Jefferson County Fair's Draft Horse Pull

August 23, 2023

Witnessing the power and beauty of draft horses at the JC Fair's Draft Horse Pull was an unforgettable experience. From their excitement as they were harnessed to the sleds/boats loaded with concrete blocks, to the camaraderie among the owners and their teams. It reminded me of the determination of Huskies at a sled race or the anticipation of my dog Hailey as we head out the door for morning walks. Once the evener bar is attached to the sled/boat they are off. Out of 150 photos, I narrowed them down to a gallery of 85 on my website. Then finally down to these smaller collages. It was a bit of a challenge to figure out which set of teamsters went with each pair of horses. I think I was told that these horses weigh 1500 and more each. Many of them are still working horses here on WA farms and some still haul lumber out of the woods.

At first, while editing, all the horses looked the same. Then I recognized they had different colored harnesses, and were different in size, coloring, and markings. I was fascinated witnessing the command the young man here, had working with his team alongside his Dad. I've added a link to The Pocket Guide to Draft Pulls which had lots of great information about what I saw at the Fair. One of the teamsters told me Jefferson County Fair was their favorite to attend every year do to the large crowds they drew and the audience's response to the teams. 
The team above, I believe was the winning team pulling the sled/boat loaded with 10,000 of cement blocks. Sunshine Propane brought in their truck and hoisted each cement block that weighed 500 pounds apiece. Additional blocks were added until the final team pulled 10,000 pounds. I think I read a CA team once pulled 18,000 pounds.  I was amazed at the control and calmness this young man handled his team of horses. Raring to go, just waiting for the evener bar to be attached so they can pull the sled/boat. The team above came in second or won a Red Ribbon at the Jefferson County Fair. 

This was one of my favorite photos. I can imagine this magnificent horse looking to the crowd and asking them if they are paying attention, "Are you watching me now?"