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Horsing around: 'Good Morning Iowa' team helps prepare horses for shows

Pearl, a Clydesdale, and Cardi, a Percheron, will both compete at the Iowa State Fair. See what it takes for them to get ready for their performances.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Local 5 and CW Iowa 23 are bringing exciting 2022 Iowa State Fair experiences to you, from live newscasts to an interactive Local 5 Weather Lab experience. Come see us in front of the Administration Building (Grand Concourse) each day between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Members of the "Good Morning Iowa" team got up close and personal with some larger-than-life animals on Day 8 of the Iowa State Fair. 

Meet the two star horses: Cardi, a Percheron at Jackson Fork Ranch, and Pearl, a grand champion Clydesdale at Anderson Farms

Cardi will participate in the six-horse-hitch competition with other Percherons, according to Ross Honsberger. But while the show will technically revolve around how well the horses pull the wagon, part of the judging is based on showmanship. 

"It's definitely a performance," Honsberger said. "The horses are shiny, the harness is shiny ... lots of excitement going around here." 

While this is the first time Jackson Fork Ranch is showing horses at the Iowa State Fair, that's not to say they didn't come prepared. 

"A lot of preparation, a lot of work goes into this. A lot of practicing at home . . . we've been to a few shows already so hopefully things are kind of dialed in to have a good performance here at the Iowa State Fair," Honsberger said. 

Pearl's handler, Robert Detweiler of Anderson Farms, is also no stranger to horse shows. At the Indiana State Fair, Pearl took home the 'Best of Show' award for the Clydesdale category. 

Clydesdales may be best known as "the Budweiser horses," and are easily recognizable based on a few key features. 

"The breed originates in Scotland and they're known for the big, beautiful feathers on their feet," Detweiler said. "[Pearl has] extraordinary hair ... the size and disposition is what separates a Clydesdale from the rest of the breeds."

Pearl is at the fair to compete in the National Clydesdale Show between Aug. 18-Aug. 21 this year, a huge opportunity for Jackson Fork Ranch. 

"This is going to be a really, really big show to compete at, and we're looking forward to it." 

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