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    Nick and Audrey Popoff of Unhitched Ranch in Riverside County, with their 3-month-old Jackson and 3-year-old Sebastian, win several ribbons and a championship at the Draft Horse, Mule and Driving Show.

    Daniel K. Lew / California Horsetrader photo

    Nick and Audrey Popoff of Unhitched Ranch in Riverside County, with their 3-month-old Jackson and 3-year-old Sebastian, win several ribbons and a championship at the Draft Horse, Mule and Driving Show.

    POMONA — The Los Angeles County Fair hosted four horse shows during the run of the annual fair Sept. 8-Oct. 1. One of them, the International Draft Horse, Mule and Pleasure Driving Show continued a Los Angeles area tradition of attracting both riders and spectators who come for both the horse show and fair.

    Teams of 2,000-pound draft horses, mules and pleasure driving horses ruled the Fairplex’s outdoor arena for the five-day show held Sept. 30-Oct. 4. The show, which has been a part of the L.A. County Fair for more than 25 years, drew participants from the farming and rural communities of Montana, Idaho and Utah as well as California, where draft horses are still used on the farm for tasks such as plowing, pulling large loads and hauling carts through fields and vineyards to gathering crops at harvesting time.

    Competitive classes at the Fair had the six major breeds–Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron, Friesian, Shire and Suffolk–participating in challenging feats depictive of their work back home. Divisions for pulling country surreys, carts, carriages and other rigs while facing obstacle courses were included for these gentle giants.

    “Most people don’t realize that these horses are still active on the farms of today,” said Sharon Gifford, horse show manager. “Seeing these horses is mesmerizing. When they walk by you, their size and beauty places you in awe. How can something so huge be so gentle?”

    One of the show’s signature competitions was the California Six Horse Hitch Classic, won by driver Vernon Helmuth and Sargent Equestrian Center’s Draft Horses: Oliver, Mike, Tuffy, Hannah, Jack and Boyd. Well-known competitor Wayne Wareing took second place in the class with Arlin Wareing’s team of horses: Quil, Jake, Jet, Jock, Pat and Mac.

    The International Draft Horse, Mule, and Pleasure Driving Show was different every day with varied classes and evening performances.

    Draft teams of pairs, four in hand, six-up, tandem, and unicorn hitches and wagons wheeled by and competed in everything from bareback riding on these gentle giants to amusing speed events.

    Drafts, mules and donkeys competed in barrel racing, pole bending, and squeeze into the keyhole. Mules competed in coon jumping, hunter/jumper, dressage, western trail and reining classes.

    High-Point Solo winners included:

    • ADS: Valerie Daidah
    • All Around Bridled Mule: Heart B Dyna
    • High Point Donkey: Oklahoma Burley
    • High Point Draft Horse: Pine Ridge Easter Star
    • High Point English Pleasure Mule: Cheapseat
    • High Point Mule Youth: Debbie Humphreys
    • High Point Single Driver of Show – Carriage: Valerie Daidah

    For complete show results, visit: http://www.horseshowtime.com/results.asp?Show=2632

    One comment has been made on “International Draft, Mule, Pleasure Driving Show continues L.A. tradition”

    1. Janet Turgetto Says:

      We’re looking forward to a new half draft division!

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