Moffat County Fairgrounds to host 9th annual Horsepower Draft Horse show |

Moffat County Fairgrounds to host 9th annual Horsepower Draft Horse show

The Moffat County Fairgrounds will host the 9th annual Horsepower Draft Horse show June 4-6, and will add the North American 6 Horse Hitch Classic and Classic Cart, taking advantage of some canceled shows on the Front Range to bring the state-wide showcase to northwest Colorado.

Each year, hitchers compete at state and county fairs and agricultural exhibitions to score points for the Classic Series, according to the North American Classic Series website. Hitchers typically travel all across the United States and Canada, competing at roughly 60 qualifying shows, tallying points in each of the three breed classifications before competing for up to $100,000 in premiums in the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic World Finals.

This history of the 6 Horse Hitch dates back to 1987, when Dr. John Weber came up with the idea, according to the North American Classic Series website. Dr. Weber of Live Oak Plantation in Ocala, Florida presented the Classic Series idea to a number of dedicated draft breed representatives as a way of promoting and marketing the draft horse, as well as to increase the premiums currently being paid to participants competing in six horse hitch classes.

Darrin Herring, of Windsor, and his Shire horses compete in the 2017 obstacle course race during Grand Olde West Days Draft Horse Show and Feed Team Races at the Moffat County Fairgrounds. (Craig Press File)

Following that initial pitch by Dr. Weber to the daft breed representatives, the Classic Series grew into 60 shows across North America that are qualifiers for points accumulation, with almost 200 six-horse hitch owners earning points towards becoming one of twelve finalists.

As the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out a number of competitions across the state of Colorado and North America as a whole, smaller communities have stepped up to try and replace the larger shows, allowing hitchers to try and score qualifying points this year.

That’s where Craig and the Moffat County Fairgrounds — with the help of Mike and Mardi Anson — steps in, offering a $2,500 minimum premium this year with a chance to score qualifying points.

Typically, the big qualifying shows in Colorado happen in late January at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, and the Big Thunder Show in Loveland.

Moffat County will see a few hitches from Colorado, but also some from Idaho, Utah, California and Wyoming. The Memorial Day weekend shows are the first on the books for most of these hitches, as they just finished selling and buying horses. Now, it’s time to get on the road and show off the hitch horses.

At the Moffat County qualifying show, there will be three breed classifications in Belgian, Percheron, and Clydesdale/Shire that will be shown.

9th annual Horsepower Draft Horse Show and Six horse Hitch Classic schedule

Friday, June 4 (show starts at 6 p.m)

– Class 01 6 Horse Hitch

– Class 02 Open Western Riding

– Class 03 Amateur/Youth Cart

– Class 04 Team Hitch

– Class 05 Ladies Cart

Saturday, June 5 (shows start at 10 a.m.)

– Class 06 Halter Mares

– Class 07 Halter Geldings

– Class 08 Youth Showmanship

– Class 09 Classic Cart

– Class 10 Youth Farm Team

Saturday, June 5 (shows start at 5 p.m.)

– Class 11 6 Horse Hitch

– Class 12 Farm Team on the Rail

– Class 13 Pleasure Cart

– Class 14 Jackpot Feed Team Races

– Class 15 4 Horse Hitch

*Just for fun: 4 Horse and 6 Horse obstacle course (contingent on time)

Sunday, June 7 (shows start at 10 a.m.)

– Class 16 6 Horse Hitch

– Class 17 Team Barrel Races & Single Barrel Races

– Class 18 Youth Hitch Team on the rail

– Class 19 Obstacle Course Team & Single

– Class 20 Unicorn Hitch

Managing Editor Joshua Carney can be reached at 970-875-1790 or

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