Calgary (Rural Roots Canada) – Vintage tractor pulling is an art, one that takes a lot of calculation.
You can’t just pull up to the weight sled, hook and pull away.
It’s important to know your tractor. Its engine, tires, weight and how it is distributed across the tractor as well as external factors such as the dirt and how your tractor deals with different conditions.
One factor always at play that pulls for every competitor is the camaraderie that they show each other.
David Wylie, who competes at a number of different events every year, including the Calgary Stampede Vintage Tractor Pull in early July, says even though they are competitive, they look out for one another.
“There is not a person here that wouldn’t give a part off of their tractor to help get the other guy numbers so they can finish. I’ve done it myself. I know other people have done it for me, and it is competition at its cleanest,” says Wylie.
Wylie and his 1951 CASE 610-B are no strangers to tractor-pulling events; however, he says there is nothing like competing at the Calgary Stampede.
Red Deer’s Jill Moore, who also competes every year at the 10-day event, says the crowd is what makes it special.
“People are in their seats, and they’re cheering. They have picked their favourite from the People’s Choice (award); having the Show and Shine right in the Nutrien Centre was a lot of fun because people had picked their tractors and then got to watch them.”
Moore’s 1959 Case 610B stands out in a crowd, mostly because of the long eyelashes overtop of its headlights. They were even more apparent at this year’s Stampede because Moore had just recently replaced them.
2023 Vintage Tractor Pull
This year’s Calgary Stampede saw pullers from across the province show off their tractor-pulling skills.
Moore says she was very happy with her pull, which landed her in second place in Class 1.
“I come to have fun, not always to place, but it’s fun getting to pull with people multiple years because there is that rivalry that goes year to year.”
Wylie says it’s always a good show.
“They do a great job supporting us.”
This year’s results:
Directors Choice: Michael Elliott 1948 Cockshutt 30
People’s Choice: Randy Brown 1947 Minneapolis Moline U
Tractor-Up: Clayton Whiteside 1952 Farmall Super M
Featherweight: Lee Salmon – 1954 Allis Chalmers WD45
Class 1: Jim Carter – 1953 John Deere 50
Class 2: Randy Brown – 1947 Minneapolis Moline U
Class 3: Rob Starner – 1954 Minneapolis Moline U
Class 4: Graham Moore – 1948 CASE LA
Class 5: Howard Hildebrandt – 1956 CASE 500D