

Welcome to Shires’ very first blog entry! We’re not planning to use this blog just to tell you about all our great new products (although we will keep you informed with the latest product news, reviews, events and anything else that we think you’d find useful!) but we’re also going to get other people to contribute to tell us about what they do with their horses, debate horsey topics and for you, as readers/fans/customers/followers to raise issues that matter to you. I’m hoping we’re going to get some really fab people to blog for us and also receive lots of thoughts and comments from you all. In the meantime, the chances are that I’ll be doing most of the blogging and I’m Rhea Freeman, Shires’ Marketing Manager. I have two horses of my own and a keen interest in horses, equestrian news and products…all of which come in very useful in my job!

Anyway, that’s all for now but there’s plenty to come…so do start reading our blog regularly…I promise to try and make it as interesting as possible for you all.