Horsepullresults.com
The Largest selection of Horsepulling results on the Internet

Click to visit our sponsor, Sugar Valley Collar Shop
HomeLoginResultsScheduleOur GoalSponsorsContact UsVideosPhotosPuller ProfileLook'n BackLinksThe ScoopMessage Boards

Stan Grad lives heavy-duty
 

Brendan Wood
Staff Writer

Wednesday October 05, 2005

HE AINíT HEAVY, HEíS MY HORSE: Percherons Pete and Ike are chomping at the bit in preparation for competition.
 
Photo submitted

Airdrie Echo ó Airdrieís Stan Grad has proven to be a force in the sport of horse pulling. Together with his two Percherons Ė Pete and Ike Ė Grad has won the Calgary Stampede heavy horse class two years in a row and hopes to continue his winning ways this November in Edmonton and Regina.
Gradís recent success is something of which he is extremely proud.
"I won the Stampede in 2004 and then I won it this year. It feels good. Itís one of the prestige ones," he said. "The Stampede draws a big crowd and itís just kind of a neat one."
What makes his team so interesting is the unique breed. Gradís horses are Percherons, which are a bit of a rarity in horse-pulling circles.
"Most horses ... in these pulling competitions are Belgian," he said. "I just have a preference for Percherons."
A pulling team consists of two horses that are hooked up to a steel sled loaded with a certain weight. Each team must move the sled at least 14 feet for a successful pull. If more than one team successfully pulls a given weight, 500 pounds are added and teams attempt to pull the heavier weight. This continues until only one team remains.
While there is a horse-pull circuit that travels throughout western Canada, Grad tends to compete predominantly in a select few competitions, including Calgary, Edmonton and Regina.
"At both Edmonton and Regina itís a huge spectator event," he said, "and so I enjoy pulling there and itís good competition."
Last year, in addition to the Calgary Stampede Ė where he set a record, pulling 12,500 lbs. 51 inches Ė Grad won the Northlands pull in Edmonton; Agribition, in Regina; and the 2005 World Percheron Congress, which was held in Canada.
"Last year was a good year," he said. "This year I just pulled at the Stampede and won it and pulled in Edmonton and lost to my buddy in Cochrane, Dennis Weinberger."
Close friends and business partners, it was actually Weinberger Ė who won light and middle weights this year in Calgary Ė who got Grad into the sport.
"I first went to a pulling competition in Calgary about four or five years ago and I saw this pair of Percherons that I kind of fell in love with and I negotiated a deal to buy the team," Grad said. "I had no inclination that I was going to get into the pulling Ė I was going to just drive them around the ranch."
Six months later, Weinberger suggested that Grad enter his Percherons in the heavy horse pull and offered to help. Grad accepted the offer and now trains his horses in Cochrane under his friendís guidance.
"Heís the best that I think weíve got in Canada and he continues to show that," Grad said.
From his ranch in Cochrane, Weinberger works the horses through a series of endurance and strength training exercises. The team is hooked up to a steel stone boat and pulls a regulated amount of weight, for about an hour-and-a-half every second day leading up to a competition.
"We pull them 100 yards, give them a rest and do it again. Itís exactly like lifting weights," Grad said. "Theyíre on vitamins and minerals known to the horse world as well as the best oats and the best hay."
Recent success prompted Grad to get more horses, one of which he has used in a few pulls this year.
"Iíve got a new horse that Iím bringing on," he said. "Iím going to be pulling him next year."
However while he wants to eventually establish a new team, Grad will use his original horses this November, as he wants to win a pull to finish the year.
"Iím back with my old team for these last two competitions," he said with a smile.
 

Article courtesy of www.airdrieecho.com



HomeLoginResultsScheduleOur GoalSponsorsContact UsVideosPhotosPuller ProfileLook'n BackLinksThe ScoopMessage Boards