Draft Horse Classic, Part 2 of 2
September 23, 2010
Posted September 26, 2010

The first event, Men's Singles, continues.  There were five formal events in all (plus trick riders and a Mule-o'-Rama, which was much fun to watch).  The final event was six-up horse and wagon (three pairs of horses, one pair in back of another), in which the wagon had to be backed up and parked against a "loading dock" at the center of the far fence.  The drivers then had to direct their horses to side step until the string was  lined up against the fence, with the wagon's front wheels at 90 degrees from the back wheels.  Then the horses had to be side stepped until the string of horses were against the railing facing in the opposite direction.  I believe this demonstrates skill at parking a load on a market street and getting the horses to the side of the street so the wagon can be unloaded without stopping traffic.  

This was the final and most interesting event.  Our butts were aching from sitting on aluminum benches and our bodies were shivering in the late evening cold, but we couldn't even think of leaving early.  Some did.  But for now, back to Men's Singles.

Another wagon follows in the crossover maneuver.  Belgian draft horses like this one did very well in all the events.

The crossover is a good opportunity to view and get pictures with the wagons
reasonably close to the stands and far from the fences and main stand's wall.

A horse and rider now going in the reverse direction -- we see front views instead of drivers' backs and horses' rumps.

The opposite-side bleachers are popular with families and small children.
They afford the best close-up view (albeit through a fence) but have no backrests.

Another beautiful horse and wagon with a formally-dressed driver

The drivers are instructed to line up in the center of the Arena for final inspection and awards presentations.

This event was divided into two groups of six. This is the first group.

The Belgian and its skilled driver win first place.

This was followed by a quick rendition of barrel racing.

Rounding the second barrel

Another rider, racing from the arena after the third and final barrel.
The blur is pleasantly dramatic here, but signals me that it's too dark for further photography.

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