CROWDS gathered in Devizes on Thursday as Shire horses Max, Archie and Sam enjoyed a pint of beer before going off on their annual two week frolic on a nearby farm.

It was the first time that Shire Sam, who joined Wadworth Brewery last September, has taken part in the ritual but he took to it like an old stager and was happy to quaff his ale.

People young and old were outside the Wadworth visitor centre to get close up with the giant horses that are a familiar sight delivering beer to pubs in the town.

Sam joined the brewery to take over from much-loved veteran Shire Monty who retired to Wales last year after being part of the Wadworth team for eight years.

But Sam, who stands at 18.2 hands high, has quickly got into his role and is now a regular on the streets along with Max and Archie. they complete between 10 and 15 deliveries every week so deserve their holiday.

After meeting their fans the Shires were taken by horse box to fields in Bulkington owned by Wadworth chairman Charles Bartholomew.

For many years the horses were set free on land in Poulshot owned by Mr Wadworth’s father Major John Bartholomew, who died in 2016. But on Thursday the horses showed their approval of their new holiday home in Bulkington by galloping in a care free style around the fields.

CEO for Wadworth, Chris Welham said, “Everyone loves seeing our shires as they deliver to our pubs and at events, but like everyone, they deserve a good break and hopefully will come back suitably refreshed after two weeks of sunshine and grass”.

It was a big day for horseman Callum Whittle and groom Hannah Miller who are getting married on Saturday after Mr Whittle proposed on New Year’s Day 2016 at the Wadworth stables.

The horses’ holiday, traditionally held on a Friday, was brought forward by a day so they could prepare for their nuptials.