Hay Farm Heavy Horse Centre, Cornhill-on-Tweed, hosted its annual ‘Looking Back’ at farming event at the end of September, attracting exhibitors and visitors from the north of England and Scotland.

Amongst the star attractions were Clydesdale ploughing teams including husband and wife team Benny and Isobel Duncan, from Balmalcolm Clydesdales, near Fife.

The couple brought pairing five-year-old Jackson and ten-year-old Davey to the event. The Duncan’s own four Clydesdales in total and were pleased to support the event according to Benny.

He said: “It’s important to preserve the heritage of Clydesdale horses for future generations. Families have been able to come along and see working horses in field-conditions over the weekend and the event has proven to be a great success.”

Besides attending ploughing exhibitions and galas, the Duncan’s horse teams are hired-out for weddings, special anniversary occasions and funerals. The popularity of the breed with the public remains immense but horse numbers continue to decline as the older generation of horse-plough and farming enthusiasts are unable to maintain horse-care and participate in activities.

Hay Farm, which is run by Vivienne and Derek and their daughter, Anna Coburn, is the only Rare Breed Approved Conservation Centre in the country for Heavy Horses.

The weekend also included demonstrations of old working skills, tractors and farm machinery and rural-crafts as well as a host of food-stalls according to Vivienne.

She said: “We have Clydesdale working horses resident on the farm and we organise various well-attended events throughout the year.

Maintaining country-skills and rare-breed farm animals is important and last year, there were only 180 Clydesdale foals registered in the UK. Hay Farm also has the only surviving Black Clydesdale stallion in the country.”

Tillside Topsman is an eight-year-old stallion and was used at stud last year, covering 13 mares in 2017. Over 100-years ago, most Clydesdale horses were coloured black, meanwhile, Topsman is returning to stud-facilities at Barnard Castle in October to cover his next group of mares.