Every year, our local Nevada County Fairgrounds hosts the Draft Horse Classic.

Click to go to the home page.

Click to go to the home page.

THE GIANT (sculpture by Todd Andrews)

I’ve written previously about the huge statue that stands majestically next to the Nevada County fairgrounds.   It was created to punctuate this annual and wonderful event.  You can read my blog about this statue, here.

Truly, I pass this statue several times a week and it still takes my breath away…

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I feel so lucky that this incredible bronze is in our neighborhood!

I took this pic.

I took this pic.


Draft horses , all breeds, come from all over to compete in amazing large horse, pulling and dexterity competitions (singles, obstacles, 4-ups, 6-ups, pairs, farm implements, 4 abreast, heavyweight pull, log pull… click here to read the full list of class descriptions.)

Here is a short video, which is far better than any of my pics below, that describes the event.

*The Budweiser Clydesdales used to come to this event, but they haven’t for the past two years… very sad.  They were INCREDIBLE.  Just the tack made me cry…let alone their majestic presence.

Click to watch the short video.

Click image to watch the short video.



My schedule was wonky this year and I couldn’t go to the first day (which is my favorite) nor the second or third… I ended up going for a few hours on the last day.

Sadly, there were no exhibitions during that time, so I was left with walking around and snapping photos of the horses at rest.  Not as glorious as when they are performing, but striking nonetheless.

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The first thing I saw was this harness for sale… Could you imagine cleaning all of this amazing tack?!

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And, of course, pony rides. Get those kids addicted!   As an aside: I rescued one of my ponies from one of these kiddie pony rings. Dodger hated this job, his saddle didn’t fit and he was miserable. I got him for his meat cost of $26.50, He still hates kids to this day.  (I’m not saying that all pony ring rides are bad.)

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These beautiful rigs were parked all over!

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This thing was so funny but I almost missed it, as you can see. As I fumbled for my camera, the train passed me by. Anyway, it was being pulled by a tractor and there were several farm animals on this one, going from one end of the fairgrounds to the other. ONLY in small town America.

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Yup. My fortification for the event!

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Look closely… These two drafts were grooming each other. As I got closer, they quit.

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This big girl was being groomed. As I walked by, they were chatting about how small she was…

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A meeting of draft horse and fair attendee.

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Another beautiful rig – a bit blurry.

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It cracked me up how this guy kept all of his tack on display, like jewelry. He had 4 popups filled with bright and shiny tack. Incredible.

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Another beautiful, freshly washed rig.

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It is tough to understand the scale of these horses…

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Some of the less commercial companies had very engaging, warm displays of their family draft horses.

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The event is also a Draft horse tack swap meet of sorts.

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These two ladies came jogging past me with their newly washed performers. Those horses could move!

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These guys were quickly readying a cart…

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I didn’t see the horse who won this because the stall was empty… but the prize was sitting on a table.

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The man said he was 5’11”.

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Beautiful dappling.

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I was standing right next to her. My head was at her mid belly.

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This guy was HUGE. I barely reached his belly.

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The owner of this barn (and all the horses) told me that this horse was deaf and blind in one eye – yet he still works. In fact, he never spooks, he said…

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The man is 6’3″.

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It is difficult to visualize the size without comparisons… this is my shoe. Size 7.

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This girl was totally asleep. I was right under her nose.

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You see this everywhere… there are so many trees in our fairgrounds, may as well use them!

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This pair was massive.

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I called out that this boy was “so handsome’ and he turned to see who was complimenting him!

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Do you see the head that is TALLER THAN THE STALLS?!!

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These Percherons were MASSIVE. Do you see their heads totally above the stalls? I could not believe it!

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Draft Mules.

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I noticed the tallest horse I had ever seen – through the stalls. I wasn’t sure if he would still be there by the time I got around to his side. Look how he dwarfs the drafts in front of me!

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This guys was TALL. The owner says he eats 10 bales a day if he is showing – I think he meant “flakes” but he said ‘bales’.  .

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His head is longer than his handler’s torso.


This is how they braid his mane.  (Look at those feet!)

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Beauties being moved around.

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Another fabulous cart.

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I loved this guy’s fuzzy ears! The dog looks ready to get the heck outta there!

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I wanted to show you the stage. So sweet. The ladies were singing acapella.

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Colorful hats from one of the vendors.

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I liked these wooden stars made from reclaimed barn wood.

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I bought myself a hat!


Last week to help the JOSEPHINE 5!  Read their story here!

Click image to read the story of the Josephine 5!

Click image to read the story of the Josephine 5!

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