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Amish after new horsepower at Cloverdale expo center sale

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thousands descended upon Cloverdale this past weekend from various parts of the country in hopes of finding a new horse to take back with them at the third annual Heart of America Dutch Harness Horse Sale. Nearly 200 horses were available for purchase. [Order this photo]
CLOVERDALE -- It was a very busy weekend for Carl and Cindy Harlan, proud new owners of the C Bar C Expo Center in Cloverdale, as thousands of people, mostly Amish, flocked to the newly renovated arena for the third annual Heart of America Dutch Harness Horse Sale.

The Harlan couple, Crawfordsville residents, purchased the arena on Oct. 13, 2011. Since acquiring it, they have made several renovations to the space, including repainting, laying cement around the whole building, cleaning all stalls, walls and lights, as well as re-graveling the parking lot.

The horse show was the second event the arena has hosted since changing owners. Three thousand people showed up to catch a glimpse of the action, which also included a stallion presentation and a tack sale.

Many, however, were there to find their new mode of transportation -- a Dutch Harness horse.

"They came in vans and buses," Cindy Harlan said. "Some are here from Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania and Illinois."

The Dutch Harness horse was introduced to the United States two years ago, and people have been interbreeding them ever since. The horses are in such high demand now since the Dutch Harness provides more flash than a standard horse because of the way it prances and holds its head higher.

With nearly 200 horses available for purchase, Amish people came from near and far for the horse auction, which even attracted many local buyers as well.

"On Friday evening, 60 horses had been sold that were not Dutch Harness," Cindy said. "There are 140 Dutch Harnesses available to purchase today and they'll sell at a rate of about 20 an hour."

The weekend sale marked the third time most of the Amish had been to the Cloverdale arena for a horse auction. However, it was the first since the Harlans have owned it.

"They're just the nicest people," Cindy praised. "We're hoping to do two sales like this a year."

Although the Harlan couple provides the arena, they have little to nothing to do with the planning process of the event.

"They plan the whole thing," Cindy said. "This is their mode of transportation, so basically they're trying to get better cars."

That appears to be true as many of the people do their research the moment they get into the arena. Just as many people prefer their luxury cars, the Amish would like a premium horse.

For more information on the arena or for a list of upcoming events, visit www.cbarcexpocenter.com.

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The Harlan's should run some ads locally. There are many horse people in the areas surrounding Cloverdale. We would have gone if we had known about the event. Spread the word.

-- Posted by Lookout on Wed, Feb 15, 2012, at 10:54 AM

I agree. We went down last weekend for the barrel racing and really enjoyed it. We would go to everything we could, if we only knew they were having events there. Let us know!

-- Posted by chicki1112 on Tue, Feb 21, 2012, at 9:01 AM

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