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SUNNY HILL FARMS SHINES IN FARM SHOW HITCH COMPETITIONS
Last Year’s Runner-up Becomes This Year’s Champion
1/11/2009
HARRISBURG — Ken and Karen Sandoe, of Sunny Hill Farms in Myerstown, Pa., took home Grand Champion honors with their Belgians in the 2009 Pennsylvania Farm Show Draft Horse Hitch Competition, held Sunday, Jan. 11.
 
The Sandoe Family earned this title by placing second in the 6-Horse-Hitch, first in the 4-Horse-Hitch, and second in the Unicorn Hitch. With their entry of an old Western stagecoach, the Sandoes also took first in the Team Hitch Commercial division. 
 
Sunny Hill Farms beat out a fierce competitor: Leon E. Wintermyer, Inc of Etters, Pa. Wintermyer’s Percherons were driven by Barbara Richardson and placed first in the 6-Horse-Hitch, Unicorn Hitch and Team Hitch. In last year’s hitch competition, Wintermyer took home champion while reserve went to the Sandoes.
 
The competition also included a Youth Hitch Team division, Team Obstacle Course and Western Riding contest.
 
Judge Beth Palmer of Ontario, Canada, had a busy day selecting winners.
 
In the 6-Horse-, 4-Horse-, Unicorn and Team Hitch divisions, Palmer evaluated the competitors based on their movement and animation while on the move in addition to their equipment and overall presentation. Unicorn is the most difficult of the divisions, because a single horse must lead two other horses, as opposed to having a leading pair in the 6-4-, and Team Horse divisions.
 
Palmer had her work cut out for her in the Team Hitch Commercial contest, where she selected the winners based on the uniqueness of the vehicle. In addition to the winning stagecoach, entries included a hearse and a Cinderella carriage.  
         
In the Team Obstacle Course, drivers must maneuver their horses through various obstacles. The competitor with the least amount of faults wins. 
 
6-Horse-Hitch
First Place: Leon E. Wintermyer, Inc., Etters, Pa., York County
Second Place: Sunny Hill Farm, Myerstown, Pa., Lebanon County
 
4-Horse-Hitch
First Place: Sunny Hill Farm, Myerstown, Pa., Lebanon County
Second Place: Oak Hall Farm, Boalsburg, Pa., Centre County
 
Unicorn Hitch
First Place: Leon E. Wintermyer, Inc., Etters, Pa., York County
Second Place: Sunny Hill Farm, Myerstown, Pa., Lebanon County
 
Team Hitch Commercial
First Place: Sunny Hill Farm, Myerstown, Pa., with entry of a stagecoach
Second Place: Bee Tree Trail, Shartlesville, Pa., with entry of “Cinderella” carriage
 
Team Hitch
First Place: Leon Wintermyer, Inc., Etters, Pa., York County
Second Place: Oak Hall Farm, Boalsburg, Pa., Centre County
 
Youth Team Hitch
First Place: Katie Thomas, Taylor Bennett Farm, Glen Rock, Pa., York County
Second Place: Kate Basset, WAEUp Farms, Danville, Pa., Montour County
 
Western Riding
First Place: Burgandy Rose Farm, exhibited by Laurie Naugle, York, Pa., York County
Second Place: Taylor Bennett Farm, exhibited by Eric Thomas, York, Pa., York County
 
Team Obstacle Course
First Place: Young’s Real Horse Power, Troy, Pa., Bradford County
Second Place: Bee Tree Trail, Shartlesville, Pa., Berks County
 
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