Max and Monty, Wadworth Brewery’s award-winning shire horses, had a special day out in Hampshire last week when they visited Sparsholt College to deliver beer barrels to the College’s horticulture students, which will feature in the College’s 2015 RHS Chelsea Flower Show garden which is being sponsored by the famous Devizes brewery.
Struck by the unusual sight of the shires who stand at more than 17 hands student Roy Townson said: “Although the College has an Equine Centre and we’re very used to seeing horses, I think it’s fair to say we have never seen anything at the Horticulture Department like the spectacle of Monty and Max today. With their manes plaited, pulling the Wadworth dray, they looked stunning. It’s also great to take delivery of the barrels so we can continue working on our garden for this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.
The barrels will provide a focal point for the garden which tells the historic story of the hop – its uses and properties and features two garden areas: one planted with species that make or flavour drinks and the other a pub garden to relax and enjoy the drinks in. Aptly named ‘The Hop Cycle’, the garden will include an iconic pub sign, specifically designed by one of the students, recreated by the talented Wadworth Sign Shop Team, one of the only in-house sign writing studios left in the UK. The team hand paint all of Wadworth’s pub signs and enjoyed the challenge of interpreting the student’s design.
Fourteen Extended Diploma Horticulture students have planned, designed and will create the garden in the RHS Discovery section of the world famous flower show which opens to the public in May. The team follows a long line of medal winning Sparsholt students who have exhibited at the show achieving six Gold, three Silver-gilt, four Silver and three Bronze medals since 1998.
Chris Bird the Horticulture Lecturer leading the student gardeners was suitably impressed by the shire horses who were ceremonially dressed for their task today said: “Wadworth’s sponsorship of our exhibit this year has inspired focus on the horticultural and social history of the hop and has given us the context for a really stunning garden showcasing the talents of our young and ambitious students”.
When not delivering beer, Monty and Max attend shows competing for shire horse honours. Their 2015 season started well at The Shire Horse Society’s National Show where Max took first place in the Single Trade Turnout class, collectively they took third in the Pairs Trade Turnout class and were awarded the trophy for the Best Brewery Pair. Max also took home the overall Turnout Championship of the whole show.
A number of horticulture courses are offered at Sparsholt College, from Apprenticeship through to the recently launched FdSc Horticulture with Plantmanship and Design. A leisure programme also provides ample opportunity for those looking to try their hand at a new skill or develop a long-held interest.
For further information go to www.sparsholt.ac.uk or telephone 01962 776441.