GLENVIEW – Half brothers Bill and Bob are settling in at their new home at Historic Wagner Farm. The farm purchased the two in April at a draft horse sale in Waverly, Iowa, after searching for a new team for more than a year.
“There is a decline in the number of draft horses, so good teams are difficult to find,” said Todd Price, Historic Wagner Farm director.
Bill and Bob stand about 17.2 hands high and each weighs just over a ton. They’re Percheron geldings, 9 and 10 years old. Percherons are an awe-inspiring breed, known for their intelligence and muscular appearance.
“Going into the search there were a number of criteria that were important to us. Disposition, age, gender, farm and wagon experience, and good with people. Bill and Bob checked all of those boxes and more,” said Price.
The brothers are from an Amish farm in Minnesota and have worked in teams of two-, three- and four-horse hitches in a public setting and alone on the farm. The goal is to transition them into the primary team at Wagner Farm. Farm staff are getting to know Bill and Bob as they feed and groom the horses. Because the spring has been cool, their time in Glenview has so far been spent in the barn and on the dry lot, but as the weather warms up, they’ll begin working with the farm’s teamsters group pulling wagons and plows.
“What we know so far about Bill and Bob is that they are very friendly horses,” said Michele Fiore, Glenview Park District spokeswoman.
Wagner Farm’s veterinarian checked on the brothers soon after their arrival and found them to be in excellent health. “They’re an impressive team. When people walk up, what they notice is how beautiful and big they are,” said Price.
The public can meet Bill and Bob at the farm’s 3rd annual Veterinarian For a Day program on May 19. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the farm’s animals and participate in hands-on activity stations that include looking through a microscope, examining X-rays and learning about animal anatomy. All ages are welcome. Veterinarian For a Day is presented in partnership with Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association.
The event brings animal health professionals and members of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association to the farm for a unique program with interactive simulations based on real life veterinary situations. Learn how veterinarians look after pets, wildlife and livestock through discussions, demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. Skills covered at the event may include animal handling, animal husbandry, anatomy, basic medical care, technology in the industry and diagnostic techniques
Veterinarian For a Day will take place on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Historic Wagner Farm, 1510 Wagner Road in Glenview. Admission is $5, free for children under two.
Submitted by the Glenview Park District