The 128th six-horse hitch competition has been around a lot longer than the Stampede, and this year’s champion for the fifth time is Eaglesfield Percherons of Didsbury, Alta., with Brian Coleman on the lines.
The win with this hitch, owned by Brian and Randi Thiel of California, is made even sweeter by the fact that there are two new horses in the lineup.
The venerable event was held in the Saddledome with the traditional musical accompaniment by members of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra.
This year, thirteen high-stepping hitches — Percherons, Clydesdales, Belgians and Shires — circled the arena in front of a panel of three judges. So close was the competition that four teams had to return for a drive-off, giving the judges another chance to assess the teams’ presentation. Reserve champion was Blue Ribbon Days hitch of Percherons from Farmington, Mo.