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Big Thunder Draft Horse Show

January 12-14, 2024

Tickets go on sale November 20, 2023

Hitch and Individual Team and Cart Entries are now open!


Six-Horse Hitch and Individual Team, and Cart Exhibitor entries are open September 22nd at 12:00 P.M. and close at 11:59 P.M. November 17th, 2023.

2024 brings some new changes for Big Thunder!

Please read the Premium Book in full before entering.

Big Thunder Draft Horse Show Premium Book 

Returning 2022 Six-Horse Hitches: After filling out your entry form, remember the amount due and submit your payment. Your entry is not complete unless payment is received.

Click Here For Exhibit Entry Form

Click Here For Payment Portal

For all other entries fill out your Entry Form and payment will be required after acceptance.

Vendor Application Coming Soon!

Any questions contact:

Ge Wyscarver

Big Thunder Draft Horse Show Manager


(303) 591-5432 (cell)

Nearby Hotels 



Big Thunder Committee Members

  •  Dennis Kuehl
  • Jack Taylor
  • Kit McCollum
  • Raedene Messenger
  • Brian Coleman
  • Ge Wyscarver - The Ranch
  • Kellie Gardner

Show Staff

Judge - Randy Riemer, Jordan Minnesota

Announcer - Lisa-Banga Graham

Arena Director - Tom Walsh

DJ and Audio - Mark Wieneke


Show Manager
Ge Wyscarver
303-591-5432 Cell

Schedule of Events

*Schedule of Events Subject to Change

Friday, January 12

5:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. - Public Barn Access

5:30 P.M - Pre-Show (Public is welcome)

  • Men’s Cart - Group B
  • Show Team - Group A
  • Break, Work Arena

6:30 P.M.- Main Performance

  • Flag Presentation / National Anthem
  • Ladies Cart - Group B
  • Kids Stick Horse Race
  • Six Horse Hitch
  • Intermission
  • Four Horse Hitch - Group B
  • People’s Choice Award
  • Unicorn Hitch - Group A
  • Barns are open to the public for (1) hour post-show

Saturday, January 13

12:30 P.M. - 1:30 P.M. - Public Barn Access

1:00 P.M. - Pre-Show (Public is welcome)

  • Men’s Cart - Group A
  • Show Team - Group B
  • Break, Work Arena

2:00 P.M.-  Main Performance

  • Flag Presentation / National Anthem
  • Ladies Cart - Group A
  • Kids Stick Horse Race
  • Six Horse Hitch
  • Intermission
  • Four Horse Hitch - Group A
  • People’s Choice Award
  • Unicorn Hitch - Group B
  • Barns are open to the public for (1) one-hour post-show

Sunday, January 14

11:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. - Public Barn Access

1:00 P.M. - Main Performance

  • Flag Presentation / National Anthem
  • Classic Cart Series
  • Youth Cart Series
  • Ladies Team
  • Intermission
  • Eight Horse Hitch
  • Kids Stick Race
  • People’s Choice Award
  • Best Man Driver Award
  • Best Shod Award
  • Ladies Four Drive off for Cancer Awareness
  • Best Lady Driver Award
  • Overall High Point Award
  • Barns are open to the public for (1) one hour post show


Become a Big Thunder Draft Horse Show Sponsor


Interested in supporting the 2024 Big Thunder Draft Horse Show as a partner or sponsoring a hitch? Please contact Dana Drake by email or phone at 970-619-4102 for various partnership opportunities.


Up Close and Personal - Free and Open to the Public

We invite you to visit the barns before and after the show. Get ‘Up close and personal’ with these spectacular horses and the people who train, show, and care for them. There is nothing like the feeling of being right there in the midst of the excitement as Hitches are readied for their performances.

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Kid's Stick Horse Race

The stick horse race returns for each performance! A crowd favorite, children 3-10 years of age are eligible to compete through a pattern with the fastest time awarded a prize. Children will be grouped by age. Sign-ups take place in the indoor arena main entrance on a first-come, first-served basis as entries are limited. Stick horses are provided, or bring your own. Giddy-Up and Go!

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Single Cart

The single-horse cart was used primarily to travel a stallion from one ranch to another for the purpose of servicing mares. Hence, the name stud cart. In judging the cart class, the judge takes into consideration both the confirmation of the horse as well as its manner of going. A cart horse should have a good snappy trot and carry it"s head up, looking alert. When the judge calls for a walk, the horse should walk and stand quietly when at a stop. A ladies cart horse should be easy to handle so she may practice proper buggy etiquette.

Unicorn Hitch

When a team couldn't quite pull a load or get stuck in the mud, an extra horse was added to help the team out, thus adding an extra bit of horsepower. This is called a unicorn. The advantage of having one horse in the lead is all the power is being used to pull the wagon ahead, there being no sideward pull.

The Unicorn Hitch is judged on the confirmation of the horses, manner of going and a small percentage of equipment. This class takes a skilled driver as the lead horse must stay ahead of the team. On the other hand, he must not have to pull the whole load either. The team must be well-matched in size and manner of going, and the lead horse, in particular, should be stylish and well-mannered.

Two-Four-Six-Eight Horse Hitch

Playing a very important part in the early days were two, four, six, and eight horse hitches as they were being used for work about the cities, especially on brewery wagons. They were used for hauling chores with day wagons. Another team was added as more horsepower was required.

A team hitched directly to the wagon is called the “wheel or pole team”. This hitch is usually the largest since they do most of the pulling, and the backing of the wagon. The middle team is called the swing team. The team in front is called the lead team. When hitching an eight-horse hitch, the team behind the lead team is called the point team.

The lead team usually consists of the smaller and faster horses as they must travel a greater distance when the hitch is making a turn.

In judging the combined hitches, the manner of going is of prime importance. The harness and wagon and confirmation of the horses are taken into consideration but they are not as important as how well the horses work together. All of the horses should be pulling equally so that all of the traces are tight thus the skill of the driver is very important.