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The 38th annual Britt Draft Horse Show is in the books

By Staff | Sep 13, 2019

-Farm News photo by Clayton Rye The Goodell family of Gilmore City brought eight horses, seven mares and a gelding, to the Britt show. This is their fifth year at the Britt show.



BRITT Big horses were the attraction that drew several thousand people to the Hancock County Fairgrounds Aug. 30- Sept. 1 for the 38th annual Britt Draft Horse Show.

From its beginning in 1982 with 16 hitches and then to 18 hitches, what began as a show organized by local enthusiasts of draft horses, is now run by a nine member board that meets monthly.

The board sends entry forms to draft horse hitch owners and then from the applicants chooses the 18 teams for that year’s show. Many teams return regularly for each year’s show as it allows them to accumulate points to attend the North American Six Horse Classic Series that is held in September in Oklahoma City.

-Farm?News photo by Clayton Rye Bailey Riemer of Jordan, MN., braids the mane of Falcon, owned by Greg Morrison of Evans City, Pennsylvania. Bailey participated in the ladies’ cart class and assisted with the four and six hitch horse classes. This is the first year at Britt for Morrison and his brother Scott, of Green Isle, MN. Bailey Riemer is not a newcomer to the Britt show. “I’ve been here my whole life,” she said.

Hitches entered in this year’s Britt show were from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Missouri, and Oklahoma.

Many of those sitting in the stands to watch the show are also regular attendees to see a show that is draft horses only, not part of something else such as a fair.

“Come once and you’re kind of hooked,” said Melodie Hiscocks, secretary-treasurer of the Britt Draft Horse Association..

The show is also unique in that it is a draft horse hitch show rather than having an agricultural emphasis, according to Hiscocks.

Reading through the list of the hitches that were entered revealed the family emphasis of the entrants. With 38 years of history, many of those working with the horses first attended as children.

“Kids from 30 years ago are now drivers,” said Hiscocks.

Goodell Clydesdales is from Gilmore City, owned by Kevin and Dorothy Goodell along with his son Jeffery and Jeff’s wife Michelle. Jeff and Michelle Goodell are the parents of five sons, assuring there will be many more draft shows for the Goodells in the future.

Community support from businesses, the fair board and individuals has been instrumental in the show’s success. Volunteers are a large part of the help the show receives.

“There is no way our small group could do it on its own,” said Hiscocks.

Hospitality from the Britt community is also a part of the show’s success. Hiscocks stated the show is an opportunity to showcase what Britt has.

“People from all over enjoy the welcome they get here,” she said.

Competition began Aug. 30 with judging of the junior and amateur show in classes of junior and senior cart, junior and senior team, senior driver, and four horse hitch.

The judging on the morning of Aug. 31 was for junior and senior groomer and junior and senior showmanship. Afternoon competition was halter classes and performance judging.

Performance judging continued on Sept. 1 and included ladies’ cart, men’s cart, team, unicorn, 4 horse hitch and 6 horse hitch.

Sunday afternoon’s activities concluded with all 18 six-horse hitches in the show arena at the same time and the awarding the top prize of supreme six-horse hitch to Zubrod Percherons of Guthrie, Oklahoma, for the second consecutive year. Second place was awarded to Schreiber’s Percherons of Plainview, Minnesota.

With the 2019 show behind them, the draft horse show board will be meeting soon as plans are underway for next year’s show.

Hiscocks said the format will be the same, but they are open to new ideas.

“We are looking for changes we can make to make the show better,” she said.

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