Ron Oakleaf of Tiffin has been involved with horse pulling nearly his whole life. His grandfather, father and uncles were involved in it, and at the age of 18, he drove his first fair horses.
Thirty years later, he's preparing for today's horse pull event at the Seneca County Fair.
"It's fun; once you do it, it's hard to quit," he said. "It's pretty much an addiction."
A-T FILE PHOTO
Oakleafs at the Seneca County Fair’s horse pull in 2010.
The event starts at 5 p.m., and heavyweights will follow the lightweights, Oakleaf said.
The heavyweights pull between 11,000 and 14,000 pounds, and the lightweights will be pulling about a ton less.
The horses, mainly Belgian horses, go through rounds in which they start out with a lighter load and move on to heavier loads.
"Everyone gets three chances to hitch," he said.
Oakleaf said his son will be making his debut with his own horses at the pull.
The family's horses train the whole year, Oakleaf said, and require several hours of conditioning every day, he said.
"You have to get them in shape just like athletes," he said. "They're very well-conditioned animals."
Oakleaf's horses have traveled throughout the United States to competitions, including some in New York, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
"The better they are, the more you travel," he said. "It's pretty well a productive sport."