The clip-clop-clip-clop of hoofs could be just a memory as an iconic Foxton tourist attraction is forced into hiatus.
The Foxton Horse Tram Society has been forced to disband due to the death of one of the clydesdale team and a dwindling volunteer base.
It was a tough decision for the FHTS committee. For more than 20 years a tram pulled by clydesdales had been a major attraction for the town.
Society chairman Jayden Moore, 22, said it was an emotional decision, but they simply had no choice.
"It was sad. The whole society was sad to make the decision, but we had to," he said.
Moore said they had done everything they could to save Blaze, 14, who had a cancerous tumour removed from his eye.
There had been numerous visits to the Massey University Veterinarian facility for operations and tests in an effort to save his life, which had cost more than $10,000.
But one weekend in June this year Blaze took a sudden turn for the worse and it became apparent that the disease had spread. Moore said they had no option but to have him humanely euthanised.
Surviving horses Hamish, 14, and David, 16, who were in excellent health, would be returned to their respective owners, where they would both enjoy the company of other clydesdales.
They might have been able to continue as a team but for David being a bit "lazy" and not working in tandem with Hamish as well as Blaze had.
Moore said it would take time and dedication to train the next generation of clydesdales to the routine. A clydesdale trained and fit for purpose could cost between $7000 and $12,000, but cost wasn't so much the issue.
While they arrive fully broken in, it took time to get them familiar to the circuit and build up a rapport with drivers and a knowledge of commands like whoah and giddy up.
It took time to train volunteers, too. While there were a variety of roles, like selling tickets and administration work, the society was always in need competent drivers.
It was possible that even the most placid of horses could take fright, and good horsemanship was needed to bring them back to even speed. Moore and Phil Jones were the only two drivers currently on the team.
Moore said the society had only survived this long through some amazing work of volunteers of many years.
"Without them none of this would have happened," he said.
While they were always blessed with a good volunteers base, they were having to prioritise their own time more and more, like Moore himself as an established funeral director.
"I have to be on call. The nature of the business means I can be called away at any time," he said.
The society was grateful for the different fundraising grants that helped pay for the husbandry of the horses, too, like feed and farrier bills. Horses needed daily attention, and they were thankful to those like Jennie Lundie who looked after them.
Moore had been involved since he was 9 years old. He originally started out doing dishes at the cafe but it wasn't long before he was pitching in alongside other volunteers with the clydesdale team.
He said he would love to see clydesdales trotting through Foxton again one day. That was still a possibility, but would depend entirely on the will of volunteers.
Any profits had always relied on tourists. Moore said it was amazing the number of Foxton people that had never been for a ride, even though it was on their back doorstep.
The committee was now in the process of handing the tram, the remaining gear, and an account balance of around $20,000 back to the Foxton Tourism and Development Association.