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Last Updated: Monday, 8 May 2006, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Time called on Tetley dray horses
Shire horses pulling a Tetley carriage
Shire horses have been a symbol of the Tetley brand since 1822
The Tetley brewery's famous shire horses are to be put out to grass for the last time, ending 184 years of Yorkshire tradition.

The horses became synonymous with the company when Joshua Tetley established his brewery in Leeds in 1822, and used them to pull the drays.

As motorised transport took on delivery of the barrels, shire horses were kept on for ceremonial purposes.

But their duties are to end in August due to the rising cost of their upkeep.

The Tetley shires - Prince, Charles, John Jo and William - are currently stabled at Bankside Shire Stud in Thurstonland near Holmfirth.

'Yorkshire tradition'

Head horseman Dudley Parker has cared for the horses on behalf of the brewery for 12 years but said their promotional duties had been cut back in recent years from up to 200 events per year to just 70.

"Everybody has been so shocked that they're not letting them continue because it's just been a good Yorkshire tradition to see these horses at Yorkshire events," he said.

"They are a wonderful attraction and I'm sure they're going to be sadly missed."

Danish brewer Carlsberg, which took over Tetley's in 1991, said showing the horses was no longer economically viable.

"This has been a difficult decision to make, however given the tough commercial environment we are operating in we believe there was no alternative," a spokesman said.

"The future welfare of the horses remains key to us and we have ensured that they will receive the very best treatment and enjoy a well earned rest in their retirement."

Brewer calls time for Tetley name
12 Mar 04 |  West Yorkshire

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