"All right Al," Joey Freund told Big Al after Big Al and Tom pulled 8,550
pounds at Saturday's Draft Horse Pull at this year's Scotts Bluff County Fair
in Mitchell. Big Al, weighing more than 4,500 pounds, teamed up with
Tom, weighing slightly less, pulled away with a win of eight feet-four-inches.
"They were bigger than I expected," Mitchell's Brandon Karpen said. "I ride, but nothing that big."
"It was really cool," Harrison's Erin Westover said.
"It was fun watching them pull that slide," Karpen added.
Karpen picked Big Al and Tom to win the whole thing when he first saw the team of mighty Belgians.
Each team started pulling at 3,500 pounds. After each round a ton of salt bricks was added to the sled and the teams had two tries at each weight. They pulled the 3,500 pounds, then 5,500 pounds, then 6,500 pounds and finally over 8,500 pounds.
"Some people team rope, others play golf, I like draft horses," Joey Freund said. "We use them (the horses) on the ranch (during the off season) to feed the cows."
"It's a hobby," Scott Beaman added after his team pulled. "We go to about 15 Draft Horse Pulls each year in Utah, Colorado, Nebraska, New Mexico, and elsewhere."
Just before coming to Mitchell Beamann said he and his team pulled in Kiowa, Colo. There next pull was a day later in Sidney, Neb.