Sunday, February 16, 2014

Draft Horse Show at the National Western Stock Show, Denver, Colorado




Last week I showed you a little about my husband and my visit to the National Western Stock Show that takes place every January in Denver, Colorado, and some scenes from a Pro Rodeo that took place at the show--click here to read that post. This week I'd like to follow up to show you some photos and video from a Draft Horse Show at the stock show that my husband and I attended the same day. It was so exciting to see these large, magnificent horses display their beauty and horsepower!


There are multiple shows during the last weekend of the National Western Stock Show that feature draft horses, and the one we attended featured the Feed Team Race, 6 Horse Hitch and Ladies Team.  The show began with a very inspirational rendition of our National Anthem, with the colors being held by men and women sheriffs on horseback.


The Feed Team Race shows the power and strength of both man and beast. Teams of two draft horses or draft mules, along with two men, competed to pick up and haul hay blocks, each weighing close to 50 pounds, from one point of the arena and then re-stack them at another point and then race back to the finish line.  Draft horses were the working horses of yesteryear, and this is a demonstration that shows their powerful strength. Unfortunately, with the rise of modern machinery, the jobs of many draft horses have been eliminated and it were not for horse shows such as this many of these wonderful horses would no longer be breed.

Next up were the 6 Horse Draft Horse Hitch Demonstrations. Their were 24 teams of horses in total in the show. The three most common breeds of Draft Horse: the Percheron, Clydesdale and Belgium Draft Horse were all well represented in the show.


Percheron Horses are a breed of draft horse that originated in the Huisne River Valley in Northern France, part of the former Perche Province from which the breed takes its name. Usually gray or black in color, Percherons are well muscled and known for their intelligence and willingness to work.


Clydesdale Draft Horses are a breed of draft horse derived from farm horses breed in an area along the River Clyde in Scotland, and named after that region. They were bred from the great Flemish Horse. I think most Americans are familiar with this breed of draft horse from the popular TV beer commercials of a certain brand.


The third most common breed of Draft Horse is the BelgianBelgian Draft Horses, also known as Belgian Heavy Horse, is a draft horse from the Brabant region of modern Belgium, where it is called Cheval de Trait Belge. It is one of the strongest of the heavy breeds, but also one of the most gentle, and is the most commonly found of all draft horses and prized because they also the best horse to breed to produce draft mules.


It was wonderful to watch the 24 different draft horse teams come out to the arena and circle around and show their beauty, form and discipline, all the while being judged.




This video, taken by my husband, shows you how the 6 horse hitch teams come out in teams of 6, and parade around the arena as the judges observe them.



In this video that my husband took during the event, shows the final horse team round up of all 24 teams, which filled the entire arena!  As the announcer stated, it gave us all "goosebumps" to see it!

They were all winners in my book but the official results of the show we saw can be viewed on this link.


One of the last events was the Ladies Teams who drove two draft horse hitches.....


...and there was also a Draft Mule demonstration.



There were a few scary moments when this draft mule hitch team, carrying a woman in an antique sled, ran wild and ejected the woman from the sled!  Something frightened the mules leading her hitch and they ran wild around the arena dragging the sled behind them.   It just goes to show that anything can happen during a live show and that controlling the horses and mules can take quite a bit of effort and skill. Happily the woman appeared OK, but the entire audience held its breath for a few moments!


We really enjoyed attending our first Draft Horse show! It was so interesting to learn so much about the different draft horses that contributed so much to the history of farming and heavy duty work in the past, and that now are magnificent show horses to be cherished and admired.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado, I don't think you'll be disappointed. If you can also attend one of the special events during the show you will add to your excitement and have memories that will last a lifetime!

I'm adding this post to the following blog events:


Many thanks to the blog hosts of these events!

PS: There is still time to enter the Suave Professionals® Moroccan Infusion Body Care products sweepstakes on my this post, for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card! With this winter's extreme cold and snow I think we could all use some extra moisturizing for our skin, and I think you'll like these new products. See rules on that post. Good Luck!



