Every year when the annual North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo takes place one of the most popular events for fairgoers is the Heavy Horse competitions. Over the three days of the event these gentle giants compete in conformation classes, single hitch to multiple hitch driving, log skidding, timed events, the heavy horse pull competition, and the annual Fall Fair Parade.
Unfortunately, this year’s Fall Fair and Rodeo event has been cancelled until 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions for large gatherings.
Every year the teamsters and their horses enjoy attending and competing at the fair, especially participating in the annual Saturday parade, so much so that some of them decided a few weeks ago that they would drive the parade route to mark it took place in 2020. Barriere teamster Mike Chappell, and Clearwater teamster Ted Schultz, hitched up their teams at the fairgrounds on June 28 and drove their horses along the entire North Thompson Fall Fair parade route through the downtown core, had a short rest stop in the Barriere IDA and AG Foods parking lot, and then finished up at the fairgrounds where they had started.
The trip did provided a few bittersweet moments as teamsters, friends and family reflected on the cancellation of the 71st parade event, it proved a good outing for the horses, and happy horses make for happy people.
“We did the whole parade route to recognize the annual Fall Fair Parade,” said teamster Mike Chappell, “We managed to bring a little bit of Fall Fair spirit to the community and we had a great day doing it.”