THUNDER and lightning wasn't going to dampen the spirits of people taking part in a horse drawn working demonstration near Ross-on-Wye.

The Cotswold Cart Horse Society event at Gillow Farm included some rare breeds, such as the Suffolk Punch, a breed which once formed the backbone of rural life. It's thought there are only around 300 left in the UK.

An Ardennais also took part, one of the oldest breeds of draft horse, originating from the Ardennes area in Belgium, Luxembourg and France. The Belgian breed is well known for their relaxed temperament and powerhouse physique.

A working pair of Gypsy Cobs Mr P and Rosie, set out to work the land, this pair well use to working hard in forestry and fields as do many of the members of the society who still work the land using these traditional methods.

With the current farm machinery getting larger and heavier, the organisers Michelle Hodgson said it's nice to know that there are still a few who keep up the traditional methods.

"Not to be overlooked a Welsh Cob Section B joined the field. The small pony worked hard with chain harrows and later with a small sledge," Ms Hodgson said.

"Showing that even the smaller ponies can be useful being more manoeuvrable on smaller pieces of land.

"Postrophe, a larger but younger cob mare also entered the arena, training and getting use to a working site, this being an excellent opportunity to start her training for a future working career.

"Two plough teams worked the beautiful Herefordshire soil throughout the day, Casper, a blue roan Dutch Draft horse and Ivan and Major, a pair of Shires.

"Merlin, another Shire also working hard, putting on a superb demonstration of logging skills for the public."

"The horses kept on working, the public kept on coming, some standing to watch, some having a go themselves but all coming together creating a lovely community event, bringing together horses and their handlers and all those interested in this more relaxed way of life."