The Victorian Working Draught Horse Association Inc. (VWDHA) was formed by like-minded people in 1981. It was initially known at The Horse Pulling Association. On 19th September 1982 the name was changed to become what it is known as today.
The aims of the Association as per our “Statement of Purpose” are :
- To promote the Working Draught Horse by preserving its heritage, creating awareness and providing assistance on care, handling and working of draught horses. We also aim to ensure continued displays of working draught horses to members of the association and public alike.
- To facilitate events including static displays, working displays, parades, drives, meetings, education days and social activities and to foster the education of draught horse enthusiasts.
- To bring together a fellowship of members with a common interest.
We also foster the relationship between the draught horse and other working horses by supporting the ridden horse within our Association.
About Draught Horses
Wikipedia explains the draught horse as follows:
“A draft horse (US), draught horse (UK and Commonwealth) or dray horse (from the Old English dragan meaning “to draw or haul”; compare Dutch dragen and German tragen meaning “to carry”), less often called a carthorse, work horse or heavy horse, is a large horse bred to be a working animal doing hard tasks such as plowing and other farm labor. There are a number of breeds, with varying characteristics, but all share common traits of strength, patience, and a docile temperament which made them indispensable to generations of pre-industrial farmers.
Draft horses and draft crossbreds are versatile breeds used today for a multitude of purposes, including farming, draft horse showing, logging, recreation, and other uses. They are also commonly used for crossbreeding, especially to light riding breeds such as the Thoroughbred, for the purpose of creating sport horses. While most draft horses are used for driving, they can be ridden and some of the lighter draft breeds are capable performers under saddle.”
During any year we endeavor to hold education days for members and public alike, dirt (ploughing) days, drives of 1 day to 1 week’s duration, attend heritage festivals and agricultural shows as well as any other events that can bring the Association into the public arena. The Association members also attend other Club’s events as individuals.
We currently have a membership of approximately 96 members or associate members made up of owners of draught horses as well as people who just love the horses but do not own any. We produce regular Newsletters every year for our members to keep in touch with what is happening in our world of the “heavy horse ”.