Forge Mill Farm at Sandwell Valley Country Park has welcomed two rare new additions – a duo of young Shire horses.
Members of the public are being invited to choose names for the two fillies, aged two and three. Shire horse numbers are in rapid decline – with only around 1,500 left in the whole country.
The farm is hoping to continue with a regal theme for the horses’ names – as the last pair of shires at the farm were called Duke and King.
Names in the running include Duchess & Princess, Lady & Queen and Madeleine & Julie – after local acting royalty Madeleine Carroll and Julie Walters.
Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for leisure Councillor Bill Gavan said: “The horses have only been at Forge Mill for a couple of weeks and they are settling in well.
“The younger one is still a little nervous and the older girl is very friendly.
“Shires are majestic creatures and we’re looking forward to them becoming a real attraction for our visitors.
“We’ll be looking at the possibility of breeding them in the future to keep the line of Shire horses going.”
The Shire horses join Forge Mill’s rare Bagot goats. The council is part of a scheme run by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust to breed the rare goats as there are fewer than 200 registered breeding females left.
To suggest a name for the horses, go to the Sandwell Valley Country Park Facebook page www.facebook.com/sandwellvalley and choose your favourite from the following:
- Duchess and Princess
- Lady and Queen
- Madeleine and Julie (after local actresses Madeleine Carroll and Julie Walters)
Forge Mill Farm can be found on Forge Lane, West Bromwich, B71 4SZ. Admission to the farm is free. There may be a small charge for admission and activities during school holidays and on some weekends, including Bank Holidays.