A SHIRE horse breeder took her heavy horse Lunar to Sheppy's last month to film a marketing initiative entitled 'Days Gone By'. 

Marianne Burton, of Waterfall Shires near Street, joined forces with the cider farm to give a snapshot of the heritage of traditional craft cider making from more than 200 years ago. As well as the shire horse, there were actors with authentic cosutmes and a genuine dray cart. 

The filming is part of an informative advert for Sheppy's trade customers, so they can understand more about the cider farm when they sell its products. 

Matthew Hill, marketing manager at Sheppy's, said: "This is the first scene in a video that is hoped to have quite a few parts - we are hoping it is finished by February/March. 

"The horse was amazing, and massive! She was a little spooked occasionally and she wouldn't fit in the cart so we had to improvise - clearly modern day shire horses are a bit bigger than they were 100 years ago.

"Marianne was great, her and her family were an absolute delight to work with." 

Somerset County Gazette: The cart at Sheppy's Cider Farm in Taunton.

Marianne explained that shire horses are an endagered breed, but with places such as Sheppy's and the Rural Life Museum in Glastonbury using them as part of advertising campaigns, it helps to raise their profile. 

"Our day at Sheppy's was absolutely amazing, heart warming in fact, everyone treated Lunar with kindness and respect and as her guardians we were made to feel extremely welcome," she said. 

"Lunar has been to heavy horse days at local museums before but has never been part of a film production.  Her calm demeanour and gentle nature enabled her to relax, take it all in her stride (literally!) and perform like an absolute star.

"My passion for promoting the heavy horses comes from a desire to see this gentle, versatile breed brought back into use not only as work horses but also riding horses. There is much more to the Shire than just the ability to pull a plough, as has been showcased by several shires competing in national dressage competitions. Several of mine are ridden regularly while others attend proms, weddings, funerals and other such occasions. 

"With responsible breeding we can increase the numbers of these gentle giants and allow more people to appreciate not only their ability to adapt to any discipline and job but also their beauty, elegance and huge hearts."