By Kim Lemmon
Three times a year, masses of horse folks gather in Mt. Hope, Ohio, for the Mt. Hope Draft Horse Sale. The sales take place in June, October, and March and feature several days of auctions of all types of horses and horse equipment and tack. The most recent sale was March 6-9, 2012.
Tuesdays of the sale week are generally reserved for carriages, tack and ponies. Wednesdays are crossbreds which is just about anything you can imagine from light horses to grade draft horses to pricey Friesians to Spotted Drafts. Thursdays are reserved for Haflingers, Belgians and pulling horses. Fridays include Percherons and uncataloged horses.
It is an amazing event. Parking is free but scarce and there is certainly plenty of entertainment.
I attended the sale on Tuesday. Inside one building, there were three auctioneers selling tack and there were two more auctioneers in other buildings for a total of five rings at one time. People were also riding and driving horses that would be sold Tuesday night and all day Wednesday. It was a lively and courageous group of young, old, English and Amish that both attended and showed their consigned horses to the public that day.
The Mount Hope Draft Horse Sale is a very fun and active event to attend. Make sure you pay special attention to the safety of children if you bring them as there are horses of all shapes and sizes being walked through narrow aisles in the barn and ridden and driven all over during the entire event.