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Michigan Draft Horse Pulling Hall of Fame established at Prairieville

This new institution joins forces with the already formed Michigan Farmer's Hall of Fame; Michigan Country Hall of Fame and the Michigan Antique Tractor Pulling Hall of Fame.

Prairieville (near Delton) has long been the center of Agricultural Achievement Recognition, (thru Old Fashioned Farm Days and Country Music Shows) originally envisioned and hosted by Bill Aukerman.  The MDHPHF will be housed on the Aukerman Farm when construction is completed on the new facilities.  Until the new building is finished, Horse Pullers named to the Hall will be joining Hall of Famers already established in the Farmer's Hall. 

Larry Pennepacker (Plainwell, MI) was named Chairman of the Michigan Draft Horse Pullers Hall of Fame.  Larry is a horsepuller and a longtime supporter of the draft horse industry.  He states, "I am excited about the new feature.  Prairieville has long been the location of farming activities and both recognize and honor agricultural achievement and people.  Without tolls of recognition, rural people can get lost in their individual fields."

Carlene Davis (Lansing, MI) became the initial Secretary/Treasurer of the MDHPHF.  Carlene has been a lifelong student and teacher of horse pulling.  Many will know her voice as the official sound of the Michigan Dynamometer Association Horse Pulling contests.

The forming meeting was held at Prairieville on May 15, 2005.  Named as trustee's for the newly formed organization were Bob Dunton (Saranac, MI); Don Davis (Lansing, MI); Cecil E. Darnell 9 Mason, MI) and John Aukerman (Delton, MI).

As first steps are taken, the newly formed organization is inviting input from other members of the Draft Horse Pulling community such as nominations for Horse Pullers worthy of nomination to the newly formed stage.  Initial activities are also being considered to feature the Hall of Fame.  A horse powered Plow Day, with related equine activities is planned at Prairieville to let folks see the drafters doing draft things to promote the idea.

Draft horses working in the field just naturally attract attention.  This seems an appropriate method of beating the drum for this new parade.  There are more draft horses in Michigan now (Michigan Horse Council) than there was when the farms were powered by them.  Draft horses also hold a certain fascination for people with rural memories.

Each year there are nearly 150 Draft Horse Pulling contests within Michigan.  Some of these competitions are held with stone boats and some are on the Dynamometers.  Horse pulling contests can stand alone or may be found in conjunction with fairs.  Estimates place Michigan based pulling teams at about 200 (400 draft horses).  When special contests are sponsored, teams and drivers from other states will turn up to compete increasing the number of top tier teams competing within the state.

The MDHPHF will function in harmony with the rules and regulations of the Michigan Horse Pulling Associations.  This permits folks who live outside of Michigan to be eligible for Hall of Fame nomination through their Michigan Association membership participation.  Pulling tenure, positive influence of horse pulling, Sportsmanship, Horsemanship and other influences will be considered when nominations for Hall of Fame membership are evaluated.

For additional MDHPHF information check out communications from your horse pulling association or talk with a horse puller near you. 

For more information contact: Carlene Davis, 517-322-0352, 8497 Davis Hwy., Lansing, MI  48917.

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