Collins to host plowing festival on Sunday

COLLINS – The most infamous draft horses are the Budweiser Clydesdales. While those horses will not be making an appearance at the annual Collins Horse Plowing Festival, other draft horses will.

The annual event, in its 32nd year, is hosted by the Collins Draft Horse, Ox and Pony Club. The event celebrates draft horses, which is another name for a work horse. Club President Gene Degman said the most well-known draft horse breed is a clydesdale.

“They’re one of the more minor breeds in the country. There are more breeds,” Degman said.

The event will he held on Sunday on Wheater Road and Route 62 in the town of Collins.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will feature working draft animals, a baked goods sale, an auction, crafts, a petting zoo, wagon rides, pony rides, demonstrations and live music. There will be a chicken barbecue catered by Wendel’s and the Chuck Wagon snack bar. Chicken barbecue tickets will be available to purchase the day of the festival.

The event was started 32 years ago when town residents traveled to Caledonia and saw a similar event. Lee Grimm, Bill Grimm, Dick Clark and Lyle Rogers had the idea for the event, and eventually, later the club was conceptualized. According to Degman, Lee Grimm was the man who had the idea for having a plowing festival in Collins.

Other festivities during the one-day event will include a stick horse race, which will take place around noon. A drawing for a handmade quilt will take place at 4 o’clock. All proceeds from the auctions go back to the children of the town.

“The money we raise from the auction we use enroll the kids at different classes at Erie County Fair. A lot of the fairs don’t have the draft horse shows anymore; it’s kind of limited from what it used to be,” Degman said.

Residents who wish to bring horses to the event may do so on Sunday; no registration is required. Admission and parking are both free. Parking is available on the field and should be accessed from Wheater Road. While there will not be any official informational exhibits, many owners will be thrilled to talk about their horses or equipment, Degman said. Degman added the event is perfect for families to enjoy.

“It’s kind of good, wholesome family fun. It teaches, especially the young people, a little bit about the history of the way things were done about 100 years ago, back in the olden days,” said Degman. “A lot of people farmed and we’re trying to get that historical part of farming alive.”

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