The 'Douglas Bay Trammers'...

Clydesdale mares in the Clypse fields
 
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.
 
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 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' retire from service at an average age of 20, moving up to the IOM Home of Rest for Old Horses.

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

More recently we have seen the re-introduction of cob-cross breeds and horses being purchased from the UK. A new in-house breeding programme is being trialled by the Tramway with a young cob stallion Thor
 
Walter, Thor & Duke
 
The present trained 'trammers' are Alec, Amby, Andrew, Bobby, Charles, Chloe, Douglas, Harry, Keith, Kewin, Nelson, Philip, Rocky, Torrin & William.

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

Starting or continuing their training in 2020 are mares Annie, Blae, Dixie, Ginger, Lady Mary, Erin, Zeba and Maggie

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

By sponsoring one of the Trammers through the support charity, you can help support a broad range of conservation and education initiatives relating to the Horse Tramway, its draught horses and its historic tramcars.
 
Sponsor a Trammer


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

Amby (c)
Black Roan Clydesdale x Cob

Andrew (c)
Bay Shire

Blae (c)
Bay Shire

Bobby (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Charles (c)
Dark Bay Clydesdale x Cob

Chloe (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Douglas (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Elodie (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Erin (c)
Blue & White Gypsy Vanner

Fletcher
Bay Shire

Harry (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Ian
Bay Clydesdale

Jackson (c)
Bay Clydesdale

John
Black Shire

Keith (c)
Bay Shire

Kewin (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Maggie (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Mark
Chestnut Shire x Cob

Nelson (c)
Black Shire

Philip (c)
Strawberry Roan Clydesdale

Robert
Bay Shire x Cob

Robin
Bay Shire

Rocky (c)
Dark Bay Shire

Steve
Bay Shire

Teddy
Skewbald Clydesdale

Torrin (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Una
Bay Clydesdale

William (c)
Bay Clydesdale

Zeba (c)
Bay Clydesdale