Help give Dime, a rescued Shire horse, a new start in life

Heavy horse enthusiast Martin Clunes, of ITV’s Doc Martin, has lent his voice to Dime’s Appeal.

Martin Clunes is asking supporters to become part of her journey by helping HorseWorld to equip her with a harness and cart. Learning to work in harness is an exciting next step for this once abandoned and neglected mare – watch her first steps narrated by Martin in HorseWorld’s video, Dime's Story.

Dime needs to be fitted with the correct equipment so she can develop her new skills safely and comfortably in confidence; a custom fitted heavy horse harness can cost close to £2,000, plus she will require a cart, harrow and other tack to fulfil her new working role. Furthermore, the daily upkeep of caring for a Shire horse is no cheap business either. Dime’s veterinary, farriery and dental bills together with her feed and hay costs the rescue charity thousands of pounds a year. To find out more and to donate to Dime’s Appeal, visit

Dime came to HorseWorld in 2017 as part of a fifteen-hour rescue operation involving multiple equine charities. She, with another eighteen Shire horses, had been abandoned. With the Winter drawing in, the herd were becoming dangerously malnourished and would have been unable to withstand the coming wet and cold weather. HorseWorld’s Managing Director, Mark Owen was “surprised that so many of this valuable breed would just be left with no provision to get them through the winter."

Two years on from her rescue, Dime has been introduced to the harness for the first time under the expert supervision of HorseWorld supporter and heavy horse trainer Jonathan Waterer. Two of the charity’s Trainers, Jodi Thomas and Vicky Greenslade, were able to travel to Jonathan’s North Devonshire Farm along with Dime to learn the basics of heavy horse driving. “We have been so grateful for Jonathan’s help and expertise” said Jodi. “Most of the training we do at HorseWorld is groundwork with unhandled horses, progressing on to ridden work. Whilst we have trained smaller ponies to drive, Dime weighs almost a ton and we were keen to work with Jonathan’s guidance, experience and knowledge of Shires.”

When HorseWorld was founded in 1952, heavy horses like Dime were common. HorseWorld began by offering homes to working horses that were being replaced by vehicles and machinery, in fact the first horse we ever rescued was a Shire horse called Ben. They are part of the charity's heritage.With less than 1,000 Shire horses left in the UK, HorseWorld are thrilled at the chance to set Dime up for a working future.

With support from Martin Clunes, Jonathan Waterer and the public, Dime has been given the opportunity to gain a new purpose in life and is set to become part of British heritage once again.

Dime will be demonstrating her new skills at HorseWorld’s Charity Open Day on Saturday 19th October 2019. For more information, visit or call 01275 832 425.

Dime’s Appeal was created to enable HorseWorld to purchase the equipment needed to bring Dime into work and to maintain her upkeep. The charity currently provides for 104 rescued horses onsite in Whitchurch, Bristol and requires ongoing funds to maintain its high levels of care. Any additional funds raised as a result of Dime’s Appeal will go into rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming equines in need.

Article by: Amy Williams

Posted on: 27th September 2019