Originally, large horses — also called draft horses — were bred to carry the heavy load of knights in armor as they rode into battle. As the time of knights came to a close, these sturdy animals became the primary power on farms, pulling everything from plows to heavy wagons loaded with produce. In America, draft horses helped expand farming as the nation moved west and spent time in the Sierras pulling massive logs for tree harvesting.
Then harness and wagon, and the draft horse, gave way to the gasoline engine and a new-fangled invention called the tractor. Many breeds of draft horses dwindled and neared extinction until recognized and perpetuated by people who saw the grace and skill these Gentle Giants displayed.
The Grass Valley event will feature six stunning performances in the main fairgrounds arena. In addition, the Western Trade show will spotlight everything from cowboy garb to tackle. The Harvest Fair presents a bountiful display of end-of-season produce that wasn’t quite ready for the Nevada County Fair. Add to that the world-class western art show, Art at the Classic.
Also entertaining visitors at the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley will be live bluegrass and western music, lumberjack and horse shoeing demonstrations, and agricultural competitions. Admission to the fairgrounds for these companion events has been eliminated this year, making a stroll through the old west absolutely free.
The Nevada County Fairgrounds are located in Grass Valley. At the front of the fairgrounds stands Grass Valley’s salute to the Gentle Giants, a 44-long sculpture of a draft horse pulling logs.