In a thrilling climax to his victory lap, MacFarlane was almost pulled off the wagon by the force of eight galloping Clydes. With years of chuckwagon and chariot racing experience to his credit, he was able to recover in seconds, regain direction of the team and leave the arena with his passenger, a Manitoba Hydro executive, giving a cheery wave.
With the cancellation of the Agribition Draft horse show in 2011, the RMWF is one of the most prestigious draft horse shows in Canada, topped only by the Toronto Royal Winter Fair and the Calgary Stampede draft horse show.
This year’s Draft Horse show is attended by a dozen top competitors from across Manitoba and Saskatchewan. The other competitors in the eight-horse hitch competition were Delgaty Clydes, driven by Brad Delgaty and Coyote Creek Clydesdales, driven by Allan Betteridge, both very talented young drivers.
The eight horse competition was based on two separate events: a three minute free drive with only one hitch in the ring and where the driver must perform required manoeuvres and optional moves to showcase his skills and his team, secondly, a conventional hitch driving class with all competitors in the ring.
MacFarlane’s free drive included a figure eight, a backup, docking, fanning and a show-stopping move called “Spin the Top” where the horses gallop around the wagon, pulling it in a tight circle
This was Harvey’s fourth attempt at the top driving prize at the RMWF and is the culmination of a successful year in the show ring.
His horses and drivers have won top places at shows across the prairies and he won third place in the Six Horse Driving Competition at the World Clydesdale Show at Madison Wisconsin in October 2011 against top drivers from across the United States, Canada and Overseas.
A video of the drive and the victory lap can be seen on youtube: http://youtu.be/6zu748xNsJE.