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Local youth headed to Draft Horse Classic Invitational in California

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ST. IGNATIUS — Live Oak Belgians, Draft Horse Services of Lake County is preparing to head to the prestigious invitational draft horse show in California, the Draft Horse Classic, Sept. 21-24.

This will be Live Oak Belgians 23rd and last year to attend this show. 

This show is exclusively for heavy draft horses which include breeds such as the Belgian, Shire, Suffolk, Percheron, American Cream, Brabant, Spotted Draft and Clydesdale. Thirty heavy draft horse breeds exist in the world and all are northern latitude horses but only these are represented in North America.

Live Oak Belgians accepts two junior youth apprentices. From the Saint Ignatius area, Lina Sturman (age 16) volunteers her time 3 to 6 days a week to work with and learn the care and maintenance of draft horses ... a position that was called a “Hostler” in yester-year... as well as learning the skills of teamstering.

Lina Sturman is a home-schooled student and is a member of the Mission Valley Ranch Hands 4-H club and is also a Montana State Ambassador Officer for 4-H.

At the Draft Horse Classic, Lina will be competing in a variety of classes for juniors including: showmanship, rail and obstacle classes. These classes involve driving single horses as well as teamstering pairs. 

Lina comes from a farming family and is not new to horses and all manner of livestock. Her parents are David and Traci Sturman of Shady Maple Farms. Kenn and Susan McCarty of Live Oak Belgians feel privileged to be able to sponsor Lina and help her with her goals of agriculture academia as well as being a youth leader. 

Live Oak Belgians, Draft Horse Services ( is a draft horse service business that provides draft horses and a variety of carriages and wagons for different types of events. Owner, Kenn McCarty states ... “This is a three-part passion: 1 - the horses, 2 - the wagons, carriages and implements, and 3 - all the history that binds it all together. Generally speaking, there are five historic uses of draft horses: farming, freight hauling, forestry, fanfare, and fighting (warfare). We endeavor to use our horses in all but the last.”


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