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50 comments:

The Gathering Place said...

It seems that you are getting "westernized" with your rodeos and horse shows! It look did look interesting and fun to see all the horses and wagons. There is a lot of beauty in this world and you always find something interesting to share.
Thanks!

Deb @ Frugal Little Bungalow said...

Love horses ever since a young girl in love with " My Friend Flicka " so this was fun to view :)

Betsy Adams said...

You all certainly have gotten to see and do some very interesting things since moving to Colorado. I was thinking about you the other day when the TV news was showing New York/Brooklyn digging out from that horrible snow... Bet you don't miss the traffic and road cleanup there... ha

Great photos of the Draft Horses --and such interesting info about them... SO interesting. Thanks.
Hugs,
Betsy

Pallavi said...

The horses are so regal and beautiful! :)

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Such gorgeous horses! Thanks for sharing them with us, Pat!

xo

Sheila

Daniela said...

I love horses so much and these are really magnificent, a huge show dedicated to them, I wonder how wonderful it was!! Your photographs and the video are stunning, believe me !!
Thank you so much my dear Pat, have a lovely week xox
Dany

Old Kitty said...

I totally agree! They are all winners - such beautiful horses and mules! And such powerful and graceful animals too! Love that they do their parade to music too! Awwww - adorable! Take care
x

Wandering Wren said...

Who doesn't have goosebumps indeed - tell your husband I really liked his video it brought the whole arena to life. Great that you too are enjoying the horses in the Year of the Horse! I like the Belgian horses best!
Wren x

Lynn@Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Looks like a fun day and truly something that you didn't see in NY:@)

eileeninmd said...

The horses are all beautiful. I love the Clydesdale horses. What a nice show, love the parade. Wonderful photos and video. Have a happy week, Pat!

Sam Hoffer @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I haven't been to a Stock Show since we lived in Houston. When I saw the title, I could't wait to see more. I was scared there for a moment when the woman was thrown. You are so right, it takes skill to drive. I could just imagine some of our ancestors and what it must have been like for them.
Sam

Cathy Keller said...

I did so enjoy your post. It reminded me of the stories my dad told My grandfather was a blacksmith and had his shop on Market Street in Denver. He shod the horses for the Denver Police Department and Daddy told of the times he would walk these horses from Weiker Moving to the shop to be shod. Dad was only 13 and was proud that he could handle 2 horses at a time. Wow! The memories! Thank you!! My very best!! Cathy

Vee said...

Must return to see the videos...I want goosebumps, too! I remembered that War Horse was a Percheron. That's so sad that those horses were bred for that nasty job. I am just thankful that they are around for they are incredible creatures. You had a great day that day and so very different from a NYC activity.

Vee said...

Oh gosh! I finally figured out how to watch via my iPad. So cool! The jangling of the bells on the reins and the crowd's enthusiasm...had to give Vinny's videography skills a thumb's up!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I would have loved this show and try to attend some of the country fairs that feature the large horses.
My second cousin breeds and shows Percherons and trucks his stock all over the US.
Thanks for sharing Pat, I enjoyed this post.
Judith

Lorrie said...

What a fascinating event to attend. I don't think I would ever think to go to a Horse Show, but it looks like something both entertaining and interesting. Thanks, Pat.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Beautiful...those teams of working horses!

SmilingSally said...

Hi Pat,

What an education we're getting; thank you. And, please thank your husband for that video. I loved it. I noticed that the Clydesdale horses had a stubborn left lead horse; it must be a job to drive.

Have a Happy Blue Monday!

Andrea said...

I saw a Draft Horse competition at the Wisconsin State Fair a few years ago ... and your are right about the goosebumps. I love all horses, but the size and beauty of a draft horse is hard to beat. Thank you for these wonderful pictures and Videos ... Sounds like you and your husband had a great time.

Andrea @ From The Sol

podso said...

How exciting this must have been. Horses are such beautiful animals.

carol l mckenna said...

