Young Living Percherons offer daily entertainment at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo Rapid City |

Young Living Percherons offer daily entertainment at the Black Hills Stock Show and Rodeo Rapid City

Deanna Nelson-Licking, Freelance Contributor

In 2017 a new promotional draft horse team came onto the scene. The Young Living Percheron Hitch produces a high-energy show as they showcase the athletic talent of six black Percheron horses. They will be performing daily during the Black Hills Stock Show at the Barnett Arena events.      

The horses will be stalled in the Rodeo Zone so everyone will be able to get up close to the beautiful gentle giants to take photos and ask questions. They will be hitched up daily so everyone should be able to enjoy their show. The wagon will drive around, weather permitting, and will make appearances during the rodeos as well. 

The six horse hitch is made up of black Percherons, with each one weighing about 2,000 pounds and standing 18 hands high. They will be pulling a replica of a historic freight wagon and will give everyone a taste of what life was like back in the freight wagon days. Black horses pulling a white wagon with lavender ribbons and accents present a very striking show. Each performance will be about three to five minutes long. The driver will guide the horses in figure eights, will dock the wagon by backing the wagon to the wall and swinging the horses all the way to the right and left, showing how a freight wagon was loaded and unloaded back in the freighting days on narrow streets. Also, Jason Goodman, the driver will turn the horses in an ever-tighter circles until the rear wheels of the wagon remain in place, an maneuver called "spinning the top." The team comes out of the last turn at a trot and their pace increases as the hitch and wagon race around the arena, highlighting the speed and athleticism of these powerful horses 

This hitch is sponsored by Young Living Essential Oils and was created in 2017 for marketing and promotion of their products; the hitch travels the nation performing at fairs and rodeos, travelling about 150-175 days a year.  

It’s a much bigger process to get the show on the road, than just hooking up a trailer and heading out. Six people, two semis, eight horses and the wagon along with all the other accouterments necessary for each performance, travel together. Only six horses are hitched up but a couple of spares are brought along in case of illness. It also takes a great deal of time and work to ready the horses before and after each performance.  The horses are highly trained and kept in shape by work; for six horses to work as one they are driven regularly together to hone the skills of the driver and the team. 

When they are home, the horses are stabled at Young Living's Whispering Springs Lavender Farm in Mona, Utah. The 1,600 acre farm has a visitor center and heritage park which is open to the public year-round. The farm hosts several events throughout the year, including a PRCA rodeo and draft horse show the last weekend of September. Visitors are always welcome to enjoy a self-guided tour of the farm and horse barns. The farm is home to more horses than just the hitch; they have over 150 equines, more than a 100 of which are Percherons, the rest are other draft breeds, Quarter horses and ponies. 

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Owners and founders of Young Living Essential Oils, D. Gary and Mary Young, started the global company over two decades ago. Gary Young has always had an interest in horse power, both for farming and logging. In the late 1990s he started showing Percherons, so to have a promotional hitch of Percherons for the company is natural. The farm is developing a breeding program with hopes that one day soon all the horses on the road will be home-raised. Young Living horses also compete in draft horse hitch competitions around the country 

Jason Goodman drives the hitch and is also the hitch manager. He has been working with draft horses most of his life, and as a child he began driving teams to feed his family's livestock. He has driven Percheron horses for audiences at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo six times, the Reno Rodeo, the San Antonio Stock Show, the Midwest Horse Fair, Bishop Mule Days, the Quarter Horse Congress, among other major fairs, rodeos and horse events across North America. Jason drove for the Preiefert Hitch and this will not be his first appearance at the Black Hills Stock Show. "I'm looking forward to coming back to Rapid City," said Goodman. "This hitch is new to the company and we are very excited for the future." 

Young Living is a long-established and industry leading company in the development and production of essential oils. Through the proprietary Seed to Seal production process, Young Living is committed to providing pure, powerful products for every family and lifestyle, all infused with the life-changing benefits of essential oils. The goal of the company is, "To bring Young Living Essential Oils to every home in the world." 

Goodman recently returned from the WNFR in Las Vegas, where he and his wife Rose were booking events for the hitch for the coming year. They have a Facebook page, Young Living Percherons Mona, Utah, where people can connect with them and find out where they will be performing. 

Plan on making a point of visiting the horses at the Rodeo Zone and seeing them perform, for it is a memorable experience for all ages.