The 26th anniversary of the Draft Horse Classic was celebrated September 20 -23 at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley. The crowd-pleasing event delighted fans with the pageantry, elegance and strength of the beautiful Draft Horses http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFUaaqnajyo&feature=player_embedded More than 20,000 fans gather at “California’s Most Beautiful Fairgrounds” to partake in the premier Draft Horse event in the Western United States each September. Many participants camp at the RV park, adjacent to the event, centrally located in the heart of Nevada County, near historic Grass Valley.
Draft Horse exhibitors from California, British Columbia, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming competed in Grass Valley for more than $35,000 in premium awards. Gary Nebergall of Arthur, Illinois judged the competitions and halter show. Dwight Gilbert from Nevada judged the pulling contest.
Kirk Messenger of the Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch from Cheyenne, Wyoming was the winner of the Six-Up Ultimate Hitch Championship. Dakota Messenger, also of Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch, and Katie Cook, of Young Living Percherons from Mona, Utah, were recognized as the outstanding lady drivers. Both ladies accumulated high points to win the Susan Parnell High Point Perpetual award while competing in the Sierra Foothills.
Steve Smith, of Quail Creek Percherons from Carmichael, was presented the Teamster of the Year award, an honor bestowed by fellow teamsters. Kirk Messenger of Cheyenne, Wyoming was presented the Draft Horse and Mule Associate special Teamster Award. Ciera Barry of Shady Oaks Ranch in Millville, California, won the Youth of the Show award.
Tony Knecht of Sonoma showed the Overall Supreme Champion horse, Hugh; the Grand Champion Stallion, Ogdensburg HC Variety; and the Grand Champion Mare, Mission Bell Abigail, are all owned by Castagnasso Clydesdales.
In addition to the Draft Horse Classic, the Harvest Fair completed the event with the prestigious fine equine art show, a western trade show, clogging jamboree, agricultural competitions, live entertainment and delicious food. JD Downs of Colorado won the Edward Martin Perpetual Horseshoeing Competition.
Saturday’s special feature included “A Taste of the Gold” showcasing local restaurants and wineries of Grass Valley. The 2nd annual Classic BBQ Cook-Off was highlighted on Sunday where Richard Holguin, cooking for Cecil’s Smokin’ BBQ of San Jose, received the Grand Champion award; Mary Odor, cooking for Mad Mo’s BBQ of Meridian received the Reserve Grand Champion prize. The People’s Choice Champion was Bad S BBQ of Sunnvale, with Ryan Pang at the grill.
Nancy Brown and Rivera Swartzendruber received the People’s Choice and the Best of Division in the Scarecrows at the Harvest Fair.
A complete list of 2012 Draft Horse Classic awards, as well as all of the Harvest Fair winners and Barbecue Cook-Off results is on the Nevada County Fairgrounds’ website at www.NevadaCountyFair.com. The 2013 Draft Horse Classic is scheduled for September 19-22 in Grass Valley. Tickets will go on sale May 1st.
Let Grass Valley Enliven Your Senses!