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Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show

By: JoAnn Biren, staff writer

July 11, 2007

   Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show drew over 2500 people to watch as they mammoth Percherons, Clydes, Shires, and Belgians stampeding into the horse arena this past Saturday afternoon. 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show drew over 2500 people to watch as they mammoth Percherons, Clydes, Shires, and Belgians stampeding into the horse arena this past Saturday afternoon.
Danny Blankenship represented the Fulda/Murray County Central Warrior wrestling squadpresented the Colors during the Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show. 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
Danny Blankenship represented the Fulda/Murray County Central Warrior wrestling squadpresented the Colors during the Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show.
Judy, Jerry, and Dawn Samuelson, along with Reed Stokesbary, presented the first place awards to the Junior Driver winner in memory of Chris Samuelson who died in an automobile accident. 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
Judy, Jerry, and Dawn Samuelson, along with Reed Stokesbary, presented the first place awards to the Junior Driver winner in memory of Chris Samuelson who died in an automobile accident.
Joe Biren in the 4-Horse Hitch
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
Joe Biren in the 4-Horse Hitch
Sara Deuschle participating in the Team Mares and Geldings
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
Sara Deuschle participating in the Team Mares and Geldings
4- HORSE HITCH = Belgian Hill Farm
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
4- HORSE HITCH = Belgian Hill Farm
LADIES CART - Schreiber Percherons
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
LADIES CART - Schreiber Percherons
John Biren in the Menís Cart
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
John Biren in the Menís Cart
TEAM MARES & GELDINGS - Belgian Hill Farm
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
TEAM MARES & GELDINGS - Belgian Hill Farm
TEAM MARES & GELDINGS - Schumacher Percherons
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
TEAM MARES & GELDINGS - Schumacher Percherons
6-HORSE HITCH - Schumacher Percherons
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
6-HORSE HITCH - Schumacher Percherons
FARM TEAM - Leroy Gorter
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
FARM TEAM - Leroy Gorter
Christy Suprenant in the Ladies Cart
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
Christy Suprenant in the Ladies Cart
JR DRIVER - South Falk Draft Horses
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
JR DRIVER - South Falk Draft Horses
UNICORN - Schumacher Percherons
 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
UNICORN - Schumacher Percherons
Vincent Crowley, 84 years old, participating in the Farm Horse hitch with his 26 and 28 year old Percherons 
 MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
MURRAY COUNTY NEWS / Sheila Crowley
Vincent Crowley, 84 years old, participating in the Farm Horse hitch with his 26 and 28 year old Percherons
The First Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show- termed a success!
† The first Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show was held on Saturday, July 7 with the gates opening at 10 a.m. at the Murray County Fairgrounds in Slayton, Minnesota.† Although the gates did not open until ten, vehicles filled with spectators began arriving earlier.† Soon, the Jerry and Judy Bose Samuelson family along with many friends of their son Chris, were busy selling tickets to those entering the fairgrounds.

The spectators were not the first to arrive.† Many of the exhibitors arrived the night before with campers, semis and horse trailers to unload their draft horses, hitch wagons and tack in preparation for Saturday's show. On Saturday, members of the Show Committee and countless volunteers were at their respective stations wearing bright green shirts with the show's logo on the back.† Those shirts became beacons to the exhibitors.† "When I even looked like I needed something, there would be someone in a green shirt stepping up to ask how they could help," one of the exhibitors, with sweat streaking his brow, said after the show.

This spectacular show was planned by a committee of volunteers who began meeting late last year.† The committee consisted of:† Luther and Janice Tostengard, Jerry and Judy Bose Samuelson, Gaylen Jensen, Daryl Boots, Christy Suprenant, Jim and Barb Suprenant, Scott Fitzen, Todd Knorr, SaraDeuschle, Shawn and KathySu Nelson, John and Carol Biren, LeRoy and JoAnn Biren, Joe and Missy Biren and Pat and Dawn Biren.

Many throughout the county stepped up to make this first show a success. The fairgrounds were groomed to perfection and buildings were enhanced with hand constructed horse stalls in the dairy and sheep barns.† Members of the Murray County 4-H Horse Group and Murray County Central FFA assisted with the installation of these stalls days before the show.† In addition, there were floral arrangements at the doors to all of the buildings including admission gates.†

The blue commercial building and the 4-H building were filled with vendors selling merchandise from jewelry to saddlery and everything in between. There were Watkins products, coins, painted glass, pencil sketch drawings, zoo animals, taste tempting packages of delight, pots and pans to cook with and Tupperware to store the leftovers.† There were hand-woven rugs of all shapes and sizes, books for children, photography art, t-shirts and so much more!

