Thursday, 25 August 2016

Oxen, Horses, Sunset (20160819) A trip to the New Ross Community Fair

Well a trip to my childhood vacation days was in order today. Mom had told me she wanted to go out to the fair grounds and see a few folks. She had won "Best in Show" two years in a row with a Casa Blanca Lily and her Laveterra. So the flower competition was an also "must see". But when we would make the trek from Ontario to Aalderville when I was a child, it was all about the ox pull!
 There are several weight classes and the winners are determined on a "pound for pound" basis. The teamster weight isn't considered when weighing in the team.
The skid is a 1000 pounds of steel, that is pulled on hopefully dry concrete to ensure everyone has the same conditions for pulling. Each of the concrete weights you see here on the skid are 200 pounds each. The oxen are gentle pulling critters that "load up their yoke and slowly start to walk with the load".
So this team is trying to pull 5600 pounds. They have three attempts to move the skid 3 feet. These boys here are all "loaded" up all they have to do is straighten their backs and load will move.

Over the last 15 years though, it is the horses, both single and pairs teams that have captured the attention of me and brother Len. Just check out the "real" shoes on these beauties!
There were 12 teams "pulling off" in this, the 2700-2999 pound weight class.
On the next round of weights, I decided to focus on capturing some portraits of the stars of the show.
It is always great to see the various hair cuts and tack that the teamsters use. There is no fancy/dancy stuff here, other than a couple of trinkets and some bells the collars and reins are working materials.
The horses approach to pulling is very different than the oxen. As soon as the whiffletree hits the sled they are off and pulling.
The teams at this point are hauling 5200 pounds on the skid, and the gravel is flying.
It was time to see how the ladies were doing at Bingo. All was good so we headed home. We had to get Marg home in time for the start of the Blue Jays game. On the ride down the "mountain" we stopped and I grabbed a couple of images of the sun behind the clouds, getting ready to set.
Ands the final image for this post.
Not my typical post, but who can resist a chance to return to their childhood?
Put some "wild" in your life, it will do you good!

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