History

Celebrating 41 Years!

Since 1977 The Michigan Great Lakes International Draft Horse Show and Pull (MGLI), an All American Class A Show for draft horse breeds, has shown continuous growth and innovation while producing a very positive impact on Michigan’s economy and its agriculture industry. MGLI emphasizes the importance of making a traditional trade an international experience.

MGLI is the only event in the world to feature halter classes, hitching, plowing, pulling and riding for draft horse breeds and mules at the same time and location. During our exciting four day show MGLI hosts 330 exhibitors with 1,200 draft horses from 30 states and 3 Canadian provinces. MGLI’s attendance tops 35,000 people – the 4th largest trade show in the Greater Lansing area, and the 10th largest in Michigan.

MGLI’s economic impact on the Greater Lansing area is approximately one million dollars per each annual event. The state’s agriculture industry pumps $71.3 billion dollars into Michigan’s economy each year, and 25% of Michigan’s work force is employed in agribusiness, according to the MI Farm Bureau.

As a result of excellent leadership and hard work, MGLI has reached many milestones and forged many valuable partnerships including:

  • North American Classic Series affiliation: serving as host event for the six horse hitch, and hosting the Classic Series Finals for three years, which is a Classis Series qualifying show and a Classic Series point show.
  • National Breed Organizations (Belgian, Clydesdale, Percheron and Shire): Gives NBO a forum to meet with current members and to recruit new members.
  • Michigan Draft Horse Breeders Association: Provides MDHBA a forum to increase awareness of their organization and to sell raffle tickets for their fundraisers.
  • Michigan Dynamometer Association: Provides MDA a forum to increase awareness of their organizations and sell raffle tickets for their fundraisers.
  • Honors draft horse breeders and pullers: Since 1978 annually honors those who have made an impact on MGLI and MI agribusiness.
  • Michigan’s many commodity groups: Provides complementary booth space to showcase the diversity of Michigan’s agriculture.
  • Lobbyist firm hired: first group of its kind to use a lobbyist to secure state funds and premium supports.
  • MI Dept of Agriculture: Partners to provide financial support, prizes and premiums. MGLI also provides website links to MDA and other MI agribusiness supporters.
  • Annual skills center: Give visitors the chance to learn about draft horse feed, harmful weeds, equipment, riding skills, breed identification and age determination.
  • Youth education: Contests and classes for urban and rural students and partner them with exhibitors for hands-on experience and knowledge of draft horses.
  • Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Partners with MSUCVM and program students in research project during the heavyweight and lightweight horse pulling contests.
  • MGLI is ready to transition from a major Michigan and North American event to a significant international show with the capacity to shine its unique light on MI agriculture.

In the Future:
MGLI is working to implement a new marketing plan to secure resources and direction to increase the number of exhibitors and to draw spectators from a larger geographic area. This will make it possible to reach more milestones and to continue as a major contributor to Michigan’s economy

Background: 
The Michigan Great Lakes International Draft Horse Show and Pull’s governing committee consists of 19 individuals who work constantly to improve the quality of the annual show, and to increase MGLI’s impact on Michigan’s economy and agriculture industry. Committee members are knowledgeable in the agriculture and draft horse industry as businesses, operators or hobbyists.

The committee is held accountable to the Constitution and By-Laws of the MGLI. The Constitution and By-Laws have held MGLI to high standards in maintaining sound financial practices and the highest professionalism in the industry.