What exactly is a Classic Series?† Each year six-horse hitches from across the United States and Canada compete at state exhibitions in order to accumulate points for the Classic Series.† More than 175 hitches travel within their region, competing at 50 qualifying shows throughout the United States and Canada.† At the end of the series, the four highest point hitches in each of three breed classifications-Belgian, Percheron and Clydesdale/Shires-are invited to compete for $30,000 in premiums at the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series Final Championship.

Helping to make this show a success was the judge, Walter Schaefer, Jr., of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.† He is Vice-President of the Belgian Youth and Education Board, and coordinator of the youth portion of the North American Belgian Championship VI.† Schaefer has extensive experience exhibiting a six-horse hitch of Belgian mares throughout the Midwest and Northwest United States.† He has also represented South Dakota at two Presidential Inaugural Parades.†

Another asset to this show was the announcer, Keith Tongen of Brownton, Minnesota.† Tongen is known as one of the largest "Horse Traders" in the Midwest.† He follows in the foot steps of his father and grandfather.† The Tongen family is a lifetime member of the Western Mounted Paraders Saddle Club, an all Palomino Drill & Square Dance team that was formed in 1953.

Jeff Kiewatt, the ringman for the show, was raised in Le Sueur, Minnesota and is a third-generation Belgian horse breeder.† He currently lives in Belle Plaine.† Kiewatt has been an equine nutritionist for the past 14 years throughout southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.† He enjoys showing horses and working with people that have them.

And the winner is . . . Schumacher Percherons of Plainview, Minnesota.† They won first place in the Classic Six-Horse Hitch at Saturday's show in Slayton.† Harold and Judy Schumacher are the owners of these beautiful black horses and Harold along with their son David are the drivers in the various classes of competition.† They have been showing their horses for the past 25 years.† Last year saw the Schumacher's at the Ohio State Fair, Bushnell Draft Horse Show, National Percheron Show, Iowa Sate Fair, Minnesota State Fair, Britt Draft Horse Show, Big Thunder Draft horse Show and Denver Stock Show.† They were pleased to earn First Place in 2006 at the National Percheron Show.† Now, they can start off the 2007 show season with a first place in the Classic Six-Horse Hitch at the Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show.† In addition to their first place in the six-horse hitch, they also received first in the Team and Unicorn hitches and second in the Ladies Cart.

The categories along with the placings follow:

Mens Cart 1-Jaegers Percherons, 2-Whitewater Creek Belgians, 3-Apenhorst Belgians, 4-Steffen Belgians, 5 - Biren Family Belgians, 6-Stalhiem Farm, 7-Reis Belgians, 8-South Falk Draft Horses Ladies Cart 1-Schreiber Percherons, 2-Schumacher Percherons, 3-Apenhorst Belgians, 4-Whitewater Creek Belgians, 5-Ames Percheron Farm, 6-Belgian Hill Farm, 7 - South Falk Draft Horses, 8-Reis Belgians, 9-Steffen Belgians

Team Mares and Geldings: Heat 1: 1-Schumacher Percherons, 2-Ames Percheron Farm, 3-Jaegers Percherons, 4 - Stalhiem Farm, 5-Whitewater Creek Belgians

Team Mares and Geldings: Heat 2: 1-Belgian Hill Farm, 2 - Biren Family Belgians,3-Reis Belgians, 4-Apenhorst Belgians, 5-Steffen Belgians

Jr. Driver Team, 1-South Falk Draft Horses, 2-Steffen Belgians (driven by Apenhorst Belgians), 3-Apenhorst Belgians, 4-Schreiber Percherons

Unicorn Hitch: 1-Schumacher Percherons, 2-Ames Percheron Farm, 3-Jaegers Percherons, 4-Schreiber Percherons, 5-Stalhiem Farms

Four-Horse Hitch: 1-Belgian Hill Farm, 2-Apenhorst Belgians, 3-South Falk Draft Horses, 4-Biren Family Belgians, 5-Reis Belgians, 6- Steffen Belgians

Farm Team: 1-Al & Barb Gilmore, 2-Vin Crowley, 3-Gwen Fleace, 4-Luther Tostengard, 5-Leroy Gorter, 6-David Finnes

Six-Horse Hitch: 1-Schumacher Percherons, 2-Jaegers Percherons, 3-Ames Percheron Farm, 4-Belgian Hill Farm, 5-Schreiber Percherons, 6-Apenhorst Belgians, 7-Steffen Belgians, 8-Stalhiem Farm, 9- Biren Family Belgians, 10- South Falk Draft Horses

Obstacle Course Farm Team 1-Leroy Gorter, 2-Vin Crowley, 3-Al Gilmore, 4-David Finnes, 5-Gwen Fleace Murray County Classic Draft Horse Show drew over 2500 people to watch as they mammoth Percherons, Clydes, Shires, and Belgians stampeding into the horse arena this past Saturday afternoon. The first annual show was deemed a succuss and the committee is possibly planning a two-day event for next year.


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