Acme horse team pulls out heavyweight win at Pa. Farm Show
The Brown Brothers team of Mt. Pleasant Township brought plenty of horse power to the Pennsylvania Farm Show last week, winning the heavyweight horse pulling contest with equine siblings Chip and Charlie in harness.
Chip and Charlie, a pair of Belgian draft horses, beat nine other teams Tuesday to take the title and the $500 prize. Driven by Charlie Brown, 43, the youngest of the four brothers, the two-horse team repeatedly pulled a metal sled weighted with an increasing number of cinder blocks.
They outlasted their opponents in the final round, pulling 10,250 pounds for 24 feet and 2 inches. Chip, 5, and Charlie, 6, weigh in at a combined 5,100 pounds.
“They’re trained athletes,” Keith Brown, 45, said of the horses. “A lot of time is spent just training for pulling competitions.”
The horses also perform some chores at the family’s Acme farm. They occasionally pull patrons on wagon rides at the nearby Treetops restaurant.
Keith Brown explained pulling is a year-round pastime for the brothers, taking them as far away as Florida to put themselves and their horses to the test.
The Browns draw from a stable of 11 draft horses to assemble pulling teams. Ted and Barney, driven by Scott Brown, 50, placed third at Tuesday’s state event.
This is the third year in a row the Browns have left the Pennsylvania Farm Show arena with a pulling title in hand, but they’ve taken the top spot many other times over the past dozen years.
“It’s an equal effort between all of us,” Keith said of the brothers, including Rick, 49. Keith noted many younger extended family members also help with the horses.
Keith believes the Browns have a built-in advantage, given their large family support team and his abilities as a working horse surgeon at the Brown Equine Hospital in Somerset.
Family patriarch Tom Brown, of Acme, still gets involved in the competitions, sometimes supplying one of his horses — Barney, for instance — to supplement those his sons raise.
“He did some of his first pulling in 1965, so we grew up with it,” Keith said of his father.
Collecting prize money is icing on the cake when the brothers win.
“Pennsylvania state champion, that’s a great bragging right,” Keith said.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @jhimler_news.