Blue Ridge, Texas was founded in 1876, on land originally granted to Matthias Mowry for his service in the Texas Revolution. The Collin County town was named for the flowering grass on the north ridge of the community, which appears as a blue haze from a distance. Jim Gober held class in a log cabin school room in 1886, and now Blue Ridge is home to the Blue Ridge High School Tigers.
On a warm Saturday night in August, the Blue Ridge rumbled as the LSGTPA tractor pulling teams roared into town, for the Bill Halter Memorial Tractor Pull. Dedicated to the memory of LSGTPA alumni, Billy Halter, the annual event is the sixth pull on the LSGTPA 2013 schedule, and is held at the Blue Ridge Sports Complex.
The LSGTPA show opened with an awesome performance of the National Anthem, delivered by the talented young singer, Bailey Melvin. Ms. Melvin returned to Blue Ridge, where she made her National Anthem performance debut for the LSGTPA in 2012, and has since delivered several National Anthem performances for opening ceremonies.
The Youth Class pullers then took center stage, and saw Jared Stephan pull double duty, piloting two tractors to the top of the class with a first and second place finish. Kody Langham pulled the Bonham Service Center team entry to a third place finish, followed by Cassidy Bramlett aboard her 'Nacho' tractor and Lane Duncan aboard his 'Texas T-Rex' entry. Mason Hovind pulled his 'Yes Deere' tractor to the sixth place spot, to top off the Enloe Museum Youth Class.
In Stock, the 'Yes Deere' tractor piloted by Aidan Hovind pulled to the top spot, with Alton Degner pulling to the runner-up position. Kolby Langham finished on the third place podium, with Steve McCarley and Skeet Degner posting top five finishes.
Stock Diesel Class saw the closest finish of the night, with Steve Hovind just edging out Ken Langham, Jr. for the win, by a distance of thirteen inches! In the Big Stock Class, Shawn Aufdenkamp took the top honors, with Patrick Bramlett and Connie Jesko finishing second and third. Jerry Toland took his 'Double Deuce' to a fourth place finish, with Kolby Langham aboard 'Texas Thunder' placing fifth. Alton Degner pulled his ' It'll Do' tractor to a sixth place finish.
Stock Altered tractors were led by Alex Jesko with the win, over Michael Mayberry's 'Pulling for Peanuts' runner-up finish. Patrick Bramlett pulled his 'A-Muck' tractor to a top three finish. Ken Langham took the title in Super Stock, with his wild, alcohol burning, Bonham Service Center Cub Cadet tractor. The Motorcycle Class saw Steve Pierce emerge with the victory, over Michael Hickerson's runner-up finish. In Outlaw, it was John Aufdenkamp aboard his 'Three of a Kind' triple engine tractor taking the win. Ken Langham Sr. turned in a second place finish, with Todd Hickerson placing in the top three.
A very close field of tractors in the Mini Rod Class, put on a great show with Jerry Toland taking the win. David Houchen took the runner-up spot, with Sarah Moody pulling to the third position. Colby Crowe and his 'Weekend Warrior' tractor held on for the fourth place spot, with Tommy Kimmons pulling to a top five finish.
The Super Rod tractors closed the show, with James Moody taking 'Varooom' to the winners circle. Randall Moody pulled his 'Ridge Runner' to a runner-up finish, while Donny Mayo posted a third place pull. Tyler McCarley took the fourth place finish, to cap a great night of tractor pulling action in Blue Ridge.
For more information on the LSGTPA 2013 events, visit www.LSGTPA.com