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New York State Draft Horse Club

The New York State Draft Horse Club was originally founded in the mid 1930ís, combining the efforts of the many very active county draft horse clubs that exited at the time to work for the benefit of the draft horse industry in New York State. The Club ceased to function during World War II. After the war, there was a definite decline in interest in draft horses and only a few breeders in the State continued to meet. There was renewed interest in draft horses again in mid 1950ís and the New York State Draft Horse Club was incorporated in 1956. There has been a steady increase in interest in draft horses over the years and today our club has over 400 members, many of whom do not even own horses. Some of our members today are children and grandchildren of the original members of the Club. The New York State Draft Horse Club sponsors several projects each year. Chronologically, the first is a Draft Horse Seminar in conjunction with Cornell University. It is held on the Cornell Campus in Ithaca, New York, in late March or early April. Topics include various aspects of horse health and management presented in lecture form by the Cornell faculty and a number of demonstrations and hands-on opportunities presented by New York State Draft Horses Club members. These include fitting and showing, harnessing, shoeing, and a display of major draft breeds. Since 1980 a Plowing Contest has been held in 3rd Sunday in May at a suitable location, usually Central New York State. Teams from New York as well as neighboring states compete for trophies and the public enjoys a grand display of how it used to be. In 1979, the Club sponsored a fall sale of horses and equipment. The purpose of the sale is to promote New York State horses. The sale is held in Cortland, New York, the first week of October, and has grown to a two-day event with a banquet after the equipment sale the first day. The club charges a small commission on all sales. Meetings are held monthly at various locations around Central New York area. Several social events are also held during the year including a winter picnic and dance, a family picnic in July and the Annual Meeting and dinner-dance in November. The Club works with state and county fair officials to provide good shows for the public and good showcases for the draft horse industry in New York State. A queen is selected to represent the New York State Draft Horses Club at various fairs by presenting the ribbons and trophies.

Club Activities