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Ira Kessler Tops the Lightweight Division in Horse Pulling Competition
HARRISBURG – The Brown brothers of Acme, Westmoreland Co., took home the bragging rights in the heavyweight division of the horse pulling competition at the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.
Winning for the third year in row with his horses Jim and Rex, Charlie Brown out-powered 15 other teams by pulling 13, 400 pounds for a total 27 feet six inches – a full pull. Brown earned $600 for his win.
Brown’s brother, Scott, came in second place, with his team of Belgians, Fred and Junior, in the heavyweight division.  He took home a cash prize of $450.
In the lightweight division, Ira Kessler of Orangeville, Columbia Co., led a team of Belgians that pulled a load of 11,800 pounds, beating last year’s record of 10,900 pounds. Horses Louie, an 11-year-old, and Junior, a 7-year-old, went the distance of 9 feet 7 inches to win the division, topping last year’s winner, Bobby Howard of Acme, Fayette Co.
This year, Howard took home $450 for a second place win in the lightweight division. 
Howard won heavyweight Best Teamster and Tom Brown took home lightweight Best Teamster for their exceptional leading skills.
Twenty teams competed in the lightweight division.
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is the largest indoor agricultural event in the nation, featuring nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 270 commercial exhibitors.  The eight-day show is Jan. 10-17, at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg.  Admission is free and parking is $8. 
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