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Britt set to host 28th draft horse days

By Staff | Aug 28, 2009

BRITT – The Hancock County Fairgrounds are nearly ready for the arrival of its two-legged and four-legged guests during the Labor Day Weekend.

The 28th Annual Britt Draft Horse Show will be held September 4, 5, and 6.

New stalls are in place for the first horses scheduled to arrive Wednesday and by Thursday night, 18 hitches from Indiana, Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, Minnesota, Illinois, and Iowa will be there. One of the new hitches to this year’s show is from New Mexico.

The show, known as the “Britt Show” to draft horse fans, according to show president Randy Hiscocks, is one of the top 10 draft horse shows nationally.

Hitches participate by invitation and Hiscocks said there are currently four hitches on the waiting list. Hitches do not receive any prize money and are required to participate in all six classes in return for receiving money to appear.

Throughout the summer, draft horse hitches go to different shows where they are awarded points. Due to its national recognition, the Britt show is able to attract the best hitches from the United States and Canada. Cape Cod Percherons of Nova Scotia, Canada has taken top honors in eight Britt shows, the most recent being 2007 and 2008.

The show starts Friday night with a youth show with carts and hitches. It is meant to allow drivers under the age of 18 to get experience with driving draft horses in competition.

Each driver will have an adult supervisor. It is a part of the weekend show that is “getting bigger and bigger” said Hiscocks.

Another Friday night event is the amateur four competition for people new to draft horses in need of additional experience where drivers have a four horse hitch.

Friday night also has a driving competition where teams are maneuvered over a designated course to measure the driver’s skill.

Saturday events are the carts through the six-horse hitch competition in the afternoon. Saturday morning is an eight-horse hitch and halter competition.

Sunday is competition in the six classes and a classic series class where all hitches are in the show ring. During this event one group of hitches moves in one direction around the show ring, a second group moves in a smaller circle in the show ring in the opposite direction, and a third group moves in a smaller circle in the show ring in the same direction as the hitches in the outside circle. It is a test of both horses and drivers.

Randy Hiscocks said he has been asked which day is the best one to see the show. Hiscocks said, “You need to come both (weekend) days to get the full effect.”

The Britt Draft Horse Show was the idea of Dave Adams who wanted to hold a Superbowl of draft horse shows where the best hitches would be invited and then a winning hitch of the three breeds of draft horses will be selected as the best of the best.

The early organizers thought the show would have a run of about three years. Hiscocks said the show is supported both locally by the Britt community and Hancock County and nationally by the draft horse owners and fans.

The draft horse show is designed as a family event. Camping is available on a first come basis with over 100 sites and a nightly charge of $12. A total of 30 new outlets for campers have been installed and there are 40 full hookups available.

Admission for Friday night when the gates open at 7 p.m. is $2 for anyone over the age of 10; $1 for ages 6-10, and under 5 are free.

Saturday and Sunday admission is $6 for over the age of 10, $1 for ages 6-10 and under 5 is free.

Contact Clayton Rye by e-mail at crye@wctatel.net.

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