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Brand new draft horse show to take place next month

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The Thornley family at the Young Living Fall Festival in Mona, Utah. | Courtesy Wade Thornley Facebook page

RIGBY — While many Fourth of July festivities are canceled due to COVID-19, one free family event will kick-off for the first time ever over the holiday weekend.

The Snake River Draft Horse Show is a three-day event that begins July 3. The show will run for about three hours each day at Wind River Arena, located at 70 N. 4600 E. in Rigby.

“Mainly the reason why we wanted to do it was because everything else had been canceled, all the shows out east and everything,” Wade Thornley, one of the organizers of the event, told EastIdahoNews.com. “We were like, ‘We need to do something to at least keep our horses going.’ So we thought why not do it here?”

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A draft horse is a large horse that’s bred to pull heavy loads. At the event, there will be a classic series point show, classic cart series and open classes for mules and drafts.

Thornley said at least six hitches will be part of the event — one from Oregon, Wyoming, Utah and several locals. A hitch is a team consisting of the individual, his or her horse(s) and a cart or wagon.

“It’s honestly some of the best hitches in the nation,” he said.

Thornley said with COVID-19 and because the arena is an open space, he believes they will able to handle the crowd while maintaining social distancing.

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His goal with the draft horse show is to educate the public — especially those who haven’t ever been to a draft show — about the horses and answer any questions from the public.

“It’s pretty interesting from a newcomer’s standpoint to be able to see the horses and how they work together. It’s neat to see the overall power that they have,” Thornley said. “If people want to come out and have a good time and be able to see the horses, I’d be more than happy to let people pet them.”

The event begins at 6 p.m. on July 3, at noon on July 4 and at 11 a.m. on July 5.

Concessions and dry camping will be available. For more information, contact Thornley at (208) 589-3974

The Snake River Draft Horse Show flyer. | Courtesy Wade Thornley Facebook page
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