School project brings horse pull to fairgrounds
HAVERHILL — A Rivendell Academy junior from Piermont said he exceeded his fundraising goal Sunday when he ran a horse pulling competition at the North Haverhill Fairgrounds. The event attracted more than 230 spectators, and 14 teams of draft horses and handlers from throughout the region.
The school project was designed to raise money for the North Haverhill Fair Association.
“I raised over $1,300,” Dalton Thayer, 17, said Sunday night. “I was hoping for $500 to $1,000.”
Nine pair of large workhorses competed in the under 3,450-pound weight class, pulling a sled weighted with stone for distance. Sean Kelly of Milan in New Hampshire's North Country was the winner of that competition, according to Thayer.
Peter Hanafan of Massachusetts and his horses took the prize in the heavier weight class, he said. The events ran from 11 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m.
Before they can graduate, Rivendell students must complete either a career internship or an “Upper House Project.” That's an effort designed for them to employ the critical thinking, communication skills, use of technology and interdisciplinary abilities they've developed.
It's also meant for students to make a connection to their community and collaborate with others outside the classroom.
In his written statement for the project proposal, Thayer said, “I have chosen to do an Upper House Project and put together a horse pull to benefit the North Haverhill Fair Association for improvements to their livestock pulling area,” or he said, whatever use fair association administrators deem most useful.
Thayer usually enters his own team of Belgians in pulls throughout the summer, but instead left them home Sunday as he oversaw events at the fairgrounds, and helped set stone on the sled, using his grandfather's tractor.
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