Idaho Draft Horse show back for 39th year

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

No doubt about it—draft horses tend to make an impression. It’s impossible to appreciate how massive the animals are until you’re standing only a few feet away from one.

A pair of draft horses at 2014’s show. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

A pair of draft horses at 2014’s show. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

But don’t take my word for it. You can see for yourself when the Idaho State Draft Horse and Mule International Show rolls into town next week. The event kicks off Thursday, Sept. 24 and runs until Sept. 27 at Bonner County Fairgrounds.

The stars of the aren’t just an impressive sight. They also are well-trained in a variety of disciplines, from log-skidding to team hitches. The events require precise coordination between horse and mule teams, as well as effective driving and guidance from their drivers. Judges keep a sharp eye for exacting details among competitors, ranking them and declaring winners for the year.

The intense competitions are no doubt what makes the Draft Horse and Mule Show a popular event that draws visitors aplenty into the region. Event organizers have seen attendees from all across the United States, as well as Canada and even some European countries.

Similar to events like Priest River Timber Days, the Draft Horse and Mule show reflects Bonner County’s past as an agricultural and logging hub in addition to providing a fun, family-friendly event for visitors and locals alike. For county residents of eras gone by, skills like plowing and log-skidding weren’t just talents to show off at local fairs or special events. They were essential abilities needed to scratch out a living in North Idaho.

Drop by the show to gain a new appreciation for both horse trainers past and present. Season passes for every day of events cost $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $30 for students, or you can buy daily general admission tickets for $10. Seniors can also take advantage of a two-for-the-price-of-one special on Friday. To learn more, visit

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