Frozen Tundra Team Pull Event - Photo Gallery
"When a horseís butt is taller than a grown manís head, you know thatís a BIG horse!"
New event for this yearís Green River Valley Winter Carnival
by Dawn Ballou
March 6, 2005
The Frozen Tundra Team Pull was a new event for the Green River Valley Winter Carnival in Pinedale. According to Winter Carnival organizer Rob Shaul, "The team pull was a favorite event during the old Winter Carnival in Pinedale during the 1980s. Weíve wanted to bring it back for some time."
Sixteen teams competed in this yearís event. Most of the teams were from the Rocky Mountain Horse Pullers Association with teams from from Idaho, Nebraska, Utah and Wyoming. Several local ranchers brought their teams to compete, including Lenny and Kevin Campbell from Bondurant and Bryon Lozier of Daniel.
Historically, heavy work around ranches was done through the brute pulling power of these muscular horses. Communities created competitions as part of their local festivals to see whose team could pull the most weight. Horse pulling matches often became a main attraction during festivals in ranching communities. Some teams of horses can pull as much as 5 tons, 10,000 pounds. The winning team in this yearís Winter Carnival pulled 8,000 pounds.
Many people today do not get a chance to see these magnificent working horses and they drew a crowd of spectators just to watch as they were unloaded out of their horse trailers before the pulling event at the Winter Carnival.
These huge horses are in very good condition and are incredibly well trained. One spectator commented, "When a horseís butt is taller than a grown manís head, you know thatís a BIG horse!" Today, modern mechanized technology has replaced the use of these animals on most working ranches.
In this horse pulling match, teams of horses took turns being brought round to hook onto a sled which contained 50 pound blocks of salt (contributed by Todd Stevie). The sled is on runners and is pulled back and forth over a measured distance on a prepared arena of sand. After all the teams have had their turns pulling a given weight, more blocks of salt are added to the sled to up the weight load. Over time, teams that arenít able to pull the sled the measured distance are eliminated until, ultimately, one team is declared the winner in each class.
Teams range in weight from 2800 pounds to 5600 pounds and are divided into three weight divisions:
Light Weight: Up to 3000 pounds.
Middle Weight: From 3001 pounds to 3400 pounds.
Heavy Weight: 3401 pounds and up.
Locals Lenny and Kevin Campbell took 3rd and 4th place in the Middle Weight Division and Bryon Lozier took 6th place in that division.
Scroll down for more photos from the event. If you have a high-speed internet access and Windows Media Player, click on the link below to view a video of one of the teams pulling on Saturday.
Photos by Clint Gilchrist and Dawn Ballou