Draft Horse Classic pulls into GarCo Fairgrounds Saturday
RIFLE – Free entertainment can be had by all this year at the fifth annual Colorado Draft Horse Classic being held on Labor Day weekend at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. The show will include exhibitions and competitions on Saturday, Sept. 2, and performances on Sunday, Sept. 3, that end with the popular pulling contest.”The pulling contest is like a tractor pull to see who’s got the strongest horse,” said Sharon McLin of Silt, the CDHC show manager.
Several varieties of draft horses are shown at the event, including Clydesdales, which are in the famous Budweiser beer commercials and are typically bay or black in color; Belgians, usually blonde or red; Percherons, a French breed that are typically black or grey in color; and Shires, which are black, bay or grey.These large horses can weigh between 1,700 pounds and one ton – twice the size of a riding horse, McLin said.The Draft Horse Classic was started five years ago by a group of local residents, including McLin, who raise the various breeds in this area. But it’s a small group and breeders throughout the state, who often know one another.
“We get people from Glenwood Springs to Fruita at the show,” McLin said. “The draft horse circle is relatively small and everyone knows everyone.”The judge this year will be Rob Gardiner of Virden, Manitoba, in Canada.The show will include a performance by the Meeker Drill Team on Saturday and the Colorado River Riders will open each performance.
Several food vendors will be on site all weekend, along with trailer vendors and booths selling gifts and clothing with draft horse themes.The event begins at 3 p.m. on Saturday, with a second performance at 7 p.m. Sunday’s performance starts at 11 a.m., with a second at 3 p.m. The pulling contest is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Sunday.The $20,000 show is free this year due to the generous contributions of local sponsors.
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