Mr. Orlo Tonkel and his father Oscar pulled horses from the
early 1940's to 1954. An injury to the senior Mr. Tonkel necessitated a
switch to ponies. A switch back to draft horses occurred in the early
1990's. Orlo Tonkel, a knowledgeable dependable competitor, brought out
well trained, good handling teams and traveled many miles each season supporting
dynamometer pulls. He has attended the Association's annual meetings for
well over 25 years, voicing his opinions and sharing his knowledge of the
Placing ninth at the 2000 Michigan Great Lakes
International is one of his favorite pulling memories.
Mr. Tonkel has been a farmer and a service station owner.
He retied as superintendent of Public Works for the city of Reading in 1989,
retired from logging with horses in 2004 and retired from pulling in 2005.
Orlo still works the horses at home though. Son Dave does the
harnessing and driving in competition.
In a phrase, Orlo Tonkel is the type of member and
competitor we all need to keep the sport of horsepulling alive and flourishing.
Photo courtesy of Cecil Darnell