Help our hard-working shire horses

Erddig horses head to head in stable yard

Erddig is known and loved for its unusual characters, loyal servants and the warm welcome it has always given to visitors today and over the centuries. But two of Erddig’s most popular members of the team need your help.

The shire horses, Jerry and Claire, have taken hundreds of visitors on carriage rides around the estate for the last 12 years – and the rides are so popular that they can no longer meet the demand.

" Jerry and Claire are like an old married couple."
- Medina Dicks, Erddig Coachman

£25,000 needed

The pair have launched a fundraising initiative to raise £25,000 for two new shires to take over their duties at the 1200-acre estate. Jerry and Claire kicked off the campaign with a tour of special places across Wales, collecting donations on their travels.

The tour of North Wales was the first time Jerry and Claire, who have been at Erddig for more than 10 years, had left the estate and as part of their holiday preparations they had their hair plaited, teeth polished and hooves shod.

Time for a dental check-up; Erddig's shire horses have regular visits from the vet and farrier
School children watch Jerry having a dental check-up with the vet

Tour of North Wales

Nearly at retirement, the working shires aged 19 (66 in human years) and 15 (56 in human years) will be visiting Penrhyn Castle and Plas Newydd on 4 April and Chirk Castle and Powis Castle on 9 April to encourage visitors to follow in their hoof steps and start enjoying their own National Trust firsts this spring.

Medina Dicks, Coachman at Erddig, said:

" They might be retiring but they are certainly not shy. Jerry and Claire love meeting new people, they have taken hundreds of visitors on carriage rides over the last 12 years so it is time their hard work was rewarded with a trip of their own before they retire."
- Medina Dicks, Erddig Coachman
Help our hard-working shire horses
Jerry and Claire, Erddig's old married couple

The horses’ welfare comes first, so we need to find two new horses so that we can make sure that we aren’t asking too much of our hard-working shires, while continuing to provide a really lovely experience for our visitors.

If you would like to make a donation to Erddig’s horses, you can do so in their stables next time you visit, or by texting SHIRE to 70123 to donate £3*

Erddig shires getting ready for work
Erddig horse team getting ready for carriage rides

You can often see Jerry and Claire in their stables or grazing in the fields when they are off duty. Until we reach our fundraising target of £25,000 to buy two younger shires, it's always best to call our welcome team on the day of your visit to check whether the horses will be in the stables.

Our shire horses' shoes need replacing every six weeks
Erddig farrier replacing shire horse shoe

Our farrier visits every five to six weeks to replace their shoes, so you might be lucky and catch him at work.

*This is a charity donation service. You will be charged £3, plus one message at your standard network rate. The National Trust will receive 100% of your donation. If you’d rather we didn’t contact you in future, text NOCOMMS NT to 70060. If you wish to discuss this mobile payment call 0203 282 7863. A registered charity in England and Wales (no:205846).