New night of Draft Horse Classic will soften bleachers |

New night of Draft Horse Classic will soften bleachers

It’s nice to see the Nevada County Fairgrounds struggling with success, as it were.

The Draft Horse Classic has grown so popular that the fair board recently decided to add a fourth night to the event, held every fall.

What’s helpful about this is that the event helps pull in folks from out of town when summer tourism is starting to wane with the onset of the school year.

The show currently runs four to five hours long, which, to be honest, is likely to test the enthusiasm of spectators for almost any event. The fair board hopes a fourth night will cut the length of the shows to closer to three or three and a half hours, which seems more audience-friendly.

Again, part of the problem is the popularity of the event. More exhibitors appear to be flocking to the horse show.

Rather than just focusing on quantity of nights to solve a crowding problem, the fair board and its management also are moving to boost the quality of the show. Ticket prices will increase but we don’t feel the hikes, which include bumping bleachers from $10 to $12 on Friday through Sunday, should be too burdensome. And the money will help the fair hike prize money to draw in top exhibitors for the show.

It’s a special event for a historically-minded community like ours. The event highlights the power of these large animals, which did the heavy lifting for humans before being replaced by combustion engines.

The animals are still impressive today and the event uses them to good effect. Last year the event featured Clydesdales, Percherons, Belgians, Suffolks and Shires, involved in log-skidding contests, pulling competitions, and, at one point, an eight-up competition with teams of eight pulling a hitch. The Budweiser Clydesdales also put in an appearance. The event was packed with three days of standing-room-only crowds and was even featured on TV’s The Outdoor Channel.

The fair board’s recent action is a reasonable move for a show that continues to grow in popularity and fits in well with the community’s character.

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