The Belgian draught horse: the modern heritage of the Vandergoten family

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15/09/2018 - 16/09/2018

The Belgian draught horse: the modern heritage of the Vandergoten family

In 1895, the Vandergoten family founded a transport company, powered by… magnificent “Brabant” draught horses, which became the iconic symbols of the firm. It is this example of Brussels’s heritage that the Cheval et Forêt association and the City of Brussels was keen to celebrate. Upon the death of René Vandergoten in 2011, the City of Brussels acquired the Fond Vandergoten, a collection of saddlery, objects and archives linked to the Brussels-based transport firm “Les Fils Vandergoten”. Over this weekend, an exhibition based on the work of the City of Brussels Archives will present a selection of items from the Fonds Vandergoten collection, many of which were previously exhibited by the Archives during the 2017 Heritage Days. The exhibition will recount the history of the extraordinary family and its close partnership with the working horse. The Cheval et Forêt association, which views the draught horse as a brave and efficient work partner, will shine a spotlight on the contemporary uses of this magnificent animal in an urban setting, with demonstrations of horse logging and pulling and an exhibition of pulling equipment. The draught horse has been used for over two hundred years and it continues to be relevant even today, for social, educational and environmental reasons. The activities will take place on the prestigious Rouge-Cloître site, where the Cheval et Forêt draught horses are trained.

A partnership between Cheval et Forêt and the City of Brussels Archives.

Practical information

    • Activity farm and class on the Rouge-Cloître site
    • Rue du Rouge-Cloître/Rokloosterstraat 5
    • 1160 Brussels
    • Departures: - Self-guided tours of the Vandergoten exhibition and “Modern usage of the draught horse” exhibition, Saturday and Sunday from 10h00 to 17h00 - Guided tours of the Vandergoten exhibition by Virginie Coumans, a City of Brussels historian, Saturday at 10h30 and 14h00, and by Bruno Vermeiren, a member of Cheval et Forêt, Sunday at 10h30 and 14h00 - Horse logging demonstrations, Saturday and Sunday at 15h30 - Conference and talk with Roger Vandergoten, Saturday at 15h00 - Conference and talk on “The world of the draught horse in Belgium”, Sunday at 15h00
      In French only.
    • M
      Herrmann-Debroux
    • T
      Auderghem-Forêt/Oudergem Woud
    • T
      Herrmann-Debroux
    • B
      Deux Chaussées/Tweesteenwegen
    • B
      ADEPS, Rouge-Cloître/Rood Klooster