Ver­dant Val­ley bring back Draft Horse Com­pe­ti­tion

The Drumheller Mail - - NEWS - Pa­trick Ko­lafa

The Ver­dant Val­ley Agri­cul­tural So­ci­ety is bring­ing back a unique event for horse lovers. Some of the most robust and well-trained heavy horse teams will be at the hall on Satur­day, July 29, for its draft horse com­pe­ti­tion.

Chair of the event com­mit­tee El­son McDougald ex­plains this is the sec­ond time the have hosted the event in as many years.

“Last year we had nine big draft horse teams show up. We ran them in the af­ter­noon and Tom Chris­tensen from Stan­dard won,” said McDougald.

He says there are a num­ber of great draft horse teams, and they aren’t all that far from home.

“There are teams from Air­drie, Ch­ester­mere Lake, Stan­dard, and two or three teams from Drumheller,” he said.

The show starts at noon with open­ing cer­e­monies and then some young­sters will be do­ing some minia­ture horse driv­ing.

The chore horse com­pe­ti­tion starts at 1 p.m. These are teams of two horses mostly Bel­gian, Percherons, Thor­ough­bred crosses, and Cly­des­dales.

For those un­fa­mil­iar with the event, a chore horse com­pe­ti­tion em­u­lates sim­ply do­ing chores with a team, while tak­ing them through var­i­ous chal­lenges.

“It’s a skills com­pe­ti­tion and it is mainly han­dling them as you would han­dle a chore horse team on a farm,” said McDougald.

These are ev­ery­day ma­neu­vers such as open­ing and clos­ing gates with the horses stand­ing free, or hook­ing up to loads, back­ing up the team, pulling through py­lons.

“We try to do it all in 15 min­utes,” he says. “It’s not too wild and ex­cit­ing but we like it and it seems to draw in­ter­est.”

In fact, with nine com­pet­ing last year, about 300 came through the gate as sup­port­ers and spec­ta­tors, al­most twice than what they ex­pected.

The event is free of charge for spec­ta­tors, there will be a con­ces­sion on site, as well as live mu­sic and a beef on a bun din­ner, for a small charge.

At the venue, there will also be an­tique dis­plays in the school and an­tique trac­tors and trucks in the yard, there will also be var­i­ous other ac­tiv­i­ties such as quilt­ing and demon­stra­tions.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to get in­volved, con­tact El­son at 403-823-9820.

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