It was a packed grandstand audience that witnessed the Mercer County Horse Pull Thursday evening. Ed Smock of Clarence, Missouri was declared the winner after his Belgians "Flash" and "Doc" pulled 10,950 pounds of concrete blocks the required distance.
"My Belgians are half-brothers," said Smock. "They weigh 4,400 pounds. This team has been pulling two years. We'll pull 20-25 times over the summer." Smock said he has been competing at horse pulls for more than 40 years now. He owns seven Belgians.
"They are very gentle," said Smock about his horses. The Belgian breed is known as gentle giants. They are exceptionally calm.
Smock said he had two pulls to attend the next day and another on Sunday. "It's unusual to have two pulls in one day."
Smock said he has pulled here in Mercer County and likes to do so citing the track and the number of fans that turn out.
The heaviest load his Belgians have pulled is 16,500 pounds.
"We don't pull daily be we try to work them daily," said Smock. "Sometimes we'l haul wood or hay with them.
Smock's son Ed Allen Smock drove the winning team.
The pullers finished in the following order: Ed Allan Smock, 10,950; Lyndell Galloway, 10,200; Pam Gray, 9,350; Ray Smith, 9,350; Ryan Smith, 9,400; Doug Ray, 9,350; David White, 9,700; Ed Allan Smock, 9,600 and Ryan Smith, 8,400.
The horses are judged by how much weight they pull over their own weight so a smaller pair of horses can still compete against a larger pair.