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Fair site of new horse pulling mark
Rich McGowan, Sports Editor
517.437.6022

Since breaking one world record wasn’t enough, Chris Hatfield and Terry Yoder and their horses, Smuck and Roger went ahead and did it twice Tuesday in the heavyweight horse pull competition at Hillsdale County Fair.
After being tied with Scott Brown and Gerald Keegan for having pulled a new world record of 4,725 pounds, the teams added 50 pounds to the dynamometer which Smuck and Roger pulled 31 feet, 8 inches and set a new record of 4,775 pounds. Brown and Keegan’s horses pulled the weight 25 feet, 2 feet, 6 inches short of the required length.
Hatfield and Yoder won the same competition last year where they set the previous record of 4,700.
“We feel good. We feel real good,” Hatfield said. “That’s why we come to Hillsdale to set records and we like to. We’ve just been fortunate enough to do it the last couple years.”
Hatfield, from Cromwell, Ky., and Yoder, of Lake Panasoffkee, Fla., said they train their horses by working them four to five hours a day but still didn’t expect Smuck and Roger, a combined 5,300 pounds, to pull as much as they did.
“We we’re hoping for 4,725, maybe,” Hatfield said. “They did really good.”
One of the reasons Hatfield and Yoder come to Hillsdale is to set new records due to the grassy track on which the competition is held.
“Normally we pull in dirt tracks but in this sod, this grass sod, they can get better footing that way and can pull a lot bigger load,” Hatfield said. “Footing is very critical to how much you can pull.”
Hillsdale’s Bill Bump finished fourth as his team pulled 4,400 pounds, 10 feet, 1 inch, Cory Bump was sixth (4,100, 27–4), Steve Bump was 11th (3,800, 9–0) and Gene Sellers took 12th (3,800 5–11).
Dave Tonkel of Reading was seventh (4,100 23–0), Jonesville’s Jerry Briner was ninth (4,100 19–0).
Nathan Cook of Rothbury won the pony pulling contest in the heavyweight 49–inch and under category.
Larry Arsenault won the lightweight 53–inch and under national championship while Hillsdale’s Cory Bump placed fifth.



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