The shire horse, I'm sure most of you are aware, is that singularly large breed that used to pull wagons and canal boats along the tow path before mechanisation. These monstrous (in the original sense of the word) beasts of burden can stand at as much as six feet in height (or seventeen hands in hippological parlance), weigh up to 235 stones (3300lbs), and are basically the brick-s**t-house of the horsey family.
Now, they are not an obvious contender for 'cryptid of the week' but shires are endangered. In fact, some experts fear the situation of the British shire horse is critical. These majestic creatures have been around in some form or another since William the Conqueror brought their ancestors over with the Norman invasion. They may not be necessary to industry as they once were, but they are a remarkable creature and it would be a dreadful loss if they were to die out completely. I have two of my own: Norbert and Hartland, and I can report that they are wonderfully docile.
UK-based charity The Rare Breeds Survival Trust, and the American organisations Equus Survival Trust and American Livestock Breeds Conservancy hope the decline in this species (and indeed the other animals they champion) can be turned around. Details of how you might help can be found on their websites. And please do think about it. We might just be able to stop a beautiful creature from going the same way as the dodo.