The Eastern Kentucky Draft Horse and Mule Association was finally able to hold it's annual Spring Field Day on Saturday May 9, 2015.
The event was held on the farm of Mike Downs in Olympia, Kentucky. It had originally been scheduled to be held in mid April, but the abundant rains and the resulting high water made
that impossible. Shannon Mannies from northern Indiana arrived on Wednesday evening with his team of Shires and he started plowing on Thursday morning. He was joined by his uncle
Irvil Rogers with his team of Suffolk Punch horses and by our host Mike Downs and his American Belgians. These three teamsters plowed in the morning and late afternoon on both Thursday
and on Friday despite the unseasonably high temperatures. Since I had arrived mid-day Thursday, I was able to capture some photos of them on both days. On Thursday evening, Mike hooked
a team to his forecart and took me for a ride up into the hills on his farm to see where he had been doing some logging.
It still promised to be very warm on Saturday, but that didn't stop anyone from showing up. By 10AM the first plow was in the ground and the
lying and teasing activities had begun.
Everyone went at it pretty hard with different people taking the lines whenever a team was available. The ground was pretty hard, but the teams got plenty of time to rest as no one was rushing.
I think that the plowing is just an excuse to get together and socialize with one another. Around noon, everyone retired up to one of Mike's barns where his wife Joyce with help from her sister
had set up a nice ham and chicken luncheon for everyone to enjoy. There was even some of her renowned home made fudge for desert. Following lunch, Charles Orme and his sons assembled Charles'
famous 7 horse Belgian hitch and hooked it to his 2 bottom Pioneer plow. Charles even had his current stud horse working as part of the team. Although there was still more ground that could be plowed,
the heat and humidity finally won out and by about 3:30 PM, everyone was ready to call it a day. As always with this group, I'm sure that everyone who was there really enjoyed themselves.
Saturday evening, Mike took me up to see the next generation of Belgins that he is raising. He had a 1 month old filly foal that he wanted me to photograph. I've included a few photos of her at the end of the plowing photos.
Click the links below to see photos from this event!
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