any and all standards the First Annual Central Coast Draft Horse
and Driving Show (CCDHDS), May 22, 2004 at San Benito County
Fairgrounds (Balado Park), was a great success. 35 competitors drove and rode over 65 horses in 22 class
competitions; 31 business sponsors donated money, products and
services; 20 vendor booths displayed everything from beautiful
shiny new trucks to saddles and jewelry; and over 500 spectators
filled the stands making for a busy and exhilarating day.
“We far exceeded our original goals and vision for this 1st
show and the support from the community has been wonderful” says
Suzy Caston, show director and one of the visionaries for this
event. “We not only
had the local draft horse community participating but had
competitors & spectators from the Central Valley and one
competitor coming as far as 150 miles to be here today”.
day started off with an in-hand halter class where the spectators
were treated to the presentation of 18-hand 2000lb draft horses
next to 32-inch 150lb mini horses.
Horses were judged against the standards of their breed in
confirmation, way of going, disposition, and turnout.
Carl, owned and shown by Jennifer Allen, took top honors in
the draft horse category, while Pete, owned and shown by Ann
Azevedo, took top honors in the mini horse category.
the halter class the fun really began with the Gambler’s Choice
Choice is where horse driven carts are given 2 minutes to complete
as many obstacles as possible. Each obstacle is assigned a set
point value and competitors are allowed to repeat each obstacle a
maximum of 2 times but not in sequence.
Obstacles included bridges, tight u-turns, backing up, and
driving through a slalom course of cones.
day continued with pleasure driving classes, 4-up hitch wagon
classes, log skidding and there was even a draft horse barrel race
– and boy can these big guys move when they want to!
Interspersed throughout the day were wonderful exhibitions;
California Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team with a patriotic theme, Draft
Horse Breed Demonstration where it was proven there are draft
horses other than Clydesdales, and an Oxen pulling exhibition
where the crowds were amazed by the size of the oxen and the skill
of the teamsters that drive them.
Lunch of hot dogs, polish sausage and tri-tip sandwiches
(my favorite) were provided by the 4-H who kept all profits to
benefit the local Paicines 4-H club.
show ended with a wonderful Parade Class where all competitors
displayed their finest and in one case a pioneer covered wagon
complete with period costume.
“It was a great day and an amazing turnout for the first
show, we are all tired but happy and looking forward to next
year’s show which will be an even bigger and better 2 day
format” says Chris Kluga CCDHDS board member.
more information on the show and dates for next year you can go to
the show website at www.centralcoastdrafthorseshow.com.
thumbnails to view full-size photos. Photos
by Steve German
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