ABRAM-VILLAGE – The P.E.I. Horse Pullers Association is wrapping up the summer season with an event this weekend in Abram-Village. This Saturday, Sept. 7, horse pull will also be a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.
© Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer
Gerald Taylor urges on his team of Jake and Ted to first-place overall in the heavy class of the Prince County Exhibition’s horse pull competition in Alberton recently.
The competition gets underway at 3:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Acadian Agricultural Exhibition.
Melvin Gallant, a member of the Horse Pullers Association, said, “This year there were 14 competitors on the Island. Prior years there were as many as 22, but due to work commitments, the number has diminished, especially since some young horsemen have gone to Alberta to work.”
Horse pulling competitions on P.E.I. this summer have also attracted competitors from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The summer season saw horse pull events staged in Tignish, O’Leary, Crapaud, Alberton, Dundas, Abram-Village and on Sunday, Sept. 15, there will be another in Souris. Most of the events were held in conjunction with community festivals.
“This year we have, on the Island, probably the oldest to the youngest competitors in the Maritimes,” noted Gallant.
Velton Thibideau of Profits Corner is 80 years old, while Taylor Pollock, 14, of Mount Herbert, is one of the first women teamsters in the P.E.I. association and among the first teens to compete.
Gallant noted that involvement in competitive horse pulling takes time, commitment and money.
“Every teamster along with their helper need to have insurance to compete in the sport. With all the preparation, exercising the horses, keeping the horses in excellent health, shoeing the horses and the expenses of travel, you have to be dedicated to the sport,” said Gallant. “There is always prize money but normally not enough to cover the fuel expenses.”
This horse pull for cancer was organized last year by P.E.I. Horse Pullers Association secretary, Rebecca Profit of Profit’s Corner, and Jeff Pollock, a member from Mount Herbert. After this weekend, the association is planning to continue this fundraising horse pull as an annual event.
Saturday’s pulling competition and fundraiser will also be an end-of-the-year social event and fun day for the competitors, so Gallant and other organizers are hoping for a good turnout of teamsters and spectators.