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County fair#039;s horse pull shows equestrian muscle

By dragging nearly 5,000 pounds in the pull competition, the animals at the Lawrence County Fair gave new meaning to the term "horsepower."

Dave Wilson of Willow Wood and his horses Spook and Bob won first place in the heavy-weight division of the Lawrence County Horse Pull Tuesday by pulling 4,850 pounds the full distance of 27 feet.

"It's a great competition. This is just a great bunch of guys to play with," he said of winning the $250 prize money. "I consider this playing. If I was in it for the money, I would go get on a dozer and get to work. I just do it out of a

love for working with horses."

Dan Fulks of Chesapeake was the only entrant in the light-weight category. He won by pulling the 500-pound sled about three and a half feet.

It took four rounds to crown the winner of the heavy weight competition that requires teams of two horses to pull a cinder block loaded sled. All the contestants had full 27-foot pulls for the 1,750 pounds in the first round, 3,000 pounds in the second and 4,250 pounds for the third round.

The fourth round decided the contest with Wilson's first team being the only ones to make a full pull.

George Fuller of Pedro, with horses Duke and Jack, won second place.

Steve Payne of Willow Wood won third place with his horses Pete and Jack.

John Black of Willow Wood and his horses Bob and John finished fourth. Wilson's other team of Possum and King finished fifth.

Wilson said he has entered the pull for nearly 20 years and always enjoys it, win or lose.

"Somebody has got to come in first and someone has got to finish last," he said. "I guess I have got them both covered this year."

Although he has won in the past, Wilson said he just does it because he has always been raised around work horses. Wilson said he only owns the four horses that he entered and that the pair that won are an unlikely duo.

Spook is just 4-years-old, has only been working for about two weeks and really earns his name because "he gets spooked by everything."

Bob is about 20-years-old but still knows how to work, Wilson said.

"We have brought him out of retirement a few times," he said. "Old Bob has still got it."

After serving on the fair board for about 15 years, Wilson said he knows how important the annual event is to the area.

"It is where we go to meet our neighbors every summer and see who has new grandkids and stuff," he said. "The fair is a great thing for the community and the whole county."