The clip-clop of hooves could be heard in Foxton again as a town icon returns with a new horse.

The horse-drawn tram, a magnificent vehicle pulled by a team of two Clydesdales, had been out of commission since Clydesdale Peter, one half of a duo, broke a leg earlier this year.

The 10 year old was humanely destroyed following a loading accident in February, leaving the other horse Blaze without a mate.

Volunteer Jayden Moore, who had been part of the volunteer team since he was schoolboy, said the tram could return before Christmas provided replacement horse Hamish continued to make the grade.


"It wasn't a happy time for the community and the committee," he said.

All signs were that Hamish, who came from a farm in Otago, was a worthy replacement for Peter.

The Foxton Horse Tram Society had formed a sub-committee in an effort to find a new replacement and Hamish fitted the bill.

"He's exactly what we're looking for ... bombproof," he said.

"We had to find one that's done it before ... they have to carry their weight and they can't be terrified of cars or bikes. We've done well in finding Hamish.

"Blaze was happy."

Hamish had already been trained to a high level of operation, although the local team was putting in countless hours to ensure he adapted well to local requirements.

"We're going one day at a time with him and one step at a time," he said.


"He arrived last Friday and was straight into the harness on Saturday. He's working really well. It's the nature of the breed. They're gentle giants."

Mr Moore said community response told him the tram's return would be warmly welcomed.

"It's a Foxton icon," he said.

Volunteer Stevie Todd said once established the tram would be available for community functions and events, including private weddings and playcentre visits. "It's all about making memories for Foxton," she said.

There would be a new circuit for the tram when it returned as the new surface outside the museum Te Awahou Nieuwe Stroom was too slippery for the huge Clydesdale shoes.

Mr Moore said the carriage would weigh close to two tonnes and the horses needed sure footing.

The tram team was entirely voluntary although the organisation relied on grants and donations for survival.

He said Phil Jones was a senior tram driver and float driver who was an integral part of the operation, and they were always looking to train new volunteers should anyone want become involved.

Each ride on the new circuit was estimated to take between 15 and 20 minutes.