The North American 6 Horse Hitch Classic Series is scheduled for Friday night July 23rd at 5:30pm and Saturday, July 24th at 12:30pm.
Information by Mallory Diefenbach, The Daily News:
Equine excellence: Second annual Genesee County fair event is second only to State Fair in terms of size statewide
Draft horses, which weigh between 1,800 to 2,200 pounds, once worked the fields a century ago — and they’ve now become show horses.
Dave Dermody, the draft horse show’s co-superintendent, said the North American Classic Six-Horse Hitch is like a beauty contest. The horses are dressed up with show shoes and judges give them points on how well they drive together as a group and their quality as individuals.
The judges also require the horses to walk, trot and back which will figure into the decision on who places where. After that is kids driving horses, four-horse hitches and different groupings of horses.
This marks the third year Genesee County Fair will hosted the North American Classic Six-Horse Hitch. Although they’ve always had the horse classes, Dermody said, they’ve stepped up to being part of the national horse program, in no small part due to the support of the Barie Family of East Bethany and the Genesee County Fair Board.
The event is the only North American Classic Six-Horse Hitch in Western New York. Competitors have two days to try to win a $2,500 prize and points to earn a place to go on to the finals in an attempt to win the North American championship.
Not only that but Genesee County, with nine groups showing is the biggest six-horse hitch county fair in the state, second only to the state fair in Syracuse.
“Many of these same hitches show all over the country,” Dermody said. “Some of these hitches are very prominent in the draft horse business.”
When asked what makes the draft horses so popular, he said they are very gentle horses but they’re very large and imposing.
“People like to see the big horses, they’re drawn to them,” Dermody said. “We call them the gentle giants, and that’s why they like them.”
The Friday Night Entry event is $5.00 per carload. Fair activities open on Saturday, July 24 at 9AM
The Saturday, July 24th 12:30pm event at the horse show ring is included in regular entry fee.
To keep up-to-date on the latest happenings of the fair, visit the Genesee County Fair’s Facebook page. The fair is also accepting applications for both sponsors and volunteers. For more information visit gcfair.com
Photos by Mark Gutman: