By Jon Muldoon
Despite a several week delay due to flooding at the Smithers Fairgrounds, the Spring Heavy Horse Pull took place June 26, with nine teams competing, coming from Telkwa, Terrace, Prince George and Fort St. John.
The competition saw the nine slowly narrowed down, until the 16th and final round of pulling, with a weight of 8,000 pounds. The winner is judged not on how heavy the weight pulled, but rather the difference between the weight of the horses and the weight they pulled.
Delores Kerr, who organizes the event along with her husband (and competitor) Jim and Anika Gattiker, said the event went very well, especially considering the last minute date change.
“We really didn’t know how the turnout would be,” she said, although the crowd of 200 was similar to last year’s event. “It went great. Lots of people came out and the weather co-operated.”
At the end of afternoon, Calvin Buchta from Prince George won the event, which makes six wins in a row. His team pulled the 8,000 pound weight, which was 3,970 pounds more than his horses weighed.
Coming in second place was Prince George’s Delbert Dillman, whose team pulled 3,770 pounds more than their weight. He and wife Jennifer traded roles on two teams – his horses finished in second, and hers, which included a first-time competitor, finished fifth.
Third place went to Dean Sturko of Terrace, with Gordon MacKenzie of Fort St. John finishing in fourth.