Fascinating post and delightful photos ~ you do travel well ~ thanks for OWT ~

carol and artmusedog
www.acreativeharbor.com

Snap said...

What fun! You are having a great time discovering the wild west! ;) Draft horses -- the gentle giants!

diane b said...

That looked like a great show. The videos were great too get the atmosphere. I like the Clydesdales best.

Sarah said...

Looks like a great show. Thanks for sharing the photos and info. You are the best!

desertsandbeyond said...

Now, THAT looks interesting! Wish I could have seen the horses there. I have two horses that are half draft...my PMU gelding and my riding horse, who is half draft, half Tennessee Walker! Both are rescues.
~~Cheryl Ann~~ Beautiful greys!

Al said...

They certainly are magnificent horses. I really need to attend this one year.

Cheryl @ TFD said...

Beautiful horses! I love the horses with the white stocking feet. They are all such magnificent animals. What a wonderful show this would be to see live. I love seeing the videos! BTW, my dad had a couple of draft horses on his farm for a time. They were truly gentle creatures and I could get on their bare backs and just lay down and they wouldn't ever try to throw me off. I'll never forget them, they were called Pet and Pat! Maybe I'll blog about them sometime.

Pondside said...

Those giant horses are so very beautiful. I love to see them at work. What a treat that show must have been!

Weekend-Windup said...

Horse show photos are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them since i don't get a chance to see them.

HOOTIN ANNI said...

What a treat!!! I especially liked the dappled ones!

i am pam said...

what an interesting show. i love all the breeds of horses for the draft show. the clydesdale horses are my favorite. thank you for sharing. enjoy the week ahead.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

This had to be such fun and those horses are amazing. Being from KY horse country USA, I love them all. Hmm, wonder if we have any draft horse shows around?

AdriBarr said...

I am loving these posts. The animals are magnificent. I live in Los Angeles, and so rodeos are really quite foreign to me. I have never attended one. You have really managed to convey the excitement! Thanks!

Cathy said...

Love your post, Pat. Those amazing animals are so impressive and it must have been awesome to see them perform. I would love to attend an event like this.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

What beautiful horses!

Lisa @ Grandmas Briefs said...

Once again, your zest for all things out west just warms my heart. Love your photos and appreciate the storytelling that goes with. Horses are such grand beings, don't you think? ♥

Light and Voices said...

What a sight to behold....draft horses pulling wagons. Love it!
JM Illinois

Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

Beautiful post Pat, I am very partial to the Clydesdales they just tug at my heartstrings.

All I could think of as I was watching the videos, was this was an Olympics for draft horses! 🐎

Jim said...

This looks fantastic

New Jersey Memories said...

Wow! What great photos! You must have had a wonderful day.

I visited Colorado a few years ago (Leadville and Eagle) and it is beautiful.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

That is quite a show. The animals are beautiful.

Rajesh said...

Great event. It is nice to see these horses in action.

annie said...

Love them!
Wonderful photos.Thanks for sharing.

ladyfi said...

So many lovely horses. Nice shots!

Ercotravels said...

Wonderful show!!the horses looking healthy and beautiful..
thanks for sharing these pictures..

La Petite Gallery said...

As always when I visit it is so interesting. Lucky you, I can't get out my drive it is all ice. Renee
is out salting the sidewalk. Those
horses are all great looking,
my favorite is the Clydesdale
yvonne

La Petite Gallery said...

As always when I visit it is so interesting. Lucky you, I can't get out my drive it is all ice. Renee
is out salting the sidewalk. Those
horses are all great looking,
my favorite is the Clydesdale
yvonne

Jeanne said...

love your shots of these amazing draft teams! They are so noble

eileeninmd said...

Pat, my official comment is above. I just wanted to drop in and say thank you for linking up to my Saturday's Critter party. Have a happy weekend!

The Tablescaper said...

So interesting. I never knew such a thing existed.

Great to have you at Oh, The PLACES I've been!

- The Tablescaper