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Small-sized tractors blow off steam at Eden Corn Festival

These tractors, ranging widely in size, weight and horsepower, were among the competitors at the Eagle Garden Tractor Pullers Association tractor pull, held at the Eden Corn Festival on Aug. 1.
HAMBURG — A smaller-scale tractor pull was held at the Eden Corn Festival on the evening of Friday, Aug. 1 as the Eagle Garden Tractor Pullers Association began its tournament.

A garden tractor pull is much like a typical tractor pull, wherein specially modified tractors are tethered to a larger weighted vehicle, known as a sledge, in an attempt to pull it down a designated runway. The tractor that drags the sledge furthest wins. This competition, in contrast with most tractor pulls, used modified garden tractors and lawnmowers instead of the full-size machines.

Friday evening’s event featured a series of competitors who were divided into different classes, depending on the weight and horsepower of the tractors they were driving. These classifications ranged from lowest weight and horse power to highest and were entitled Stock, Sport Stock, Stock Altered, Pro Altered, Modified, Super Modified, Hobby Stock and V8.

Each rider who entered the competition had the opportunity to pull the sledge twice. The players’ two distances were then averaged together at the end of the festivities to determine the winners within each class.

The tractor pull ran until about 11 p.m., after a few technical difficulties with the sledge, a few of the tractors and the tool used to record each player’s score. A tie-breaker round was also required for the Stock class, after the two highest-scoring competitors achieved the same score – a first for the Eagle Garden group.

At the end of the night’s competition, the highest-ranking players were announced: Chris Gabel, for the Stock class; John Dowd, for Sport Stock; Ron Gates, for Stock Altered; Luke Comstock, for Pro Altered; Steve Blasz, for Modified; Jill Hackemer, for Super Modified; Paul Holland, for Hobby Stock and Frank Burket, for V8. Trophies were awarded to the winners, as well as the second and third place runners-up.

The Eagle Garden Tractor Pullers Association will hold its next competition on Aug. 10 at the fire department in Belfast, N.Y.

More information and upcoming events from the group can be found at the organization’s Facebook page, at


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