Horsemen hooking up at Gleichen to recreate historic hitch
Neil Dimmock and Bill Engman are getting ready to hitch up the wagon and head to town for the Calgary Stampede.
Only this time they are doing it in epic proportions.
The two farmers are planning to recreate Canadian cowboy Ralph “Slim” Moorehouse’s 1925 journey from Gleichen to the Calgary Stampede, and eventually into the parade. Slim’s hitch was noted for being the longest in the world at that time, with 36 horses and 10 grain wagons. He was carrying 1,477 bushels of wheat.
What we are attempting is to recreate a hitch that Slim Moorehouse did in 1925,” explains Dimmock. “We are a little shy on horse numbers yet, we’re sitting at 32 right now.”
“With this whole outfit, there is over 200 feet of horses and 150 feet of wagons. It is like many semis all hooked together going around the corner.”
The journey sets up on June 29 in Gleichen. They will help that community celebrate Canada Day, and July 2 will head out pull their rig to Chestermere. There will be a stop at Strathmore. They are planning a route that avoids most of the busy thoroughfares. Because of the growth of the city, they are not able to faithfully complete the journey. At Chestermere, they will have to load up the rig and truck it into Calgary.
This isn’t Dimmock’s first trip to the rodeo. He is currently the world record hold- er for the longest hitch of Percheron horses with 46.
As they select the horses for the long journey they are looking for a number of qualities beyond strength and endurance.
“They have to be well trained and calm. They have to be the type of horse that can stand patiently while fire trucks and everything go roaring by them because we are going right into the heart of the beast into the Calgary Stampede Parade. For more information on the event, got to www. thebighitch. myevents. com, or check out “The Big Hitch- Salute to Slim Moorehouse” Facebook page.
Neil Dimmock looks out over a hitch of Percheron. He is hoping to recreate a hitch of 36 horses that Slim Moorehouse, below, rode to the Calgary Stampede in 1925.