Saturday, April 28, 2007

Half Century of Progress Returns to Rantoul, Illinois

What is quickly evolving into one of the premier antique tractor shows in the country, Half Century of Progress is returning this year to Rantoul, Illinois. The show will be held August 23 - 26 at the former Chanute Air Force Base - now the Rantoul National Aviation Center.

One of the features will be an attempt to break the world record draft horse harness team. The current record is 46 and this event will feature a 48 horse team. Darius Harms talked about it in a News-Gazette article:

"We're going to have the largest horse hitch," said Darius Harms, a St. Joseph area farmer and member of the Penfield-based I&I Antique Tractor and Gas Engine Club, a sponsor of the event.
"The record was set in Canada with 46 horses," Harms said of the Guinness Book of World Records mark, set in 2003.
"We're going to have 48," he said. "We're going to start with a field cultivator with 24 horses, then we're going to a 40-foot field cultivator for 48 horses. They'll all be Belgians, and they'll be hitched 12 abreast. The Belgian Horse Association is helping us put it together."

The event will also a tractor drive led by WGN broadcaster Max Armstrong. The ride will start at Parkland College, visit the University of Illinois South Farms and end up at Rantoul.

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