Rarer than pandas and transforming London — meet the city’s last working herd of Shires


Every November at Hampton Court Palace, visitors can witness Her Majesty’s chaplain blessing London’s last herd of working Shires prior to evensong. It’s nice to imagine that ‘All things bright and beautiful’ is then sung, but while God is supposed to love all creatures great and small, these gentle giants more than deserve any divine favouritism.

The herd of seven is owned by Operation Centaur, which was set up by Dr Andreas Liefhooge 15 years

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