Asbury Co-Hosts U.S. Championships – Asbury University
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September 8, 2015

horsemen and horses

WILMORE, Ky. — Asbury University hosted the 11th-Annual Plowing Contest in cooperation with the University of Kentucky on Sept. 5 at Servant Heart Farms in Wilmore. The Plowing Contest was held concurrently with the Kentucky Foxfire Festival, which celebrated traditional Kentucky arts, crafts, music and more.

Asbury Equine students were involved at every level of the Plowing Contest, from planning — which began weeks in advance — to feeding and watering horses, managing crowds, tabulating scores and much more during the event.

The Plowing Contest drew approximately 500 visitors from across the country, with teams of draft horses and mules from several states, including Belgians, Suffolk Punches, Percherons and Belgian mules, competing in seven classes.

Seventeen participants from Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky competed in the plowing contest. Judging was based a number of factors, including soil conditions, type of plow, accuracy of lines, appearance of furrows and depth of plowing.

“This event is a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Marty Bilderback, Asbury associate professor of Equine Management. “They have a chance to learn how to train and work these plowing teams, and they get to put on an a large event, which is something many of them will be required to do one of these days as equine professionals.”

Many participants at the Plowing Contest expressed appreciation for Asbury students who served in various ways throughout the event.

Oren Perdue, a plower from Maryland, said, “I wouldn’t drive here to plow the rocks and sod, but I would definitely come for the friendships and for these wonderful students here at Asbury.”

Hannah Park ‘16, a double major in Equine and Psychology, enjoyed seeing a unique heritage celebrated, as well as the opportunity to help with a large-scale event.

“It was great just getting to minister to the public and seeing people from all over the country come together for this event,” Parks said. “I love how this shared interest in how farmers used to care for their land helped bring people together to be in community and learn from each other.”

To learn more about Asbury University’s Equine programs, visit: