ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Olmsted County Fair was canceled last year, so draft horse owners like the Apenhorst family are grateful to be able to compete again this year.

“Everyone is just excited, excited to be back with their horses. We’re just happy to be able to show, because that’s what we love to do, ”says Lisa Apenhorst.

The family has been coming to the fair since the 1980s.

Lisa joined the family in 1995 when she married.

In 2009 Lisa and Lynn became superintendents of the Olmsted County Fair Draft Horse Show.

To make the gigantic, muscular draft horses fit for the shows, training begins early in spring with the big horses to distribute manure.

Once in June and July the horses rest every night.

At the fair you will see two, four and six-in-hand horses.

You will also see a hitch called a unicorn where you have two horses in a row rather than side by side.

“The families keep coming back. And they love it and we love it. We’d give up a show for nothing, you know. You have to plan your weddings and funerals around a draft horse show because before you do anything like that, you’re going to go to a draft horse show, “says Lisa.

The horses compete on Friday and Saturday at nine in the morning, one and six o’clock.