Mule racing returns to Canfield Fair

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After more than a 30-year absence, mule racing returned to the Canfield Fair this year.

CANFIELD, Ohio — After more than a 30-year absence, mule racing made its return to the 2018 Canfield Fair, Sept. 3. For many years, mule racing was an attraction for racers and spectators alike, where competitors raced in sulky’s as well as bareback.

Racing Superintendent Elwood Woolman wanted to see more Canfield Fair nostalgia, and the fairboard endorsed it. Sara Campbell, niece of the late Doug Campbell, who was involved in racing at Canfield Fair for many years, helped restart mule racing at the fair.

Eleven mules traveled to the Canfield Fairgrounds for a chance at the 2018 mule race champion title and to be the first to take home The Doug Campbell Memorial Trophy.

Mule racing was once a large attraction for racers and spectators at the Canfield Fair.

Eleven mules traveled to the Canfield Fairgrounds for a chance at the 2018 mule race champion title and to be the first to take home The Doug Campbell Memorial Trophy.

Riders

Jason and Marcia Crist from Greenville, Ohio, hauled in six mules, four of which returned to the final heat to compete for a purse of $500. Jason’s’ riders included four who travel on The Ohio High School Rodeo Association Circuit: Emma Jarvis, Katelyn Bookman, Grace Serna and Abagail Schmit, along with the Crists. Danielle Helch, Troy Stewart and Sandy Mahler traveled from Pennsylvania for the return of the event. Campbell, riding on behalf of Don Campbell, and Paige Sanor, riding on behalf of Dick Roush, hauled in from North Jackson and East Palestine, Ohio.

The Canfield Fair mule racers.

The racing consisted of three heats, and the top two from each heat advanced to the finals.
Bookman won first place. Marcia Crist took home second place and Jason Crist was third.

Sara Campbell presented the plaque to Katelyn Bookman who won the final heat.

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