Nemaha County Fair Rolls With Bohemian Tractor Pull
AUBURN – The Nemaha County Fair got underway Thursday with a new event that tested competitors’ speed, stamina and what organizer Randall Simon called their place in Nebraska sports history.
Simon: “This is called the Bohemian tractor pull. The rule is how fast you can pull, four people on a team, pulls a tractor 100 feet. The fastest time wins.”
Teams were slow to sign up for the new event at the fairgrounds, but Simon assured the crowd that tractor pulling is well respected in Nebraska.
Simon: “It’s a state competition. If you go over to Wilber, during the Czech Fest, they have it there. And then there’s another little town out in Western Nebraska that does it as well."
Is that where it gets the name Bohemian?
Simon: "Yeah. That’s where the name Bohemian comes from.”
Driver: “The tractor weighs 4,500 pounds with me on it.”
Mike Hodges and John Taylor were on front to pull the 1951 John Deere B to the finish line in 13.95 seconds.
Taylor: “We were carrying Marty and Eric on the back. That’s Marty Hannaford. For a guy that’s pushing 60, he did pretty well.”
Hodges: “It’s all about the lean. You just got to lean to get it started.”
What’s the secret to a good, strong pull?
Chicken Tendies: "Good strong guys. And girls"
Timer: “Winning time was 12:55 to Old Balls.”
The winning team in the over 30 division was Gabe Kent, Mark Baltensperger, Jeremy Allen and Jim Bebout.
Allen was the only participant to execute a perfect 360 degree spin during the pull. He said that agility is a key factor in a successful pull.
The time keeper , Dakota Falk of Johnson, used the stop watch feature on his iPhone to mark when the rear axle of the tractor passed the finish line.
Organizers say the reaction of kids following the pull convinces them to add a child’s division for next year’s Bohemian tractor pull.