Changes to Show Benefit Draft Horses at State Fair


A guaranteed payout is attracting new draft horse teams to the Nebraska State Fair.

This is the first year every team will get some kind of pay if they hitch up twice. Organizers say the show is a bit out of the way for participants, most having to travel at least 300 miles.

"It definitely makes it easier for us. A lot of expense in bringing them out here - the fuel, the labor, the feed and all the work that goes into them, so it does help us,” says Gary Loomis of Loomis Farms Belgians.

Loomis was coming before the guarantee money, and he has shown in Lincoln.

Now he says Nebraska has some of the nicest facilities he's shown in.

The State Fair show draws a mostly full arena of spectators every year.

"It's just the total aura. I mean, you can see the size of the horses and the jingle of the harness. When the wagons roll you can hear the thunder. Their feet, their shoes on the concrete, it just sends goosebumps up and down your spine,” says Heidi Carlson, state fair horse show manager.

Fifteen teams competed with three on a waiting list. That includes teams wanting to come to the fair for the first time.

Organizers say the arena can hold 16 teams, but there was a last minute drop out due to a sick horse.