Belgian horses show their stuff at fair competition

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Two Belgian horses with a combined weight of 4,600 pounds proved they can pull their weight - and then some.

The horses, owned by Steve Payne of Willow Wood, trotted away with the heavyweight award in the horse pull at the Lawrence County Fair Tuesday. The horses, named Dick and Tom, pulled a 1,200 pound sled loaded with 5,600 pounds of cement blocks, for a total weight of 6,800 pounds.

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In the lightweight division, a team of Halflingers owned by Chad Johnson and Jordan Wilson, pulling a total of 4,950 pounds, earned the top spot.

Five teams competed in each of the two weight categories, with the sled being filled with more and more blocks as the competition progressed.

"They practice for weeks and weeks after it gets warm," Fair Board member Floyd Payne said as he watched his son, Steve,

lead his winning team across the field.

Payne said these beasts of burden are bred for the job of pulling heavy loads, but within their massive bodies beats the heart of a lamb.

"They're like a good rabbit dog," Payne said. "They know what to do. They get 'hepped' up a little while they're pulling, but really they're very gentle. Gentle giants."