The Barn at Dunvilla hosted the 2nd Annual Sleigh and Cutter Festival from 9-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13 The event was sponsored by the Red River Harness and Saddle Club, the Midwest Harness Club and Valley Equestrian News.
Harv Hegvick, auctioneer, was master of ceremonies during the festival calling the classes and announcing the owners, the breeds and descriptions of the units driving in the crisp, white, glittery snow.
Though the day was cold, the sun was bright as were the spirits of those who came out to enjoy the day. There were more spectators than horse/drivers even if many of them observed from the inside of their cars!
A couple small problems occurred with a sleigh or two causing one to discontinue the class participation and another to cut short a class, but all of the classes came off without a hitch, (pun intended), and the horses, mules, ponies and drivers looked beautiful in their regalia.
Catherine Davis, student in equine science and intern at Red Horse Ranch near Fergus Falls, Minn., was the ring steward working with judges Dick Schauer, owner of Working Horse
near Park Rapids, Minn., and Bill Isaacson, a veterinarian in the Park Rapids, Minn.
Participants include co-chair and organizer, Christy Bjorgan, and husband Elroy, Mitch Hockett, James Thompson, Karen and Mark Radtke, Polly Thorsness, Jeff Claypool, Ken Pawluk, Lori Steedsman and her son David, Becca Babolian and her son, Danny, Brian Laymon, Christian Moen, Jeff Claypool and Kim Utke. Bobbie Kleffman, radio personality and horsewoman from Grand Rapids, Minn. came the farthest for this event bringing along her Morgan mare, Nibs.
Teamsters are usually accompanied by friends or spouses who aid in any number of tasks that are needed to put the horses and rigs together safely. We wish to thank those support people who helped everyone have a good time and a successful and safe event.
The first place winners are:
Horse Team: Brian Laymon
Mule Team: Polly Thorsness
Single Horse: Bobbie Kleffman
Single Pony: Kim Utke
Single Mule: Ken Pawluk
Youth Reinmanship: David Steedsman
Novice Horse: David Steedsman
Most Authentic Dress: Lori Steedsman
Unit Traveling Farthest: Bobbie Kleffman and Nibs
All first place winners received a plaque as well as a 50-pound bag of feed from our sponsors, Farmer’s Feed Mill in Fergus Falls, Minn. and J&S Farmer’s Mill in Barnesville, Minn. Other sponsors included: Heart of Lake Meats and Park Region Coop in Pelican Rapids, Minn., Stockman’s Supply in West Fargo, N.D., and Master Bread from Fergus Falls.
While the Sleigh & Cutter Festival occupied the activities outside, inside the Barn at Dunvilla, 50 artisan booths displayed their various arts and crafts. Concessions were also available with workers from the harness club that helped sponsor the event, the Red River Harness and Saddle Club and the Midwest Horse Club.
The sponsors wish to thank all their members, teamsters, volunteers, judges, and horses who made this event possible.
More photos and captions below: