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June 20, 2006
Royal City to host first antique tractor pull
ROYAL CITY, Washington (STPNS) -- Humanity may never be able to adequately quantify how wood can a woodchuck chuck, but at least we can answer the question “how much weight can a tractor pull?”
Royal Slope resident Mark Valentine is organizing an antique tractor pull contest on the Fourth of July in Royal City as a kickoff for the Summerfest activities in Royal City, and preparations are already well under way for the event, which will take place south of the Moose Lodge inside city limits.
The event will be sponsored by the Columbia Basin Antique Power Club and Liberty Farm and Lawn, and will be free for spectators. Valentine estimated there will be at least 30 hooks.
“You never know how many are going to show,” he said. “But I estimate it will be between 30 and 75.”
The Valentines have been members of the CBAPC since 1999, and built what’s termed a “sled” that’s used in pulls all over the Northwest. The 24,000 pound sled is designed to get progressively more difficult to drag during the pull, and measures the distance a tractor has traveled.
Valentine said the sleds sell for about $60,000, but said he was able to build his for less, with a little help from Huss & Huss in Royal City. “We wanted to give people in this part of the country a chance to participate in these pulls,” he said.
Typically people who participate in the pulls are retired farmers who have a kind of emotional bond with their machinery, but Valentine said even local kids like Rylie Miller have participated as youngsters.
Most are considered social events, with the top prizes being ribbons or trophies, said Diane Valentine.
Tractors in the competition are entered by weight, and there will be a scale at the Royal competition, Valentine said.
Most of the tractors will be of 1930s-1960s issue, and some have been painstakingly refurbished by their owners. Valentine won’t admit to a particular preference to any make of tractor, but he does have a 1949 Case that he’s won a lot of awards with.
Work has already started on preparing a dirt/clay track for the Royal City event, and there will be bleacher seating available. Participants will be paying a $15 per hook fee, and if you’re interested in signing up, the weigh-in will begin at 9 a.m. The competition will begin at 12 noon, after an 11:45 a.m. drivers’ meeting. There will be a scale available for weigh-in.
There will be ribbons awarded for the top three in each weight class from 3,000 lbs. to 14,000 lbs.
Concessions will be available from the Moose Lodge.
If you’re interested in helping with the event, or running an adult or kiddie self-pedaled tractor pull on the Fourth or during Summerfest on July 8th, please give Mark a call at (509) 750-4432 or 346-9532.
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