Livestock at the Fair: shire horses shine in Asheville.
When The Livestock Conservancy decided to attend the first annual Mother Earth News Fair in Asheville, North Carolina, they contacted me to see whether I wanted to bring my heritage breed, the Shire. Without hesitation, I agreed to fill three stalls.
The Fair was different from any other event where I've promoted the Shire. People carried notebooks, iPads, and briefcases, and took notes and asked intelligent questions. These people came prepared to learn!
Even though the stalls were thin-railed to allow for maximum exposure, I pulled my display table forward and encouraged people to walk right up and pet my Shires. I encouraged everyone to go into the stall and interact with the horses, love on them up close, and take pictures. Those who asked were given a leg up so they could sit on one of my horses while we chatted about the history of the Shire. The entire experience really showcased the "gentle giant" personality of this breed.
As years go by, I am seeing more opportunities to increase the exposure of our Shires. The Mother Earth News Fair is just such a place. Next year, I'll be giving a talk about preserving the Shire, and I'll be setting up a demonstration of the Shire's flexibility and an extra stall with more information for people to read and take with them. I look forward to seeing some of you visit us in the barn in 2017!
Dayla Kay Kohler
Walnut Cove, North Carolina
Please note: Some tables or figures were omitted from this article.