THE contribution that horses still make to working life in the UK is saluted this week by the launch of a set of special stamps by Royal Mail, one of which features Hook Norton Brewery in the Cotswolds.

Entitled Working Horses, the six-stamp set celebrates horses from the Riding for the Disabled Association, The King’s Troop Ceremonial Horses, Dray Horses, Royal Mews Carriage Horses, Police Horses and a Forestry Horse.

The bond between horses and humans has flourished over many centuries. Indeed, for more than 6,000 years the working horse has been making a significant contribution to life and labour in human culture.

Today there are just under a million horses in the UK and 1.6 million people ride at least once a month.

The Riding for the Disabled Association organises horse events including riding and carriage driving so that 30,000 people with disabilities can enjoy the activities each year.

In environmentally sensitive habitats horses are used to remove felled trees with minimum ecological impact.

Andrew Hammond, Royal Mail Stamps, said: “Throughout human history, the horse has often been at the centre of events. Today the horse still contributes greatly to society, from practical and recreational uses to the leading ceremonies of state. Royal Mail is delighted to mark the contribution working horses make to British life.”

The stamps are available online at, by phone on 08457 641 641 and in 10,000 Post Offices throughout the UK.

For almost 50 years, Royal Mail’s Special Stamp programme has commemorated and celebrated events and anniversaries pertinent to UK heritage and life.

Today, there are an estimated 2.5 million stamp collectors and gifters in the UK and millions worldwide.

Her Majesty the Queen approves all UK stamp designs before they are printed.