April 27, 28, 29 - Minnesota State Fairgrounds
1265 Snelling Ave North, St. Paul, MN

Sponsored by the Minnesota Horse Council
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2018 MN Horse Expo Speakers/Demos

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Schedule is subject to change

'The Gentle Giants'

The Gentle Giants are back for the 2018 Minnesota Horse Expo. With the help of the Northern Minnesota Draft Horse Association, the Minnesota Horse Breeders Association and the North Star Draft Horse Association members, the 2018 Minnesota Horse Expo will be displaying Percherons, Shires and Belgian draft horses as part of Friday and Saturday AgStar Arena demonstrations. These beautiful horses weighing approximately 2000 lbs each and standing 16 to 18 hands high will be pulling many pieces of equipment.  Some of the equipment is antique while others are recently manufactured to meet today’s requirements on the farm. An interesting fact is that Minnesota has a great background in manufacturing horse drawn equipment. One piece will be a Russel Fresno scraper made by the Russel Manufacturing Company right here in Minneapolis. Another will be a plow made in Long Prairie, MN.

The men and women from the organizations will demonstrate how logging was done in the late 1890’s as well as some of the modern horse drawn equipment available to them today. In addition they will demonstrate Minnesota made equipment as well as other unique rarely seen farm equipment used by our ancestors on their farms.  

The Percherons Matt and Major are pulling what is called a Reversable Disc plow. Used for pulling or turning over the soil, these disc plows were used in some of the lighter soils. This disc plow has a very unique way of turning around in the field. See it demonstrated at Expo.


The snow roller being pulled by Belgians Gus and Frank. This piece was used to pack the snow on the roads so the sleds and wheeled behicles had a harder surface to travel on. It also allowed those roads or trails to last a little longer during the spring.



Harlan Gekeler plowing with a two wheel Oliver sulky plow and his team of Belgians.


A McKinnon rope hitch used with Shire and Percheron 12-horse hitch. 
Look for a similar hitch at the Friday and Saturday Horse Expo demos.



The mules Ruth and Festus, pulling a tool called a Go-Devil. With the log loaded on the Go-Devil it kept the log off the ground and with the runners on the equipment making pulling the log easier for the mules, horses or oxen.


These Belgians are pulling what is known as a Forwarder. This is a modern piece of equipment and is used to take logs out of the woods in various lengths and could be pulled with 2 or 3 horses. It has a motor on it that runs a hydraulic boom to lift the logs into the Forwarder.


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