Shire Horse Breeders Australia dedicated to promoting the Shire Horse in Australia
2023-2024 SHBA Executive

Meet our Commitee members who are happy to help with your queries

Cai Thomas

(Retired President)

Cai and his wife Emma started the Darkmoor Shire & Clydesdale stud on her parents farm in Gundaroo/NSW. They have spent years supporting both breeds by showing successfully, sponsoring classes at agricultural and breed shows, running training days and serving on various show and breed committees.

Darkmoor has bred and owned many successful show horses, including several Sydney Royal Easter Show Supreme Exhibits. Already a well-respected heavy horse judge in Australia, Cai is currently working towards his international judging certificate via the Shire Horse Society in England. Cai is dedicated to the promotion and protection of both the Shire and Clydesdale and is deeply passionate about encouraging new members of the heavy horse community.

Cai lives in NSW.

Dr. Jutta Irvine

(Vice President)

From ponies in her early teenage years to warmbloods to getting involved with Shires in the late 1980s in Germany, Jutta has competitively ridden and driven Shires as well as shown in hand in Germany, the UK & Australia and, as fully approved Shire Horse and harness judge on the Shire Horse Society UK’s panel, has been judging nationally and internationally. She has served as Vice President, Secretary & Registrar during her time on the German Shire Horse Society’s Committee, and is the only overseas member of SHS UK to date to have served a term on their Council. For the last ten years shehas been involved in breeding and showing Shires that she breeds together with her husband under the “TULLYMORE” prefix in the Upper Hunter in NSW.

Jutta can be contacted via

Peter McKeon


Peter is a retired Chartered Accountant who began breeding Shire horses in 1998 after a visit to the Shire Horse Society Spring Show at Peterborough. Throughout the years his “SOUTHERN CROSS” prefix has had many champions throughout Australia.

Peter’s interest has always been related to modern breeding technologies and he has been responsible for importing frozen semen from various stallions in the United Kingdom and United States of America. Southern Cross’ breeding results with frozen semen were first class and in the last few years they have been experimenting with embryo transfer from pedigree mares into recipient mares. This work with highly experienced Veterinarians & Technicians will be of great benefit to the Shire breed in the future.

He is currently Treasurer of Shire Horse Breeders Australia and enjoys helping the Committee on a range of activities with a special interest in our National Shire Show which is conducted under the banner “Australian Heavy Horse Spectacular”.

Peter lives in VIC and can be contacted via

Amanda Blakeley


I have been involved with horses and ponies for 45 years but have only in the last 10 years been involved with Shires when Southern Cross Nickolas joined our family.

My main passion is harness, though I did start as a rider and still do ride a Shire or two, I love driving Shires with Southern Cross Hamish as my main driven Shire Horse.

I am a light and heavy harness judge.

I enjoy promoting the Shire Breed when we are out and about with our horses.

Amanda can be contacted via

2023-2024 Committee Members

Matthew Arthur-Ellis


Louisa Chapman


Daryn Post


Daryn can be contacted via

Tony May