On May 4, 2022

Brute strength meets precision for tons of fun on Draft Animal Day at Billings Farm 

Sunday, May 8 — WOODSTOCK —  As the sun rises over the bucolic vista of Billings Farm & Museum, teamsters from Vermont and beyond will convene for the excitement of Draft Animal Day on May 8, 10 a.m. to 5p.m. In celebration of Mother’s Day, mothers receive free admission.

Courtesy Billings Farm

In days past, draft animals used to till fields, pull wagons, and do heavy lifting on the farm. With a nod to historical practices, the event will be packed full of demonstrations and activities involving draft horses, oxen, and steers. Guests can get up close and personal with draft horses as Phil Warren gives a detailed demonstration on how to harness a team.  In the fields, there will be teams of oxen and horses pulling an array of plows and guests can even try their hand at driving the plow.  Local 4-H Clubs will lead ox cart and teams pulling a stone boat through an obstacle course.  A parade of oxen and working steers will thrill guests in the bleachers at 3:30 p.m. As teams walk through the paddock, an announcer will regale the crowd with fascinating details about each team.

Leatherworker Mark Humpal will be making handcrafted leather creations, demonstrating harness repair, and selling his wares on site. New England Ox Supply will have yokes and equipment on display and for sale.  An array of historic farm equipment used for plowing and haying will be on view along the path to the Draft Animal Barn.

Children can earn a ribbon in the Hobby Horse Barrel Racing or make wearable art with a Huck’s Ears headband. Families can follow the storyWalk as page by page, the story of “Huck’s Way Home,” written and illustrated by local author Kristina Rodanas, unfolds on signs along the pasture fence. Children can listen to stories in the Billings Story Corner.  Historic farm recipes including shoofly pie, a molasses and spice pie and switchel, a rejuvenating, electrolyte replenishing historic drink will be presented throughout the day in the 1890 Farm Manager’s House.

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