Wellington, Fla. – Feb. 14, 2019 – The Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show celebrated its inaugural year with great success in the equestrian town of Wellington, Florida. Held from February 8-10 and lovingly sponsored by Victoria McCullough, the horse show showcased the strength, agility, and sheer power of the gentle giant draft breeds. Welcoming Clydesdales, Percherons, and Belgians, spectators cheered for their favorite teams and breeds while experiencing the excitement up close and personal. Hosted at Crab Orchard Equestrian Estate, graciously donated by Frank and Monica McCourt, the picturesque backdrop set the tone for a fun-filled weekend.
As part of the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series (NASHHCS), the Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show gave teams the chance to gain points towards a spot at the finals in the fall. The weekend offered classes for each individual breed, as well as classes in which breeds competed head-to-head. Throughout the weekend, prize money totaled $125,000 with teams planning strategically for the shot at winning the lion’s share of the purse. Percherons were the winningest breed of the weekend, earning more blues than any other breed, making for an exciting performance for spectators to witness.
With classes ranging from the Classic Eight-Horse Hitch to the Unicorn class, the teamwork and versatility of gentle giants were on display as they pulled both four-wheel wagons and two-wheel carts in teams of two, four, six, and eight. Talented female drivers were showcased with two classes dedicated to women drivers and their hitches. The Express Ranches team of Percherons had a successful weekend, winning the Ladies Cart class as well as the Classic Six-Horse Hitch and Eight-Horse Hitch classes. Zubrod Percherons were another strong force, earning the blue in the Percheron Six-Horse Hitch, the Four-Horse Hitch and the Unicorn Hitch classes.
The dedication of each team was clearly on display through the beautifully adorned manes and tails of their horses, hitched with polished tack to each team’s unique wagon. The feeling of family and community was apparent, bringing the crowd together to celebrate the passion and love for the gentle giants
“I am overjoyed at the response from the weekend and that everyone felt it was wholesome, relaxing and family orientated,” McCullough said. “It was so exciting for everyone to get to experience something different in Wellington and it makes me happy that everyone involved enjoyed it.”
Adding to the excitement, the weekend was held to support The EQUUS Foundation and the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches, two charities close to McCullough’s heart. The Chesapeake International Draft Horse Show would not have been possible without the generous support of Express Ranches, Hunting Creek Farm, Anderson Farms, and Burger Barn.
McCullough added, “Both the EQUUS Foundation and the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches are incredibly important to me and I am so proud to have had them involved with the weekend. I am also so thankful for the generous support of our sponsors. It was a beautiful collaboration from the community, and everyone wanted to help which is greatly appreciated.”
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