MICK BRADFORD’s heavy horses will again contribute to his annual recognition of how real horsepower contributed to the development of agriculture, not only in Australia but across the globe, and this year will be joined by a bullock team of eight.
For many years Mick Bradford has demonstrated to an enthusiastic audience the might of the heavy horse at a yearly event that has become a tradition at Swanfells Road, Yangan, 15 minutes outside of Warwick. The sixteenth annual charity day will again be held on Sunday, October 23, 2016, from 9am.
In an era when agriculture is losing its heritage to modern air-conditioned tractors and labour-saving implements — and now in the early days of robotic machines — Mick Bradford will again showcase farming equipment from the 1800s and early 1900s, depicting an era when horsepower was literally the power of the horse.
Organised by the Killarney Lions Club, all funds raised are donated to the RACQ CareFlight.
Mick Bradford was just six years of age when he began driving Clydesdales on his parent’s farm. Today he continues to promote the magnificent and graceful horses that have been the mainstay of his life.
After school he would use them singularly or as teams to feed the cattle and pigs. Alternatively, he would plough the garden behind the majestic animals at week-ends instead of going to sport.
His great-grandfather was a carrier in the Ipswich district in the 1850s, and used bullock teams to haul all types of freight. His grandfather and father continued the business and later progressed to solid-tyred trucks.
Mick says he has retained an interest in heavy horses throughout his life,
and started breeding Clydesdales as a hobby in 1970.
For Mick, there is no horse more powerful yet graceful than a Clydesdale.
Over the years he has collected and restored all types of farming equipment, some dating back to the 1800s. His work with Clydesdales and antique machinery is featured in a magnificent book and on his website (www.heavyhorseday.com).
As many as 10 heavy horses will combine to give working demonstrations, weather permitting, using a variety of implements from the 1800s — cultivators, planters, haymakers, reapers and digging potatoes.
Visitors will also be able to witness the art of the bullocky with a team of eight being put through its paces, and watch heritage working displays of blacksmithing, wheelwrighting, haymaking, chaffmaking and corn shelling — all with true horse power.
In addition, the only known ‘horse works’ that is still working in Australia, and driven by four horses, will demonstrate the pumping of water, cutting wood, chaff cutting and drive a spittle grate to chop pumpkin.
On display will be examples of farming equipment from the Sunshine Harvesters Works, Massey Harris, International Harvester Company, McCormick Deering and other manufacturers.
To add to the variety on the day will be whipmakers, a wheelwright and blacksmith.
A nursery yard will be available for children to interact with farm animals.
Traditional country fare will be available, including stew and roast beef sandwiches, damper and billy tea, plus drinks, local craft stalls and entertainment by local artists, and an ice cream van will be onsite.
Admission is $10 for adults and children free.
For more information go to: www.heavyhorseday.com, or contact Mick Bradford on 07 4664 8209.