Draft horses pull in large crowd

Image: Draft horses ready to compete at Richmond’s Black and White Days draft horse pull.

Draft horses ready to compete at Richmond’s Black and White Days draft horse pull. (Jessica Allen)

RICHMOND—Lunging and pulling into their harnesses, sometimes even going to their knees, the teams that competed Saturday night knew they were being watched and loved it. Starting at 7, the Horse Pulling Contest, a part of Richmond’s 96th Black and White Days Annual Horse Show, had a large turn out with teams traveling from all over to compete.

“It’s fun to see the big horses,” Joe Fuhriman said, “you get to see the heavy weights come out.”

With the bleachers full, blankets and camping chairs fanned around the damp arena the contest had a full house with people to watch the three different weight divisions horse teams could be entered under.

Originally the Black and White Days Annual Horse Show started out as a dairy show, Jason Fuhriman said, but now it has evolved to a horse show with the pulling contest being one of the main attractions.

After adding the weight of each horse team to place them under the light, middle or heavy division they would then try and out pull competing teams.

The light weights had six competing teams with Randy Dodge taking first place after his team pulled 8500 lbs 5 feet and 5 inches, followed by Darin Palmer and Royce Hoopes.

Cole Wiser, 23, from Lewiston said he liked watching the horses compete and commented that the large animals “ate like teenagers on steroids” to be their size and energy level.

“The light weights are my favorite,” Wiser said, “I just like to see where they can improve and watching them grow.”

Much like the light weights, the competing middle weight teams pranced impatiently as they waited for the added weight to be lowered onto the sled in increments of 500 pounds.

After travelling with his team from Canada, Stan Grad took first place with his team pull 8500 pounds an even 20 feet, followed by Randy Dodge taking second place and JM Farms with third.

The middle weights had the largest turn out with 10 competing teams; however, the heavy weights still had a good show with the six teams that gave it their all as they strained to impress the crowd.

Nick Posa’s team pulled the most that night as they dug into the dirt and pulled 9000 lbs of weight behind them; JM Farms placed again, but this time took home second as did Randy Dodge with third place.

Cash prizes were offered to those who placed.