The City of Victor Harbor have three new Clydesdales walking the beat to and from Granite Island and the transition from training to working has been “perfect” according to Horse Tram Team Leader Adrian Cox.
“All three horses trained to harness by John Patterson and his son in Melbourne. John is one of the most experienced and well known trainers in Australia,” Adrian said.
“Once they came back from Melbourne there were some very early morning starts by staff to introduce them to the differences of the tram, causeway and the Granite Island environment. All three are now working regular tram shifts and becoming favourites with the public.
“The horses could easily work on the horse tram for another 15 years and the transition has been easy.”
The three horses are Elliot, Isabella and Murray and all three are registered with the Commonwealth Clydesdale Horse Society Australia.
“We now have seven horses in work and the introduction of Elliot, Isabella and Murray helps us to maintain this iconic service, as Mac is now retired and Misty will be next at 20-years-old.
“The operation has increased with more runs to and from Granite Island and in January we are expecting approximately 10,000 people to visit the Island,” Adrian said.
“We operate from 10am to 5pm. Everyone wants to have fun and each day we have the names of the horses working written on the barn by the causeway. This way visitors and locals can identify with the horses and call them by name.”
The City of Victor Harbor transports the horses daily from the stables located on Canton Road in a custom built float, just purchased by council.
Adrian has worked on the horse tram for 15 years and said the horses are well prepared for the season ahead and are “fit and ready to go”.
Elliot is six-years–old and a gelding, Isabella is seven-years–old and a mare and Murray is also seven-years–old and a gelding. Adrian said all the horses have their own individual quirks and characteristics.