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Friday, Apr. 24, 2015

End of an Era

Monday, March 31, 2003

Parade mainstay gives up the last of famed Belgians

A rural Schaller farmer will soon be ending a hobby that has kept him healthy and given him the opportunity to travel around the state over the past 15 years, as he will say goodbye to his last team of massive draft horses at a huge auction at his farmstead.

Ron Grieme, who owns a farm two miles north and two miles west of Schaller at 1283 180th St., will host an all-day auction beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 12, the final day he will own his prized team of draft horses.

The auction is highlighted by a number of Belgian geldings, mares and studs, Percheron geldings, Black and White Registered Paint mares and Black Halflinger geldings, while items such as antique wagons, tractors, hitching and driving equipment and farm machinery parts will also be available. It's a major happening in the equine business that should draw horse-lovers from far and wide.

Grieme, who was raised on the farm where he and wife Karen currently reside, has been connected with horses in one way or another since childhood, when he helped his father care for the family's draft animals. Karen's parents had also owned Belgian horses, and the couple decided to purchase their own team in 1988, a decision Grieme said has been a positive one.

"It's been a great hobby for me," Grieme said. "I really enjoy horses, because they're really fun to work with."

The summer months have been some of the best times of the year for Grieme and his horses, as they have made appearances in parades across Iowa every June, July and August for the past decade. The list of towns Grieme's horses have trotted through includes Schaller, Early, Nevada, Wall Lake, Lake View, Alta, Cherokee, Spencer, Storm Lake.

The polished and decorated teams were one of the main attractions at many of the parades, and Grieme said people seemed to be drawn to the physical strength and beauty of the animals. "People are always impressed by the horses, particularly on how big they are," Grieme said.

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