Nestled deep in the Appalachian hills of southwestern Ohio, Adams County is the kind of place that inspires family-oriented activities like the popular Draft Horse, Mule and Pony Field Days at Grooms Glen-Dale Park in Fawcett. Seventh generation native Glenna Roush Grooms and her husband Dale have dedicated a 20-acre spot for it including four acres of parking.
The Field Days, held every year on the first weekend in October, is now in its 16th year. The Grooms’ labor of love has hit the family fun jackpot. Their weekend event has been held amidst the breath-taking autumn color season every year since 2002. Trailers and campers come from Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio and beyond loaded with draft horses, mules and ponies to compete in the agility and strength events. Horse lovers of all ages enjoy the camaraderie around the campfires. Each year there are more antique tractors on display.
Dale and Glenna Grooms have owned draft horses for over 40 years. As a child, Glenna loved riding the draft horses while her dad plowed and planted.
“I had no idea that when I grew up I would be back on a farm with draft horses like the horses I enjoyed so much when I was a little girl. History does repeat itself,” Glenna said with her characteristic twinkle.
Dale was one of the founders of the Southern Ohio Draft Horse Association, started over 36 years ago in Brown County.
Families from Adams County and surrounding areas have enjoyed the field days for years. For adults and kids alike, kicking back feels great after the full days in the fresh air. In the evening many relax around a campfire, swapping tales and fiddle tunes, and watching their kids and grandkids build gooey s’mores. As night falls, families gradually wander off to their adjacent rigs and tents on the primitive campground. Soon the hushed chatter tones down, and man and beast sleep soundly under a brilliant canopy of stars.
Draft Horse, Mule & Pony Field Days is Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 at Grooms Glen-Dale Park, 2915 Fawcett Road, six miles south of Peebles. There is no admission charge, but donations are welcome. Food is available both days and is served by the Christian Missionary Fellowship. Bring your own lawn chairs.
For more information contact: Dale Grooms at 937-587-3293 (evenings) or Glenna Grooms 937-544-3123 (daytime).
Steve Boehme is the owner of GoodSeed Farm in Winchester.