Mr. Harold Clark Gilbert, lifelong farmer, has spent his
entire life near Shelbina, Missouri. He was driving four horse on the
cultivator when he was only six years old. In 1947, Mr. Gilbert took part
in his first pulling contest...a street fair with only three entries. In
1954, Harold had two of the 54 entries in the National Lightweight Pill in
Saginaw, Michigan. One team, referred to as the "old whites", placed
February of 1955 found Mr. Gilbert competing in the
Farmer's Week pull at Michigan State College, placing first and winning the much
cherished Horsemanship Award. Mr. Gilbert made a repeat first place win in
1957...again winning with the old white horses.
Our honoree won the National Lightweight pull held at
Centreville, Michigan in 1957 with his newly purchased roans. Harold
participated in the Nationals for the next 25 consecutive years, entering two
teams each year. He won the event with Ted & Pat in 1969.
In 1971, with Ted & Pat weighing under 3000 pounds, Harold
set a World Record of 3,725 pounds. That record still stands.
This Gilbert team also set two World Records for teams
under 3200 pounds in 1971. The following year, this remarkable team was
co-holder of the new 3,925 record. Ted & Pat were a "once in a lifetime
team". They lived to be 23 and 25 years of age and are buried side by side
near the Gilbert home. Numerous firsts were earned throughout Wisconsin,
Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. Mr. Gilbert
took two teams to the Iowa State Fair for 40 consecutive years.
In 1972, Harold Gilbert started the first pull held at the
Missouri State Fair. Harold was honored by the Michigan Great Lakes
International in 1993.
The Draft Horse Pulling Industry of Michigan greatly
appreciates Mr. Harold Gilbert's participation in so many of our contests and
takes great pride in honoring this distinguished gentleman.
Photo courtesy of Cecil E. Darnell