The Douglas Bay 'Trammers'...

Clydesdale 'Trammer' Douglas
Clydesdales and Shires are well suited to pull horse trams with their immense power, large round feet and generally good temperament. There are more than twenty-five of these heavy draught horses with the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway. Historically known as 'trammers', they also attend agricultural shows and compete in ploughing matches on the Island.

The Tramway Stables, established by Thomas Lightfoot in 1877, are located off Queen's Promenade at the junction with Summer Hill. They have a present day capacity for twenty-four horses.

Historically, the majority of horses were purchased from Ireland, a mix of cob and farm breeds, old enough to put in harness after brief training and with a working life of perhaps eight years before being sold on to local farms or re-exported.

A mare called Polly, bought from Ireland, had presented the then operator Douglas Corporation with a foal named Ramsey in 1966. Due to significant cost rises for good horses in the early 1970's, the Corporation decided to commence its own breeding programme, the first foal being born in 1974. The breeding programme continued through until the 1990's. Mark & Robert who retired at the end of 2017 were the last in-service 'trammers' to be bred by the Corporation.

The 'Trammers' retire from service at an average age of 20, moving up to the IOM Home of Rest for Old Horses.  

Clydesdale 'Harry' at Southern District Agricultural Show 2017
Since the late 1990's, the tramway horses have been purchased mainly from the Ballafayle Stud near Ramsey and have been either of Clydesdale or Shire horse breed. Most recently we have seen the re-introduction of cob-cross breeds, with horses also being purchased from the UK and Ireland.

The current service 'trammers' are Alec, Amby, Andrew, Bobby, Charles, Chloe, Douglas, Harry, Keith, Kewin, Nelson, Philip, Robin, Rocky, Torrin & William. The tallest and heaviest is Andrew, the fastest is Kewin, the youngest is Nelson

Starting their training in 2019 are three Clydesdale mares - Ginger, Mary & ZebaThe Tramway also has a number of young horses which may be seen in the Tramway Stables from time to time, including Annie, Blae, Danny, Dixie, Duke, Kirree, Maggie & Thor



Help support the Tram Horses...

If you would like to help support the upkeep, welfare and promotion of the Tram Horses, as well as their continued participation in traditional draught horse activities like agricultural shows and vintage ploughing events, please 
Sponsor a Trammer or make a kind donation to our Tram Horses Support Fund.


Trammers' Gallery (2016-19) ...
Alec
Shire

Amby
Clydesdale x Cob

Andrew
Shire

Bobby
Clydesdale

Charles
Clydesdale x Cob

Chloe
Clydesdale

Douglas
Clydesdale

Fletcher
Shire
Harry
Clydesdale

Ian
Clydesdale

John
Shire

Keith
Shire

Kewin
Clydesdale

Mark
Shire x Cob

Nelson
Shire

Philip
Clydesdale

Robert
Shire x Cob

Robin
Shire

Rocky
Shire

Steve
Shire

Teddy
Clydesdale

Torrin
Clydesdale

Una
Clydesdale

William
Clydesdale