Clip-clop doesn’t stop at Moffat County Draft Horse Show | CraigDailyPress.com

Clip-clop doesn’t stop at Moffat County Draft Horse Show

It wasn't the average dog and pony show Saturday at the Moffat County Fairgrounds.

The Moffat County Draft Horse Show displayed the bond between humans and their hooved companions, with contestants from across the state, as well as from Utah and Wyoming.

Organizer Mardi Anson provided announcing and commentary for the event, which featured more than one dozen demonstrations of handler-horse showmanship for all ages.

Drivers and horses for hitches, carts and other transports were judged based on their skill in the arena in conformation of the animals, abilities in guiding the equines with the harness, overall appearance and presentation and "way of going, " which determines how multiple horses work as a unit.

Segments vary from trotting around the ring to events that are more like a race or obstacle course for the drivers to navigate. Rigs at this weekend's show ranged from only one horse to as many as a hitch team of six, though bigger shows often have even bigger groupings.

Anson said this is her fifth year putting the show together, and it's started to pick up a following, with more people in the grandstands than ever in previous years.

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"They're just nostalgic," she said of people in the crowd, adding that it's hard not to be impressed while viewing a horse in action. "They're pretty, they're cool, they're fun to watch. Seeing the novice drivers and the adults, you can see that they're not easy to drive."

Toryn Hume, who will be a sophomore at Moffat County High School in the fall, took the reins for the novice farm team portion of the day.

"The toughest part is trying to communicate what you're thinking to the horse without getting frustrated," he said. "They're just animals, you can't really get mad at them."

Hume was also involved in the youth feed team race, which saw him loading and unloading hay bales and doing other tasks as his group stopped at junctures in the arena.

Displays like this showcase what kind of jobs horses might perform on a farm or ranch and also hearken back to the days when the agriculture industry depended on the beasts of burden more than machines, Anson said.

"Between us and Wyman (Living History Museum), we're really trying to get interest in using horses and what they used to do and not letting the history go," she said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.

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