Horse of the Week
  Previous Horse Aug 31st, 2009 Next Horse

Costume ClassDundas Plowing Match

This week has been a bit chaotic with Leslie delivering her oldest daughter to her first year of College in Sudbury and Janet heading to Prince Edward Island for a 2 week holiday. Of course, Leslie is pretty stressed out and Horse of the Week unintentionally fell by the wayside. So as not to disappoint our many regular viewers Leslie decided to let me (Janet) post a HOW detailing my trip to the Dundas Plowing Match on the east end of Prince Edward Island.

The circumstances were not ideal so I hope you won't be too critical of my photography. I hadn't planned on doing Horse of the Week, so I didn't pack my usual Canon camera with the big lens. I took my versatile, tiny, palm size Pentax Optio camera and am creating the web pages on an excruciatingly slow dial up connection on my laptop. Ouch!

OxenMy husband and I headed off on Sunday to Dundas to see the last day of the Plowing Match. We caught the oxen pull (I think oxen are just big cows!), the draft horse pull and the miniature horses that day. The oxen were quite fascinating, very docile and slow, but powerful animals. The team that won the contest weighed in at 3,700 pounds, and managed to pull 10,000 pounds on the sled! Even the biggest draft horses have trouble at that weight. I had never seen the oxen work before, but you will notice that they pull with their head and horns... and have no lead on them like the horses would. They follow their handlers around like little dogs. Every block on the sled weighed 250 lbs and they just keep piling them on as the contest progresses. When the animals attempt 2 pulls and fail to move the load they are disqualified.

Blue RoanThe draft horses were a different story, some pretty high strung and anxious to get the job done. The guys could barely contain some of them and it seemed a dangerous business to even get them hooked up to the sled. I think there were 10 teams participating, Belgians, Clydesdales and Percherons. One of the handlers ended up face down and driving his team while being dragged flat out on the ground. I didn't stay for the entire draft horse pull as we had a supper date with my parents for later in the evening, so I am not sure who won.

There was a very pretty blue roan Percheron in the show, very unusual colour. The draft horses and the oxen are really just a very expensive hobby these days - none of the participants that we spoke to admitted to using them for much else - a labour of love or community I would assume.

The miniature horses were the other part of the show - very cute! One reminded me of an "Alberto Mini-Me". They competed in a driving class and an obstacle course.

Well done to all the people in Dundas and the competitors who participated in the Dundas Plowing Match. We hope the small Canadian country fair will survive for many years to come.

Janet GrantAlberto Mini Me

  Paso Fino Horse
  Horse Costume Class
  Paso Fino Gelding
  Ox Pull
Horse of the Week Past Horses of the Week Leslie Town Photography Equestrian Web Design Contact