Jim Poole from St. Louis, Missouri, has been selected as the judge of this year’s Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, September 22 – 25, at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Poole has been judging horse shows across North America for more than 35 years, and this is his third time judging the Draft Horse Classic.
“The Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley is one of the finest shows I have ever had the honor of judging,” he said. “The entire event is managed to perfection and held in a very unique and beautiful setting. From my past experiences at the Classic in Grass Valley, the caliber of exhibitors and horses are always top notch and everyone works together to make this the great event that it is.”
Born in St. Boniface, Manitoba, Canada, Poole was immediately immersed in the world of Belgians on his family’s farm. Learning the ropes from his father Fred, Poole began traveling with the family’s hitch at an early age to exhibitions and fairs throughout Canada and the United States. As a young adult, he worked for various traveling six and eight horse hitches in the competitive and exhibition circuit. During that time, Poole worked at the Alberta Game Farm in Edmonton, Canada where he took the reins of one of the most decorated 6-horse hitch of Belgians ever, and also managed the park of more than 3,000 wild animals.
In 1984, Poole moved to Ontario, Canada, where he spent the next 5 years managing his farm and showing his Belgians, before being recruited by the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales. In 1989, he and his family moved to St. Louis, Missouri where he supervised the traveling 8-horse hitch of the famous Clydesdales. For the next 22 years Poole moved through the ranks of Clydesdale Operations, eventually serving as department manager in 1997. In 2008, Poole was instrumental in leading the effort to develop a state-of-the-art breeding facility – located on 347 acres in Booneville, Missouri – specifically for the Budweiser Clydesdales.
Today, in addition to judging horse shows, Poole continues working with Draft Horses through his consulting and management business. All his hard work and preparation is just in time for the 25th annual Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley.
At this year’s Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley, Poole will be busy judging all six Draft Horse Classic performances that take place throughout the four day event. Live entertainment, a world class art show, Treat Street goodies, a Western Trade Show, a clogging jamboree, a live shoeing competition, community exhibits, and barn tours are all part of the activities at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. The place to be September 22 – 25 is Grass Valley.
Tickets to the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley are on sale now, as well as the day of the event, and may be purchased by calling the Fair office at (530) 273-6217, or visiting www.NevadaCountyFair.com.