Horse­men hook­ing up at Gle­ichen to recre­ate his­toric hitch

The Drumheller Mail - - NWES - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail sub­mit­ted

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.

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