The 'Douglas Bay Trammers'...

Clydesdale mares in the Clypse fields
 
Clydesdales and Shires are well suited to pulling horse trams with their immense power, large round feet and generally good temperament. There are more than twenty-five of these heavy draught horses presently with the Douglas Bay Horse Tramway.

Historically known as 'trammers', they also attend agricultural shows and compete in horse shows and ploughing matches on the Island.
 
Trammers in the Upper Stables
 
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 by the Tramway 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.
 
Clydesdale 'Harry' at Southern Show 2017
 
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.

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

From the late 1990's until 2018, the tramway horses have been purchased mainly from the Garff - Ballafayle Stud near Ramsey and have been either of Clydesdale or Shire horse breeds.

Recently we have seen the re-introduction of cob-cross breeds and horses being purchased from the UK, and a new in-house breeding programme is being trialled by the Tramway with its Clydesdale mares and a young cob stallion Thor, the first foals being born in 2020 - Emma to Ginger and Hector to Mary.
 
Walter, Thor & Duke
 
The current 'trammers' are Alec, Andrew, Bobby, Chloe, Douglas, Harry, Keith, Kewin, Nelson, Philip, Torrin & William.

The tallest is Andrew, the heaviest is Alec, the fastest is Kewin, the youngest is Nelson.

Horses to start or continue their training include mares Annie, Blae, Dixie, Ginger, Mary, Erin, Zeba & Maggie, and geldings Duke and Walter.

The Tramway also has a number of younger horses which may be seen in the Tramway Stables from time to time, including Elodie, Ivy, Jackson & Mia


Tram Horse Gallery (2016-19 Seasons) ...
 
Alec
Bay Shire

Amby
Black Roan Clydesdale x Cob

Andrew
Bay Shire

Blae
Bay Shire

Bobby
Bay Clydesdale

Charles
Dark Bay Clydesdale x Cob

Chloe
Bay Clydesdale

Douglas
Bay Clydesdale

Elodie
Bay Clydesdale x Shire

Erin
Blue & White Gypsy Vanner

Fletcher
Bay Shire

Harry
Bay Clydesdale

Ian
Bay Clydesdale

Jackson
Bay Clydesdale

John
Black Shire

Keith
Bay Shire

Kewin
Bay Clydesdale

Maggie
Bay Clydesdale

Mark
Chestnut Shire x Cob

Nelson
Black Shire

Philip
Strawberry Roan Clydesdale

Robert
Bay Shire x Cob

Robin
Bay Shire

Rocky
Dark Bay Shire

Steve
Bay Shire

Teddy
Skewbald Clydesdale

Torrin
Bay Clydesdale

Una
Bay Clydesdale

William
Bay Clydesdale

Zeba
Bay Clydesdale