THEY say you can lead a horse to water but can’t make it drink. This proved true – with a bit of a twist – when the Wadworth shire horses went on their annual holiday.

Max turned up his nose at the beer traditionally offered to the brewery horses when they start their break in Poulshot, near Devizes.

He has never been a fan of 6X, so this year he was offered stout, but it made no difference. After one sniff, he pulled a face that made his opinion clear. That meant double helpings for colleague Monty, who lapped it up, to the delight of crowds in the car park of the Raven pub.

Hundreds of people of all ages greeted the horses; the only two shires remaining at the brewery after the departure of Prince earlier this year.

Friday’s crowd included Bunny Odbert, 93, of Market Lavington, who said: “I have been coming every year since they started doing this in Poulshot. I would not miss it for the world.”

Liz Henwood, who moved to Poulshot four months ago, there with daughters Georgina, 12, and Lottie, 10, said: “We have heard so much about the it, we thought we must be here to see for ourselves.”

After the traditional tipple, the horses were led to a nearby field, followed by their fans.

Father and son draymen Martin and Callum Whittle held their bridles as the shires posed for pictures, then set off with glee on a circle of the field.

Onlookers cheered and clapped as the horses ran around and put on a show, but then stopped by a water butt and nuzzled each others’ shoulders.

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