One of the more exciting draws of the Canadian Finals Rodeo and Farmfair s roster of competitions happens before man or animal ever exert themselves in the arena. It s the Northlands Draft Horse Auction, and it s where a friendly spirit of competition and community support ignite some good old-fashioned western rivalry.
It s very exciting, very western, with the auctioneer hollering at top of his lungs, guys making bids, screaming, horses getting riled up & every-one s gets excited, says Kevin Danyluk, committee member of the Draft Horse Pull and Auction.
The Draft Horse Pull itself is a brawny test of strength, sheer determination and years of disciplined athleticism & and the auction to compete for bragging rights as sponsor of the performing teams is a surprisingly adrenaline-filled precursor to the main event, says Kevin. Ten per cent of the proceeds from this year s sponsorship auction will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Northern Alberta, adding another layer of motivation for upping the ante. Sixty per cent of the Draft Horse Pull sponsorship auction dollars go to the teams being bid on, and the remaining 30 per cent is put into a pool toward prize dollars for the winners. The highest bidder for the auction is rewarded with a ride in a hitch wagon in the competition arena before the pull.
Interested sponsors register on November 4 before the auction, which happens on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m., at Northlands Edmonton EXPO Centre in Hall B. The Draft Horse Pull itself happens the next day, Sunday, Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. in Hall D.
We usually kick off the auction with the wild card, explains Kevin. The winner of the opening wild card auction gets to pick from the field of competitors what team they want to sponsor. After that, each remaining team s sponsorship is auctioned off, one at a time.
In the day leading up to the auction, sponsors are invited to attend Farmfair to meet the teams, preview the horses in the stalling area and chat with the teamsters, check where the pullers have placed at different competitions. Once the bidding is complete, the teams are outfitted with signage, and the Draft Horse Pull announcer features the names of the winning sponsors throughout the competition.
For more information on the Draft Horse Auction, or the Draft Horse Pull, visit www.farmfair.ca, select Programs and Schedule, Equine Events and the Northlands Draft Horse Pull. For inquiries, call (780) 471-7300. .