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Big Thunder Draft Horse Show

Coming January 14-16, 2022!

Be a part of the excitement these magnificent draft horses exhibit, as skilled drivers navigate their powerful teams in a series of judged maneuvers.

Weighing in at one ton each, Clydesdale, Percheron and Belgian horses decked out in patent leather and chrome harnesses, pull historically restored wagons, as they go head to head in the show ring vying for first place.

From the Single Cart Classes to the breathtaking Six and Eight Horse Hitches, the competition is steep!

Traveling from across the nation to perform at Big Thunder, many of these hitches hold National and World Champion status.

You can count on them showing at their best to accomplish a winning performance.

An experience you won’t forget!
Come cheer on your favorite Hitch.


Friday, January 14

4: 00 PM

  • Doors Open

4:30 PM - 5:15 PM

  • Public Barn Access

5:30 PM  Show

  • Flag Presentation
  • Men's Cart - Group B
  • Show Team - Group A
  • Ladies Cart - Group B
  • Break, Work Arena
  • Kids Stick horse Race
  • Six Horse Hitch
  • Entertainment
  • Unicorn Hitch - Group A
  •  People's Choice Award
  • Four Horse Hitch - Group B
  • Barns open to the Public for (1) Hour Post Show

Saturday, January 15

9:30 AM

  • Doors Open for Draft Horse University

10 AM - 11:30 AM 

  • Draft Horse University

11:30 AM

  • Doors Open

12 PM - 12:45 PM

  • Public Barn Access

1 PM Show

  • Flag Presentation
  • Men's Cart - Group A
  • Show Team - Group B
  • Ladies Cart - Group A
  • Break, Work Arena
  • Kids Stick Horse Race
  • Six Horse Hitch
  • Entertainment
  • Unicorn Hitch - Group B
  • People's Choice Award
  • Four Horse Hitch - Group A
  • Barns open to the Public for (1) Hour Post Show

Sunday, January 16

8 AM Farm Team

  • Feed Team Competition
  • Log Skid Preliminaries
  • Break - Work Arena

11:30 AM

  • Doors Open

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM

  • Public Barn Access

1 PM Show

  • Log Skid FInals (Farm Teams)
  • Break, Work Arena
  • Cart Classic Series
  • Youth Cart Series
  • Entertainment
  • Break, Work Arena
  • Kids Stick Horse Race
  • Ladies Team
  • Working Horse Team Class (Farm Teams)
  • People's Choice Award
  • Eight Horse Hitch



Tickets On Sale: Tuesday, November 23, 2021

  • Online 
  • Orthopaedic & Spine Center of the Rockies Box Office outside the Budweiser Events Center
    • Monday - Friday | 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Day-Of Tickets will be sold at the Mac Equipment, Inc. Indoor Arena. Performances will sell out. Pre-Purchasing tickets is encouraged.

Ticket Pricing

$17.00 Adults (13 years +)

$15.00 Seniors (65 years+)

$12.00 Kids (3-12 years)

Free Kids 2 years & under

Groups of 10 or more can save $3 per ticket! Call Katie at (970)-619-4122 for more information.


VIP Ticket Pricing

$25.00 Adults (13 years +)

$15.00 Kids (3-12 years)

Free Kids 2 years & under

Draft Horse University - Saturday

$12.00 per person | Must be purchased in addition to the performance ticket

Become a Big Thunder Draft Horse Show Sponsor


Interested in supporting the 2022 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.


Special Features

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 that 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.

    Visiting Times

  • Friday 4:30 PM -5:15 PM & Post Show

  • Saturday 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM & Post Show
  • Sunday 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM & Post Show

Draft Horse University

  • Join us in an informative and interactive session with Brian Coleman, seven times World Champion Teamster, and owner with his wife Colleen of Eaglesfield Percherons in Canada. Topics from shoeing to training, show preparation and more!

  • Draft Horse University is a $12 add-on to Saturday's ticket. A ticket for the afternoon performance must be purchased in conjunction with a Draft Horse University ticket.

Stick Horse Race

  • Back by popular demand, the stick horse rodeo returns for each performance! Children 2-10 years of age are eligible to compete through a pattern with the fastest time awarded a prize. Sign-ups take place in the Indoor Arena lobby on a first-come, first-served basis as entries are limited. Stick horses are provided for them to keep. Just bring the kids and their giddy-up and go!

Go Back in Time!

Working Draft Horse Classes - Sunday 8:00 am Free and Open to the Public

  • Draft horses were originally bred to be a working animal doing hard labor as pulling heavy loads, plowing fields and other tasks. Watch the raw power of these horses compete against each other in this Special Farm Team Event in classes as the Feed Team Race and Log Skid Course. You won’t want to miss these primarily local competitors take you to a place back in time!


  • If you've never seen a Chuck Wagon Race, now's your chance! Labeled as the "Half Mile of Hell", teams of four horses hooked to a modified version of traditional chuckwagons will race at speeds that will have you on the edge of your seat. Cheering crowds encourage these athletic horses to grab extra gears as the first one across the finish line wins.

Show Staff

Judge - Mark De Cook

Announcer - Lisa-Banga Graham

Arena Director - Tom Walsh

DJ and Audio - Mark Wieneke


Show Manager
Ge Wyscarver
970-619-4014 Office
303-591-5432 Cell

Big Thunder Committee Members

  • Brian Coleman
  • Kellie Gardner
  • Dennis Kuehl
  • Kit McCollum
  • Raedene Messenger
  • Jack Taylor


  • Ge Wyscarver
  • Laura Ames



  • Ames Percherons
  • Ace High Farms
  • Blue Ribbon Days
  • Double S Belgians
  • Express Ranches
  • Flintstone Gravel & Trucking
  • Highpoint Clydesdales
  • Jackson Fork Ranch
  • Johnson Belgians
  • Kiefer Farm
  • Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch
  • Solomon Clydesdales
  • Triple Star Farms
  • Unhitched Ranch
  • Yoder Hay Company
  • Young Living Essential Oils
  • Zubrods Percherons


Farm Team Entries

  • BEC Percherons
  • Blue Moon Carriages
  • Broken Spoke Wagon
  • Carriages of Colorado
  • Diamond SR Carriage
  • Ed Beard
  • Harley Troyer
  • Jeff Sparks
  • Langes Clydes
  • Matt Clover
  • Steve Beitz
  • Tracy Harl



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.


Visit the link below to access the vendor application


All entries must be fully completed and postmarked or submitted by the entry deadline. Includes: Completed Entry Form, Stalling Form, W-9/W8BEN (Canadian) and Payment.

  • Hitch Entries are open September 13, 2021 and close on October 13, 2021.
  • Farm Team / Individual Entries are open on October 12, 2021 and close on November 12, 2021.

Click Here For Payment Portal