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Big Thunder Draft Horse Show

Discover the Majesty of the

Big Thunder Draft Horse Show!

Creating Timeless Memories for Every Generation. 

Get your tickets now and be part of the thrilling world of top-tier Draft Horse competition.

Schedule of Events

Friday, January 12th

5:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. 

  • Up Close and Personal – Interactive Barn Visit

5:30 P.M.     

  • Pre-Show (Public is Welcome)
  • Men’s Cart
  • Show Team

6:30 P.M.                               

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


Saturday, January 13th

12:30 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.

  • Up Close and Personal – Interactive Barn Visit

1:00 P.M. 

  • Pre-Show (Public is Welcome) 
  • Men’s Cart
  • Show Team

2:00 P.M.                               

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


Sunday, January 14th


11:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.

  • Up Close and Personal – Interactive Barn Visit            

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
  • Drive4theCure - Ladies Four Horse Drive Off
  • Best Lady Driver Award
  • Overall High Point Award
  • Barns are open to the public for (1) hour post-show


Entrance & Parking

Utilize the NORTH Entrance - Andalusian Drive - for Easy Arrival and Free Parking

There is ADA Parking with a Shuttle available.

Map (click here) 


About the Show

The Competition: Experience the adrenaline-pumping excitement as Clydesdale, Percheron, and Belgian horses, each weighing a ton and adorned in patent leather and chrome harnesses, pull historically restored wagons, and navigate a series of exhilarating maneuvers. Witness their skill in events like the Single Cart Classes and the breathtaking Six and Eight-Horse Hitches, where these majestic creatures showcase their prowess in a dazzling display of strength and precision.          


Champion Status: The Big Thunder Draft Horse Show attracts many elite hitches boasting National or World Champion titles, with participants traveling from across the nation, Canada, and Colorado. Their presence adds an air of prestige and competitiveness to the event, highlighting the caliber of talent and skill on display.


Special Events

Flag Presentation & National Anthem 


The Big Thunder Show commences with the impressive skill of the Lucky Aces 6 drill team, captivating the audience with their expert riding skills through patterns and drills. Alongside their performance, Steve Beitz and his Percheron team take center stage, evoking a nostalgic journey with the historic 1800s Birdslee Chuckwagon proudly presenting the American and Canadian Flags. Jodie Walsh's beautiful rendition of the National Anthem marks the grand opening, setting the stage for a display of heritage, precision, and patriotism throughout the show

Ladies' Drive4theCure - Sunday 


Newly introduced for 2024, the Ladies' four-horse Drive4theCure event is a powerful and heartening showcase. Exclusive to lady drivers, this event resonates with a profound cause—supporting cancer awareness. It brings together skilled drivers in a stirring display of unity and purpose, adding a poignant layer of significance to the show.


Kid’s Stick Horse Race


Engaging and delightful, the kid’s stick horse races offer young attendees an opportunity to participate in the excitement at each performance.

This beloved feature adds a fun, youthful flair to the event, creating an atmosphere of shared joy and entertainment for families.

Open to children aged 3 to 6 and 7 to 10, kids compete in a pattern race in the main arena, where ribbons are won, and the fastest rider wins a prize. Entry is free. Stick horses are provided or bring your own for Giddy-Up and Go fun!


Up Close and Personal - Interactive Barn Visits 


Before and after each show, guests can immerse themselves in a unique and personal experience.

Visiting the horses in the barn provides an up-close encounter, allowing attendees of all ages to connect with these magnificent animals on a more intimate level, fostering lasting memories and a deeper appreciation for equine beauty.


2024 Exhibitors

4A Belgians – Craig, Colorado

Ames Percherons – Jordan, Minnesota

Clark Family Orchards – Palisade, Colorado

Double S Belgians – Menan, Idaho

Highpoint Clydesdales – Hooper, Utah

Jackson Fork Ranch – Little Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Johnson Belgians – Unity, Saskatchewan, Canada

Kiefer Farm – Eaton, Colorado

Mark Messenger Memorial Hitch – Cheyenne, Wyoming

Solomons Clydesdales – Madrid, Iowa

Tired Boot Stables – Fort Lupton, Colorado

Unhitched Ranch – Colton, California

Yoder Hay Company – Westcliffe, Colorado

Yoder Sand and Gravel – Stevensville, Montana

Young Living Percherons – Lehi, Utah

Zubrods Percherons – Guthrie, Oklahoma




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.


Join us at the Big Thunder Draft Horse Show! Be part of this vibrant event, engage with a diverse audience, and showcase your offerings. Limited space available – apply now!

Vendor application link here


Partner with us: Big Thunder Sponsorship Opportunities Available Now!

Elevate your brand and reach a diverse audience by sponsoring the Big Thunder Draft Horse Show. Join us in creating memorable experiences for attendees of all ages. For Details Contact:

Laura Boldt

Laura Boldt / boldtla@co.larimer.co.us (970) 619-4023

Ge Wyscarver

 Ge Wyscarver / gwyscarver@larimer.org (970) 619-4014

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