The Fabulous Fryeburg Fair
1851: The year The New York Times, was founded; the year that the first edition of Moby Dick was published; the year that Yosemite Valley was discovered; and the founding year of the West Oxford Agricultural Society that grew into Maine's largest agricultural fair–one that includes a steer and oxen show that is not just the largest in Maine, but the largest on the entire planet.
One hundred sixty-five years after its founding, Fryeburg attracts more than 400,000 fairgoers to its eight-day event, with attractions that occupy 100 buildings and sprawl over 185 acres. The fair also boasts the oldest continuous 4-H beef sale in New England. Read more
The 2016 All-North American Shire Contest Winners
Since 2011, the All-North American contest is an annual competition which provides an historical photo record of the top halter animals shown across Canada and the U.S. The competition itself is not a show. It is tabulated mathematically, and therefore, may best be described as “the average opinion of the majority of contemporary judges in the U.S. and Canada.”
Results are in the Spring 2017 issue of The Draft Horse Journal!
Listen to Horses In The Morning!
Over the River & Through the Woods
How Thunder Bay Golf Resort Added Heavy Horses to Their Business Plan A few miles from the Mackinac Bridge in northern Michigan, sits a perfectly groomed 18-hole golf course. The Thunder Bay Resort, nestled in a beautiful landscape near the village of Hillman, boasts of at least one feature unique among golf courses: horse-drawn sleigh and carriage rides that carry guests quite literally over the river and through the woods to view a herd of majestic elk. Their ultimate destination is a rustic log cabin where a gourmet five-course dinner and wine-tasting awaits them. Read more
From the Gate at the NABC8
For five days this past October the spotlight was on the Belgian draft horse at the North American Belgian Championship 8. Thousands of eyes were tuned in as the best of the best of North America’s most versatile draft breed hitched, haltered, plowed, rode and pulled (and boy, did they pull … but more about that later) their way to their World Championship moment under the spotlight at the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, Massachusetts. The challenges in putting on a show that only happens in the U.S. every eight years are formidable–especially this time around–but the organizers didn’t just hit the ball over the wall on this event; they hit it clean out of the ballpark. This was truly a showcase event. Full resulst and coverage are in the Winter 2016-17 issue of The Draft Horse Journal!
Letter to the Editor
I would like to take this opportunity: the Draft Horse Journal’s fiftieth year in publication: to acknowledge and bestow gratitude upon, not only the founders of this fine magazine, but the current editor and his team who relentlessly strive to unify our industry through their quality quarterly publication.
The draft horse industry is not a product-driven industry. We do not yield an item that humans willingly wish to consume; like milk, meat, feathers or fur. Except for a rare sliver of history, when naturally-synthesized premarin was of value, the draft horse has contributed little in the last 75 years... Read more
History of Draft Horses
The Industrial Revolution proved to be responsible for both the rise and collapse of the heavy horse in America. Demand for draft animals was spurred on by the growing transportation, construction and agricultural needs of the nation. The last half of the 19th century made draft horse breeding both essential and profitable. Massive importations from Europe took place. The period also ushered in the development of the present day breeds of heavy horses. The number of horses and mules in The United States peaked in 1920, at about 26 million. The groundwork for today’s agriculture had been laid.
The horse lost the battle of the streets to the automotive industry rather quickly. As for the battle of the agricultural fields, it fought very tenaciously, but eventually yielded in most cases to greatly improved tractor power. By 1950, it was indeed, on thin ice... Read more
History of The Draft Horse Journal
The post WW II years were not kind to the draft horse and mule. Both horse numbers and horse use plummeted. The number of animals being exhibited dwindled and many shows dropped heavy horses altogether. The industry needed a boost and it got one when the first issue of The Draft Horse Journal was published in May 1964. New interest was stimulated and the heavy horse has since made a convincing resurgence. From the 28 pages in the first issue to over 300 in recent ones, The Journal has grown, evolved and progressed right along with the draft horse trade.
In addition to the magazine’s traditional content, covering breeding, raising, showing, selling and using all breeds of heavy horses, the modern version includes veterinary advice from “America’s Draft Horse Vet,” Dr. A.J. Neumann; historical accounts by the publication’s founder, Maurice Telleen; legal advice from Ken Sandoe;... Read more