Draft Horse Show at The Big E

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DraftHorseShow call
This is your gate call. 

Come along with me to the first day of the 2015 Draft Horse Show at The Big E, the state fair for all the New England states. The fair is held for three weeks in early autumn in the Eastern States Exposition Center in West Springfield, MA.

I rode in with my friend author Kathryn Orzech, who was selling and signing her suspense novels at the Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association booth in the Connecticut Building. She had a four hour shift, so I took off to the Coliseum for the first afternoon session of the Draft Horse Show.

Percherons pulling carts
Two Percherons pulling carts head for the show ring.

For photographers, the Coliseum at the Big E presents lighting challenges. On sunny days, skylights send shafts of light (and “hot spots”) into the arena, but not on Thursday when it was overcast and made the light a bit muddy. I won’t use a flash to avoid startling the horses and exhibitors, let alone interfere with the pro photographer working in center ring.

Clydedale horse cart
Feathers fly when The Clydes enter

When the two-horse hitches entered, thunder echoed in the tunnel to the arena.

Open all breeds cart class
A rare all-breeds Open Cart class.




















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