“The crowd is wonderful. We are not used to this many people,” said driver Denise Purvis of Lexington, Ky. “That is probably a bigger crowd than at some state fairs. It is nice. I wish we could get crowds like this in Kentucky.”
Purvis’ husband, David, and Odel Mann finished first with a pull of 8 feet, three inches at 9,500 pounds in the lightweight division. The pair took first place at Friday night’s pull in Athens. Denise finished second in Athens, but was unable to repeat her runner-up feat in the heavyweight division Saturday.
“They (the horses) are doing really good in the state of Kentucky right now,” said Purvis.
David has been pulling for over 25 years and Denise has been driving for three.
Terry Burger and Mike Hughes of Nashville, Mich., finished second in the lightweight division, pulling 9,500 pounds 11 inches.
Third-place finisher Greg Mulberry made his first trip to the Hartford Fair since he was five-years-old. No memories of his debut visit to Croton, Mulberry wasn’t disappointed with the crowd turnout or the track. His horses, Bob and Rudy, pulled 9,000 pounds 11 feet, 2 inches for third place. Mulberry has been driving at pulls since 1968. He and his father attended plenty of pulls growing up, including his first taste of Croton many years ago.
Glenn Russellburg and JoJo Duvall of Beaverdom, Ky., placed first in the heavyweight division, pulling 9,000 pounds 23 feet. It was a special victory for JoJo, whose 78-year-old father won at the Hartford Fair last summer. Mount Vernon residents Phil and Mike Rine finished third in the pull at 19 feet, 4 inches.
Part of the Duvalls’ appeal of making the trip to the Hartford Fair was the presense of announcer Al Dillon.
“He’s (Dillon) the voice of horse pulling,” said Duvall.