Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park fighting to survive

Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park fighting to survive

Published by George Sharpe at 12:01am 25th April 2020. (Updated at 12:22pm 27th April 2020)

One of the last remaining Heavy Horse centres is at risk.

The Dorset Heavy Horse Farm Park has been forced to temporarily close because of COVID-19.

The owners have told Wessex FM there is a risk the attraction might not survive. 

They are appealing for support from the public, who can help by adopting a heavy horse. 

Heavy Horse Verwood

Taya Street works at the Farm, she says:

"Although challenging, we have always been proud to operate independently receiving no grants or charitable status.

"But as COVID-19 has struck, it has meant we cannot open the gates to our visitors and the responsibility of providing 1 ton of feed a week and care for the Heavy horses, ponies and animals now rests completely on our shoulders.

"We have always been reluctant to push donations when we are aware that there are many other businesses and organisation also in need of desperate help and therefore by sponsoring a horse it allows us to give something back."

Heavy Horse Verwood
Three of the their horses; Iona, Buddy and Joey

Members of the public can adopt a horse for £39, for which they will get a certificate, a rare breed information sheet, a profile on their chosen horse, a picture and a small memento. 

The cost will go towards food, straw, veterinary and farrier fees for their horse.


Heavy Horse Verwood

The attraction runs as a seasonal business.

Money made 'in season' then covers the care of the horses and animals during the winter period, when the park is closed.

It's home to five British breeds of horses:

  • Shire
  • Clydesdale
  • Ardennes
  • Percheron
  • Suffolk Punch

They also house ponies, donkeys, goats, pigs, alpacas, chickens, barn owls and many more animals, which have been rescued over the years.

To find out more about adopting a Heavy Horse, go to their website.