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Free afternoon sessions start at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 27, and Saturday, Aug. 28. Paid admission sessions are at 6 those nights and at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29.
Most horses will be stalled in the Ag Pavilion on the south end of the Expo Center, according to Buffalo County Fairgrounds Manager Dave Roseberry.
Deb Pierce said people may visit the stalls on the free afternoons and an hour or two ahead of the admission sessions. “We would encourage that, especially … if this is their first experience with draft horses,” she added.
In addition to the fair board, other local partners/supporters of the new event are the Kearney Visitors Bureau and businesses providing cash or in-kind services, such as sponsoring meals for exhibitors.
Dick Pierce said the goal is to have $50,000 in the bank for expenses and prize money, but organizers believe $40,000 would be enough this year. In addition to contributions and sponsorships, there will be income from public entry fees and stall fees paid by horse owners.
Some entrants will bring campers to the fairgrounds and others can get a discounted motel rate provided by the Holiday Inn Express, he said, and some horse trailers may arrive in Kearney as early as Aug. 24.
Roseberry’s fairgrounds crew will set up stalls and work with a contractor to spread 1,200-1,500 yards of dirt 10-12 inches deep over the Expo Center arena floor. The entire floor was covered one other time, when 4,000 yards of dirt were used for a BMX competition track.