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Draft horse show set to take place in Rigby this weekend


RIGBY — A local family event will return for its second year of entertainment this holiday weekend.

The Snake River Draft Horse Show is a three-day event that begins July 1. The show will run for about 2.5 hours each day at Wind River Arena, located at 70 N. 4600 E. in Rigby. The event first started in 2020 and after not taking place last year, chairman of the show Wade Thornley said organizers are looking forward to being back.

“The interaction with the animals and the public (is my favorite part),” Thornley told “People don’t (always) get to see the draft horses.”

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

A total of six hitches will be participating including four from Idaho, one from Colorado and one out of Canada. A hitch is a team consisting of the individual, his or her horse(s) and a cart or wagon. Thornley explained the event as being judged more on the athleticism of the horse and the driver and how he works with the animals as far as being able to drive them.

“The other thing with this … is the classic series (is) a cumulation of points throughout the United States and you accumulate these points and then you’re able to go back to Shipshewana, Indiana, and that’s where they have the overall championship of the draft horses,” Thornley added. “They are usually the best in the nation.”

A draft horse performing at a show
A draft horse during a show. | Courtesy Wade Thornley

Thornley said an important part of the event is educating the public about draft horses. On July 2 at 1 p.m., there will be a “draft horse one-on-one” where the public can learn more about the animals. Thornley said they also encourage the public to intermingle with them and ask questions after the show each day.

“They can talk to you about the breeds and what it is you do with (the horses),” he mentioned. “A lot of people don’t realize that’s how things use to be done is with the draft horses.”

The event starts at 6 p.m. on July 1 and 2. It will wrap up July 3 beginning at 1 p.m. It costs $5 per person (per day) to attend but it’s free for children ages 10 and under. Concessions and dry camping will be available.

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