Horses flex muscles in pull competition at fairgrounds

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers
KNOWLESVILLE – Teams of powerful draft horses, with participants from eight states, are competing today in at 4-H Fairgrounds in the “Pull of Champions.”

This is the second straight year the event has been at the fairgrounds in Knowlesville after the State Fair in Syracuse used to host the competition.

The event draws many out-of-state competitors who are eager to compete after winter.

There are nearly 20 teams competing in either the lightweight division (3,425 pounds or less for two horses), or the heavyweights for teams that exceed 3,425 pounds.

This team from Michigan takes in the action inside one of the livestock barns at the fairgrounds.

The teams need to pull a dynamometer 27 1/2 feet for a full pull. The dynamometer, in the final pulls, can simulate 160,000 pounds.

Brian Ressequie of Cato is announcer for today’s horse pull.

Sydney Root of Bolivar is pictured with a team that is owned by her family.

This will be the second straight year the fairgrounds is hosting the horse pull. After a small crowd last year, organizers were pleased to see about 400 people in the stands today.

This is a closeup of a horse owned by Lori Root and her family in Bolivar. The family has been competing in horse pulls for 35 years.

“Horses are an addiction,” she said. “Once you are around them and like them, you want to compete. Here it’s a friendly competition. Everyone helps each other.”

This team from Michigan waits its turn to pull.

First prize today for each division is $750.

In addition to New York, teams in the competition are from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, Florida and Ohio.