Percheron breeder inducted into hall of fame

Washington County Belle of a Belgian reigns Supreme.

Mark Ryburn with Houston's Belle
Supreme Champion Draft Horse was awarded to Houston's Belle and was exhibited by Joseph Mark Ryburn from Rayburn Homestead of Washington, Washington Co. Pictured (L-R): Deputy Secretary Fred Strathmeyer, 2015 Pennsylvania Draft Horse and Mule Association Queen Kayla Bracken and Joseph Mark Ryburn.

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Houston’s Belle exhibited by Mark Ryburn of Washington County was named the Supreme Champion Draft Horse Jan. 8 at the 2016 Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Supreme Champion Draft

Houston’s Bella first won her age division class, Belgian Mare 5 years and older, before being awarded Senior Champion Belgian Mare, Grand Champion Belgian Mare and the Best of Breed title.¬†Also in the running for Supreme Champion Draft Horse were the Best of Breed Percheron and Best of Breed Clydesdale/Shire.

The Percheron, Anderson’s Bentley, was exhibited by Gerald Allebach of Centre County.
Willow Way Juliette, the Clydesdale representing the Clydesdale/Shire classes, was exhibited by Shannon Manning from Adams County.

The judges from each breed helped to select the Supreme Champion.

Grand champions

Then on Jan. 10, Dale and Tracie Brockhoff and daughter Sarah Brockhoff, of Brockwood Belgians, Armstrong Co., were selected as Grand Champions at the Draft Horse Hitch competition.

Carriage classes

The hitch competition placed the draft horse breeds in the limelight as it offered classes ranging from six-horse hitches to commercial carriage classes. The exhibitors participating alternated between youth and adult ages.

In addition, Brockwood Belgians took home the blue ribbons in the Six-Horse Hitch, Unicorn Hitch and Team Hitch.

Tema hitch

Along with the win of Team Hitch, the Brockhoffs were bestowed the honor of presenting Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding in next year’s opening ceremonies.

Teams and drivers were judged on manners and performance, conformation and horsemanship.


David and Linda Hershey of Spring Mount Percherons, Montgomery Co., were selected as Reserve Champions.

The first-place winners for the Draft Horse Hitch Show were:

  • Six-Horse Hitch – Dale, Tracie, and Sarah Brockhoff of Brockwood Belgians, Armstrong Co.
  • Four-Horse Hitch – Ken Sandoe of Sunny Hill Farm, Lebanon Co.
  • Unicorn Hitch – Dale, Tracie, and Sarah Brockhoff of Brockwood Belgians, Armstrong Co.
  • Team Hitch – Dale, Tracie, and Sarah Brockhoff of Brockwood Belgians, Armstrong Co.
  • Junior Youth Team – Sarah Varner, Spring Meadow Belgians, Montgomery Co.
  • Intermediate Youth Team – Leslie Schreier of Living the Dream Belgians, York Co.
  • Senior Youth Team – Natalie Hoffer of Bee Tree Trail, Berks Co.

Hall of Fame

To conclude the show, the Pennsylvania Draft Horse and Mule Association inducted Abraham Allebach of Windermere Farms Percherons, Centre Co, into the Pennsylvania Draft Horse Hall of Fame. Hall of Fame members are recognized for their outstanding contributions to the draft horse industry.

Under Allebach’s guidance, Windermere Farms has produced four consecutive World Grand Champions as well as two Supreme World Champion titles, drove its six horse hitch in the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California and was the first farm to successfully collect and ship semen on a commercial level within the Percheron breed.


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!


  1. Using the term ‘world champion’ is very misleading. Europe has a ‘world champion’ show and invites horses from all different countries-U.S. horses could be shown, also, but the price of shipping them is too prohibitive. That being said, there is a vast conformation difference, and judges from each hemisphere would be unable to reach an agreement on which horse would be champion. A better word would be ‘North American champion’.


We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.