The heavy horses are unhooked from the sled and with it a black cowboy hat gets thrown into the air setting off a giant roar from the crowd.
Ron Sebastian from Lumsden, Saskatchewan has won the Heavy Weight division of the Calgary Stampede’s Heavy Horse Pull and with it capped a remarkable performance over the three days of competition.
What the 35-year horse pulling veteran pulled off at this year’s Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth was something special, as he and his team of horses finished 3rd in the Light Weight Division, 2nd in the Middle Weight before finishing it off in spectacular fashion with a 1st in the Heavy Weights.
Sebastian says pulling is in his blood and is constantly learning.
“When I quit learning, I am going to have to die,” says Sebastian.
“I really enjoy looking after the horses as well as I do working them.”
He says he especially enjoys working with the young horses.
“I like to bring them on slow, I have done that with my ‘Spike’ and I’ve done that with my lightweights.”
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Sebastian credits his horses for keeping him young.
“I think they do, I just got both my knees replaced last summer and I’m walking good again, not near bow-legged and I’m doing well.”
He says he enjoys working with young people, like 20-year-old Tristan Wilkinson who is just getting his start on his team, because they are aggressive,
“I make him harness and I make him hook and I make him do all those things and tonight (during the middleweights) I thought he was going to pass out, but he did an awesome job and it’s his first year on the road.”
He says anyone looking to get into this great sport should keep a few things in mind.
“It is not a big money industry, but it’s definitely fun, the camaraderie is untouchable, it’s really good, but the young people don’t have the driving experience, so they pretty much have to pull with us old guys for a while.”
He says when getting your start it is important just to watch and learn.
Ron Sebastian’s horse teams:
Heavy Weight: Mark & Jeff
Middle Weight: Spike & LD
Light Weight: Digger & Tom
For full results click on the following links:
Winning Pull for Light and Middle Weight Classes: