Pony pulls used to also be common.
Horses and ponies were used for logging and tilling the fields Way Back When.
Just as saddle horse owners were proud of their particular horse's speed or gait, pulling horse owners were proud of their teams and would gather for impromptu pulling contests.
Those impromptu contests turned into big entertainment at local fairs since everyone knew everyone and had a team to root for
Rural Heritage on RFD-TV features logging teams