Russell Hine that Livermore falls urges ~ above his ox team -- Bigger and also Slim -- at the Cumberland same on Tuesday.

When the first Cumberland Fair got underway in October 1868, ox-pulling competitions were part of the draw. The sturdy beasts space still pulling in decent crowds — and also tons of weight — 151 years later on at this year’s fair.

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At ox-pulling competitions, teams of yoked pets pull load sledges for street or against a time clock. It’s details to brand-new England and also stretches ago at the very least to the middle of the 19th century. It shows no indicators of dice out.

“Believe that or not, we’ve got much more and more people interested,” teamster and also pulling judge Brett McConkey said throughout a rest in the action Tuesday. “At the Topsham Fair, we had actually 29 youngsters <16 and under> pulling.”


McConkey, 57, was born right into a Fryeburg household steeped in the sport. His father pulled oxen; so execute his children.

“Met my wife doing it, too,” McConkey said.

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Credit: trojan R. Bennett

Rather than farm job or cash prizes, that a common sense of neighborhood motivating many drivers.

“I was increased by cattle and fairs,” said driver Devon Sargent, 18, that Limington. “My mom offered birth to me in February, and I to be at a same in July.”

Sargent just graduated native high institution this year and also is functioning at her very first full-time job. Still, she has actually no plans come quit. She said in spite of the hard work, fairs are choose mini vacations where she it s okay to check out friends from all over new England.

“It’s competition, but it’s familiar competition,” Sargent said. “If you operation out of grain a work early, someone’s obtained it. You require someone to pull your cattle due to the fact that you’re not well enough to perform it, someone’s got you.”

Courser, a whole generation older 보다 Sargent, agrees.

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“It’s much more than a hobby. It’s a way of living — and also a passion, i guess you’d say,” Courser said just prior to leading his team right into the pulling arena. “It’s other I’m half decent at. I gain it. I gain the fair and the world — and I suck at golf.”

Ox and also horse pulling continue through the end of the week in ~ the Cumberland Fair. The final events of the year will certainly take ar at the Fryeburg Fair, beginning Sept. 29.