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Humbert Muncie Team Edges Big Michigan Pair in Exciting Street Fair Horsepull Before Big Crowd at 4-H
By Jim Barbieri 
The annual Bluffton Street Fair Heavyweight Horsepulling classic, a midwest attraction over the years, had another exciting finish before a large crowd Saturday at the 4-H Park.
   In the eighth round, events came to a sudden halt at 10,000 pounds of sled weight under ideal weather conditions that prevailed through the fair. 
   After pulling through on initial pulls all the way through 9,500 pounds, the Tom Humbert 4,400 pound team from Muncie and the very large 4,900 pound Fisher & Tonkel team from Litchfield, Michigan stood alone in the battle that had started with 10 strong teams from Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.
   Another team, the 4,500 pound pair of Larry Fisher from Litchfield, nearly had made it to the 10,000 pounds round but came up short of the 27 1/2 foot dispatch with 23 feet, 11 inches on first pull at 9,500 and then waived and passed on further tries.
   With all eyes on the two remaining teams, the Humberts were up first and appeared to leave the door open when going only 11 feet, 7 inches on first try.
   Humbert then waived the second try to await a chance for a third.
   The surprise to some came when the big Fisher & Tonkel team, two superb horses named Tom and Charlie, the winners of the Street Fair Event's "Best Matched" and "Best Dressed" awards, managed only 3 feet, 11 inches on first pull.
   They also waived a second pull to prepare for the third and final one.  Still another opportunity appeared for the Michigan team when Tom Humbert decided to pass on a third try.
   However, the strong Michigan team managed just 8 feet, 11 inches in that unit's final attempt, losing out by less than three feet.
   Placing fourth after the other Litchfield, Michigan team was the Justin Bolles 4,200 pound team from Hesperia, Michigan, which went out at 9,000 pounds of sled weight and a distance of 13 feet, 8 inches.
   The Bragg & Clemons 4,300 pound team from Richmond, Ind. was fifth, going out at 9 feet, 11 inches on 9,000 pounds.
   Sixth place went to Red Munson of Springfield, Ohio, as his 3,900 pound team went 19 feet, 6 inches with 8,500 pounds.
   In seventh place was the Larry Gerardot team from Monroeville, Ind. with 18 feet, 8 inches on 8,500 pounds.
   The eighth place went to the Bob Milner 4, 480 pound team from Terre Haute, Ind. with 23 feet, 5 inches at 8,000 pounds.  Ninth was another Bragg & Clemons team of 4,300 pounds pulling 8,000 pounds 20 feet, 5 inches.  The Eric Thompson, 3,550 pound team from Plymouth, Ind., lightest in the event, pulled 8,000 pounds 13 feet, 3 inches for 10th.
   For winning first place, the Tom Humbert team was awarded top cash prize of $250 out of $2,000 total prize money plus a beautiful clock trophy, as sponsored again this year by Reimschisel Ford of Bluffton.
   The event again had a host of sponsors here.  All 10 of the teams shared in prize awards.
   A special award in form of an appreciation plaque was presented to Al Pearson, a horsepulling event official over the years with the late Bob Arnold and the late Bud Pursley and others, for his 30 years of service to the event. 
   Ken Ellenberger again ably announced the horsepulling event, in another Street Fair tradition.

Article courtesy of the Bluffton News-Banner


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