Valley family raises drafthorses
by Linda Hiller
Imagine standing on two logs the size of telephone poles and being pulled through a competition course behind a team of horses weighing close to 4,000 pounds.
That was Roxanne Linderman’s favorite event in the Draft Horse Classic horse show at the Nevada County Fair in Grass Valley in September.
“I just love that event,” she said. “It’s a timed event, and whoever runs the fastest, cleanest round wins first place. I was the only woman in the competition and we won.”
The “we” she is referring to includes her Belgian draft horse team of Buzz, 16, who weighs in at 1,950 pounds, Casper, 10, who weighs 2,040 pounds, and Roxanne, 46, who weighs considerably less. Belgian draft horses are about a foot shorter than the Klydesdales, which can get to over 17 hands tall (one hand equals four inches).
Among the other events won by Linderman and her Belgians was a farm team wagon pull, farm implement tow, gambler’s chores and a heavyweight pull.
“The heavyweight field requires the team to pull weights in 200 to 300 pound increments,” she said, adding that her team pulled around 5,000 pounds.
Jack, Butch and Clarence stayed home. Linderman is a Johnson Lane resident and a kindergarten teacher at Bordewich-Bray Elementary School. they have two children, Courtney, a freshman at the University of Montana, and Chad, a sophomore at Douglas High School. Roxanne and Jack have been Belgian horse owners since 1995.
“My dad in Alberta, Canada, had some Belgians that he was using in his livery stable, and I’ve been around horses all my life,” she said. “We fell in love with them.”
So they came back from Alberta, went to Turlock, Calif., and bought their own Belgians.
For the this year’s Draft Horse Classic horse show, Jack had to stay home with the couple’s other team of Belgian drafts, Butch and Clarence.
“My husband, Jack, had to stay home with our other two Belgians, because one of them was lame,” she said. “I went to the competition with Buzz and Casper and we won 10 ribbons – six of them first place. It was so great to see all the horses together.”
Born a century late. If you’ve driven Highway 395 during the spring and summer, you may have seen the Linderman Belgians being exercised by plowing fields on longtime Valley rancher arnold Settelmeyer’s property.
“Arnold has been great, letting us condition the horses out there,” she said.
Since the horses can’t be easily worked from December to March, the Lindermans try and get the teams out during the spring and summer.
Jack, a school psychologist with the Carson City School District, has learned to shoe the large draft horses, and built wagons for them to pull.
“Jack loves this stuff,” she said. “He was born about 100 years too late.”