Scene at the fair

Gentle giants

Few animals combine such immense strength with serene beauty as draft horses, one of the, ahem, bigger draws at the State Fair's Horse Barn. Every year, a few lucky dapple-grays from Ames Percheron Farm in Jordan, Minn., take up residence, where visitors marvel at their huge hooves and stroke their soft, twitchy noses. 

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Max, from Ames Percheron Farm in Jordan, Minn., peered out a window in the Horse barn after arriving at the State Fair, eating hay after a morning walk.
White fences zigged and zagged in the early morning light as the sun rose over Ames Percheron Farm near Jordan, Minn.
A case of ribbons from draft horse competitions dating back more than a century filled a case in a barn at Ames Percheron Farm near Jordan, Minn.
Assistant trainer Kyle Savage used a vacuum cleaner to spiff up one of the draft horses before hitching it to a wagon.
Two Percherons, seeming to share a secret, led a six-horse hitch as they went through their paces during a morning workout at Ames Percheron Farm.
Head trainer Travis Shaw and assistant trainer Lindsay Carbaugh drove the six-horse hitch around the practice ring for a morning workout at Ames Percheron Farm.
Head trainer Travis Shaw changed a shoe on the massive hoof of a Percheron draft horse in preparation for the Iowa State Fair earlier this month.
Assistant trainer Joe Dolan looked to head trainer Travis Shaw as they unloaded draft horses from a trailer at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.
Assistant trainers Joe Dolan and Lindsay Carbaugh unloaded Percheron draft horses from a trailer at the Minnesota State Fairgounds.
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