In just a few days, an award-winning Belgian gelding hitch from Sunderland will travel to Oklahoma City as finalists in the North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series.
Country Lane Belgians was announced as a finalist for the competition on Sept. 5, just eight days after the death of Ted English, the man behind the hitch. On Saturday (Sept. 9), the Sunderland team announced on their Facebook page that they would in fact compete.
“To all of our family and friends who have provided so much love, support and comfort on our loss of Ted, we are truly grateful. You have helped so much to ease our sorrow,” reads the post.
“As per Ted’s wishes, Country Lane Belgians will be traveling to Oklahoma to compete in the 2016/2017 North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series Finals. We know he will be watching over us, cheering us on and wishing all our fellow exhibitors good luck and a great show!”
English started Country Lane Belgians approximately 14 years ago, using the antique wagons and horse-drawn equipment he had used for his milk transport business. He would take his horses to parades and festivals and later started competing across Canada and the United States. For the past seven years, the hitch has been under the direction of Kyle and Marcia Forsyth.
English remained heavily involved and dedicated to his horses until his passing on Aug. 28 after a brief but courageous battle with cancer.
The North American Six-Horse Hitch Classic Series runs from Sept. 15 to 17 as part of the Oklahoma State Fair. For more information about the event, visit the competition’s website at naclassicseries.com.