The ground shakes with the sound of thundering hooves before you even glimpse the impressive six-horse hitch. As the dust clears, the award-winning Priefert Percherons charge into the arena driven by the talented Jason Goodman. Performing for more than six million people a year at expos and fairs across the country, the Priefert Hitch presents a show that is remembered long after the dust settles.
From a simulated “docking” of the freight wagon to the team’s signature “spin the top” with the horses emerging from the spin at the “stagecoach run,” impressive maneuvers are their specialty. While the hitch must work as a team to complete a maneuver, each horse has a distinct position and role to ensure success.
The mighty Kong has a unique responsibility as a wheel horse. Wheelers, as they are sometimes called, are always the largest horses in the hitch and are positioned closest to the wagon. They are also the only horses that have a special piece of harness called breeching, a wide strap that wraps around the horse’s rump and acts as a breaking system. This means that the wheel horses are the only horses in the hitch that have the ability to stop and/or back-up the wagon and because of this, wheel horses need to be big and strong.
Standing 19 hands tall, Kong is certainly big and strong. According to his handlers, he has a “Kong-sized” appetite and will eat just about anything! He is the leader of the pack, no matter how many other horses are with him or who is sharing his paddock.
True celebrities of the equine world, Kong and the Priefert Percherons have appeared at the National Finals Rodeo, the San Antonio Stock Show, the Calgary Stampede, the National Western Stock Show and Rodeo, Cheyenne Frontier Days, Bishop Mule Days and dozens of other PRCA rodeos.
Watch a video that we shot of Kong on July 15, then meet him in person at BreyerFest this weekend, July 15-17 at the Kentucky Horse Park!