PRINCETON — Horse events have always been a large part of the Bureau County Fair, since its inception in 1855. In those days, the racetrack infield was lined with horses and buggies. The harness races were a huge part of the fair with downtown businesses closing on Thursday afternoon, so everyone could attend the races. By 1909, 34 of the newfangled automobiles had begun to make an appearance at the fairgrounds. Traditions changed and by 1921, automobile racing soon became the drawing card.
Horse events are a still a big part of the 162nd fair. On Wednesday night, the draft horse pull will be the grandstand entertainment at 6 p.m. Come out and watch the huge Belgian draft horses pull the sled down the track.
On Saturday, the horse speed show starts at 9 a.m. in McCutchan Arena. Barrel racing and pole bending classes for all ages of riders will be held. There is bleacher seating, or you can bring your lawn chair.
On Sunday morning, the open horse show starts at 9 a.m. It includes halter classes and riding classes for kids and adults. At 10 a.m. Sunday, the halter classes for the draft horse show begin.
Following the lunch break at approximately 1 p.m., be sure to get over to McCutchan Arena to see the exciting six-horse hitch class. You can feel the ground shake as the huge horses trot past you pulling the wooden wagons. Following that class will be the four-horse hitch class, teams to wagons and single horse to cart classes along with a ride a draft class.