David and Crystel Mouland’s 40-acre home is dedicated to the magnificant - Clydesdale horse.

The animals graze in post and rail parkland and a recently-purpose built barn houses the huge horsebox; hay, straw and feed store; tack room; wash down bay and supersize stables facing the fields - everything has to be on a big scale, leaving no doubt of the heavy horse driving connection, however, david and Crystels equestrian connections run deeper than driving.

Crystel comes from an impressive equestrian pedigree - her aunt being Marion Coakes, of show jumping Olympic silver and Hickstead Derby winning fame aboard the diminutive Stroller, while her father also represented England in show jumping. Crystel herself competed in showing and jumping and today her riding prowess ensures the Clydesdales are well schooled under saddle. She also carries out much of the daily care and breaking-in, and has an wealth of experience and turnout tips that keep the team looking like perfection. And, though Crystel was introduced to driving through husband, David, her grandfather, Ralph, drove heavy horses.

David himself grew up driving, working on his late father Bob’s nearby arable and dairy farm of approximately 300 acres. A great supporter of Shires and a Stalwart member of Southern Counties Heavy Horse Association, Bob himself believed in the working heavy horse and, as time would allow, much of the work on the farm was done by the horses.

As a boy David would take the horses to plough and harrow the fields, feed the cattle, lift mangels and bring hay in. Indeed the dray he uses for day to day use is a modified version of the original hay cart he used to bring in a hundred bales of hay or more.

Though David has driven and indeed shown various vehicles, from his father’s original hay turner and mower, including taking part in ploughing matches. At shows Crystel brings out her ladies cart for this emerging new class and for all other events it is their red, once green, bottle dray on show.

Demonstrations and team classes are David’s speciality. He says: I just love driving the team - four or six - am confident in them and feel I drive better.

It may be their hobby, but Crystel and David have an eye for perfection, enjoy a challenge and like to win. For David it is a personal goal to win with big impressive well matched horses, a dray of good standard and to be the best driver..

The Mouland Clydesdales are getting better and better, and through hard work, and a skillful indepth knowledge of their animals they have crept up the showing line-up, regularly heading it.

2010 looks set to be a very busy competition year.

Charlie Dimmock, television celebrity, presenting the Champion Turnout Prize.