Despite a good, hard rain the night before wreaking havoc on the tractor-pull track, the older and newer tractors lined up for a chance to strut their stuff at the annual antique tractor pull on Saturday, July 23.
Organizers groaned as they arrived at the Stettler Agricultural grounds to set up that morning, as a heavy rainfall the night before had turned the grounds slippery and mucky, guaranteeing difficulty on the track and a dirty day for enthusiasts.
Volunteers did their best to scrape away the upper layer of mud so the tractors taking part in the pull could find traction, though the first few pulls rarely made it more than 50 feet as their giant tires spun in the muck.
“We had a bit of trouble in the morning,” Antique Tractor club president Dan Wasyleshko said. “But it dried out, giving us a nice, hard track to work with.”
A combination of work on the part of the volunteers and the hot, sunny day gradually dried up the track, giving tractors a good, solid course to drag on.
Tractors began weighing in as early as 8 a.m. as people came from all over Alberta to compete. The actual competition began close to 1 p.m., later than the intended noon start time, as volunteers worked to make the track usable.
Thirty-nine tractors took part in the pull this year, dotting the ag grounds in a variety of colours. The stands filled with people of all ages, while others set up lawn chairs along the side of the course.
Ten kids took part in the “mini-tractor pull,” in which young children could see how far they could drag a miniature weight sledge on a pedalled toy tractor.
Bantam – 3,999 pounds or lessMagnus Hansen with a total of 309 feet and 10 inches
Class 1 – 4,000 to 4,999 poundsDon Lund with a total pull of 591 feet and 10 inches
Class 2 – 5,000 to 5,999 poundsDennis Sitten with a pull of 559 feet and six inches
Class 3 – 6,000 to 6,999 poundsDarren Rouse with a pull of 510 feet and one inch
Class 4 – 7,000 to 7,999 poundsTravis Bennett with a pull of 485 feet and nine inches
Class 5 – 8,500 to 9,999 poundsAlfred Erichsen (driven by Dan Wasyleshko) with a pull of 467 feet and six inches
Class 6 – 10,000+ poundsKen Norman with a pull of 365 feet and one inch