Initially a small gathering of people met on a farm at Aratula to learn about working horses in 1974. After a few informal gatherings and with the spectators and participants growing it was decided that 1978 should mark the 1st Annual Clydesdale and Heavy Horse Field Days held at O’Leary’s farm at Coolana. The following year it moved to Marburg for two years, then to Laidley for 11 years before coming to Gatton in 1992. 2016 sees the field days celebrating its 39th Anniversary at Gatton.
The Field Days has a colourful history and many stories to tell, not to mention the colourful characters who bring their horses along each year. The Field Days has been the largest and most prestigious heavy horse show in Australia, attracting over 150 heavy horses each year.
There are breed classes where the Clydesdales, Draught Horses, Percherons and Shire Horses are shown at their best to represent their breed. Horses come from Central NSW, Western QLD and as far north as Bundaberg, as well as locally - south east Qld-to compete.
The weekend is mainly dedicated to the working of these magnificent heavy horses; events such as ploughing, log snigging and slide driving which would have been an everyday sight on farms, coupled with harnessed vehicle events and a variety of ridden classes all show just how versatile these gentle giants are.
Also happening throughout the weekend there are working demonstrations such as horse drawn machinery showing how horse power was used to chaff the hay for the farm. Added excitement outside the ring is the ever popular World Cup Shoeing Competition where teams from all over Australia and overseas compete to make a variety of shoes to fit the massive feet of the Heavy Horse.