The National Tractor Pullers Association shared the following news release.
AgWeb has given the National Tractor Pullers Association (NTPA) the opportunity to provide a monthly feature. To kick-off the occasion, we will do a brief, 101 course on pulling, NTPA and what is new for 2013. In upcoming features we will look at event highlights, driver profiles, explaining the different classes and levels, and more about our sport.
It is said that around the 1860s, farmers boasted about the strength of their horses. They claimed that their horse could tow large loads, such as a fully loaded hay cart or wagon. Farmers challenged one another to contests to prove whose horse was the strongest. The horse was hitched to a barn door that was laid flat on the ground, and the farmer urged the horse to drag the barn door along the ground. One by one, people jumped on the door until the horse could no longer drag it. The horse pulling the most people the greatest distance was judged the strongest.
(See related: Photos of 2012 NTPA Grand National Champions of Pulling)
This event, called horse pulling, is still carried out today with specially bred horses trained to have high strength and low stamina, rather than low strength and high stamina which is normally the case with racing horses. While it is said that the term horsepower is derived from this event, in reality the term was coined by James Watt.
In truck and tractor pulling, instead of people, fixed weights on sleds are dragged as far as possible.
It wasn't until 1929 that motorized vehicles were put to use in the first events in Vaughnsville, Mo. and Bowling Green, Ohio, the latter being where the current national championships are held.
Although the sport was recognized then, it did not really become popular until the 50s and 60s. At that time, there was no uniform set of rules. They varied from state to state, county to county, and competitors never knew what standards to follow. This made the sport difficult for new entrants.
The NTPA was established in 1969 by representatives from eight states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Pennsylvania). These representatives met to establish uniform rules and give the sport structure. From these meetings, the NTPA was started. For more than 40 years the NTPA has been known as the premier sanctioning body of truck and tractor pulling.
The NTPA sets the standard in the pulling industry for safety and competition rules. Respected by most domestic and foreign pulling associations, the NTPA Rulebook is followed across the world.
Today the NTPA strives to bring the best pulling action to fans across the United States.
Fans can stay connected with the NTPA more than ever before. The Puller magazine is a monthly publication devoted to NTPA Truck and Tractor Pulling. It is sold in Tractor Supply Company stores and online subscriptions are available. Pulling found its way to social media in 2010 in the form of Facebook (facebook.com/ntpapulling) and Twitter (@NTPApull).The 2011 season brought forth the newest technological offerings as live event streaming video pay-per-view (ntpapull.com/live) was added at select events, allowing fans from across the world to watch pulling action anywhere, at any time.