I have been making my way through the many fairs being held in Central Counties and I am realizing that each fair has its own special and unique touch. So when I arrived in Uxbridge I was excited to discover what their fair would surprise me with!
In the exhibit halls my first surprise were the fair champion vegetables on display. I’ve seen a few fair competitions now, but I have never seen a pumpkin or zucchini quite like this.
There was a great horse and buggy shuttle around the fairgrounds with various pick up and drop off points. A great way to get from the exhibits and midway to the petting zoo. I made a few new friends and made my way to the cattle competition. In front of the show ring, was a special milking cow. Anyone could try milking a cow with this always willing cow. For some a much easier way to try it before handling the real thing!
In the ring, a number of farmers were bringing out their cattle for the judges. Each class of cattle made their way around the ring and the farmers steadied them for inspection by the judges. Then the medals for best in class were awarded.
Another big draw of Uxbridge Fair are the antique cars on display for everyone to see. These collectors bring their cars to the fair every year for the Cruise-In Car show hoping to win the judges’ and spectators’ votes for one of the many prizes.
For the Uxbridge fair however, this day was all about the horses. In one ring an obstacle course was set up where horses and their riders had a set amount of time to complete as many obstacles as they could. These obstacles are not horse friendly, as many of the horses were very hesitant to make their way through them.
The biggest event of the day had to be the horse pulling competition. The large ring was prepared and large tractors added concrete weights to the loaded sled in the centre of the ring. Crowds filled the grandstands and the horses were harnessed up in pairs waiting for their turn to pull their loads. Each team of horses weighs a combined total of 3400 pounds and would be expected to pull 6600 pounds of concrete for 15 feet.
The farmers led their horses up to the sled of concrete and place a bar with a hook on the front of the load, within seconds of the bar hooking with the load the horses start running forward. They pull until they hear the whistle blow and then stop dead in their tracks waiting to be unhooked.
The horses then dutifully walk back to the line up and take their places as the next team of horses walk towards the sled. After all the teams have made their pull, the tractors return and add more weights to the load. Then at 7700 pounds the horses take their turns again. They all make it through to the next round. When the loads reach over 8100 pounds, some of the teams begin to fail at reaching their pulls. The length of the pull is measured and the teams are given a second chance to make up the difference. However, many of the farmers are ready to concede defeat. They know their horses and pull them out of the competition. At 9600 pounds there were two teams left.
The horses struggled to pull the loads. The first team pulled their load 11 feet. The second team barely made it to 7 feet. The farmer was offered a second pull to try and make up the difference, but decided to give his horses a break and pulled them out of the competition. As the announcer stated many times the farmers know their horses well and know what they can pull. This farmer and his team was happy to settle for a second place finish. The horses were brought to the judges to receive their medals and the horse pull was over.
It was a great end to an awesome year for the Uxbridge Fair. Next year the fair will be celebrating its 150th year. The 2014 Uxbridge Fair is sure to be a big event! Can’t wait to go back next year!
Sharon M is a travel blogger and writer at DreamTravelMagazine.com an online travel blog based in Thornhill, Ontario.