Nearly two tons of toned, hard, lean muscles enter the arena. Their big brown eyes glance at the steel reinforced sled piled 6 foot high with cement blocks – over 15,000 lbs of dead weight. The bright sun glints off their sweaty sable hair as the team takes their starting positions. Suddenly the crowd becomes deadly silent as a thousand people listen for a solitary word – GO! Their feet as large as dinner plates with spiked shoes for traction, the team digs in to move the sled. Their thigh muscles ripple with the exertion as slowly the dead weight begins to move. Inch by inch, foot by foot, the crowd holds their breaths while the team pushes against the harness to move the sled 20 feet to the finish line. The measuring chain goes taunt, the pylon falls over, the judge blows the whistle and the crowd erupts with a roar! The team throws up their heads and prances back to their trailer reveling the admiration of the crowd. They just accomplished what they were bred to do, trained to do, and LOVE to do.
That was the scene at the Fourth Annual Draft Horse Pull where the smallest team had won the prize at the 2009 Linn County Fair. The driver, a slight, shy woman named Jan, had only competed in six previous pulls. She competed against a field of 10 teams coming from Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, and Illinois.
We’re sure that he 2010 Draft Horse Pull at the Linn County Fair on Saturday, July 10 will prove to be just as exciting as the previous years. The field of participating teams has grown every year. Our draft horse pull is called an overload pull. Each team is weighed and then they pull their own weight plus a specified amount. It evens out the field – bigger horses pull the same weight (over their own) as the smaller horses. Last year proved that the biggest team isn’t necessarily the strongest. Most of the horses are either Belgiums or Percherons. This year a Clydesdale will be on display (but not participating) and a demonstration on the harness and pulling technique will be given for the crowd before the competition begins. One adult and one child will win a door prize for voting for their favorite team in the pull. Afterwards, the crowd can go into the pit area, and with the permission of the drivers, get a closer look at the teams, talk to the drivers, and take photos.
So join us this year for our Fifth Annual Draft Horse Pull at the Linn County Fair- Saturday, July 10 at noon in the grandstand. This is a great event for all kids aged 2 to 92. Watch these gentle giants do the thing they love to do – perform for you.
For more information go to: http://www.thelinncountyfair.com/2010/daily-events/sat.tnt-drp/index.html