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Martin Clunes - Heavy Horsepower

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You don’t have to be the horsey type to enjoy this celebration of big old carthorses, though if you are, you’ll love it. Martin Clunes has two young Clydesdales of his own – massive beasts, but not as massive as they will be when fully grown.

They’re restless teenagers, essentially, and it’s time they learnt how to
pull things, so he takes them to be trained on a farm where they use horse power instead of tractors and have done for generations.

That’s the main thrust of the programme but Clunes also goes visiting other teams of working giants, including horses that trawl for prawns in the tidal shallows off Belgium and a fabulous team assembled to market a certain lager in the US. There are harrowing scenes along the way, obviously, (harrowing being good work for horses) and a sense that perhaps all this isn’t just a romantic curiosity but in some cases a real, environmental alternative.


The actor explores the important role of working horses around the world, as he begins training his Clydesdales Ronnie and Bruce to perform duties on his Dorset farm. He meets the Household Cavalry, travels to an Italian vineyard to talk to a man who believes horses are better for soil than tractors, takes part in a traditional equine competition in the French port of Boulogne, and in Belgium, finds out how the animals are used in shrimp fishing.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Martin Clunes
Director Adrian Sibley
Executive Producer Philippa Braithwaite
Executive Producer Bill Jones
Producer Adrian Sibley


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