Two "babies" get acquainted.
The 26th Annual Washington Draft Horse and Mule Extravaganza will be held Sept. 26-29, at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds Indoor Arena in Monroe.
The Washington State Draft Horse and Mule Association is sponsoring the event to promote and preserve the heritage of the draft horse and mule breeds.
It was 26 years ago that a few draft horse breeders got together to start the show "on a shoestring," said Carnation resident George Magnochi. He and his wife Diane are this year's co-chairs of the event. The couple raise draft horses and dairy heifers on their farm near Carnation.
"This is the only show in the country where people can see all the five breeds together (Clydesdale, Shire, Belgian, Percheron, and Suffolk), plus mules," said Magnochi.
Visitors will see more than 200 draft horses competing in classes such as halter, driving, pulling contests, and log skidding, with many different kinds of wagons and carts.
The event will provide the opportunity for people of all ages to observe the skills necessary to handle the draft breeds. The extravaganza will also be one of the few times that the public will be able to see many types of horse drawn farm implements in actual operation.
Performances are 1 p.m. Friday (half-price matinee), Saturday and Sunday, and Friday and Saturday night at 7 p.m. Free halter classes start at 10 a.m. Thursday. Eliminations for log skidding and junior team drive are scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday. A 4-H and FFA Judging Contest is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday and Junior Showmanship at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Evening and weekend ticket prices are $7 for adults and $4 for students and seniors. Children under six are free.
Proceeds help support the Draft Horse Association's Agriculture Scholarship Fund. (Scholarship application is open to any Washington resident pursuing college level agricultural education).
A draft horse auction will be held for the first time this year, and will follow Sunday's 1 p.m. performance. Foals to be auctioned were born in 1995 and '96. The sale is open to everyone.
For more information, contact George or Diane Magnochi at 333-4899.