Written by Yaneek Smith
October 15, 2013
When you think of a tractor pull, you envision a farmer driving a tractor and pulling a really, big load. Imagine a six-year-old girl doing the same thing, only without an engine, just pedaling, and competing nationally.
Granted, a young girl cannot pull anywhere near the amount of weight that a tractor can, but it can be just as entertaining to watch.
For years, Matt and Heather Bourdo, residents of Curtice, have taken their children to the National Tractor Pull Championships in Bowling Green. Little did they know that one day their youngest daughter, Addison, would develop an affinity for participating in tractor pull competition, so much so that it would take them across the state and the nation.
We go to the National Tractor Pull Championships,” said Heather, a Curtice resident. “On Saturday and Sunday, there is a pull for the kids. The kids have to make it all the way to the end (30 feet) in the competition. We go through that until all the kids in the age group are done. Then the weights are increased and they see who goes the farthest. (Addison) ended up doing that and got first place both days.
“We didn’t realize how big (the kids' competition) was — we just thought it was something fun. When we won at Bowling Green, Addison got a certificate to go to Columbus and she asked if we could take her. It's a huge thing. I just thought it was something minor.”
Addison, the youngest of three sisters ranging in ages from 9 to 14 to 17, recently competed at The National Pedal Pull Championships in Mitchell, South Dakota last month, finishing second in her age group and defeating young boys along the way.
“She lives for it. She lives for winning,” father Matt said. “She wants to win. She likes to make the boys cry. She was very nervous at the competition in South Dakota. If she doesn’t get a full pull right off the bat, she’s devastated. Sometimes she’ll win with less than a full pull. She won at the Luckey Festival with a pull of 27 feet.”
Addison has won a number of competitions at prestigious events, including the Lucas County Fair, the Columbus Power Show and the Ohio State Fair.
To qualify for the competition in South Dakota, she had to finish in the top three at the Buckeye Peddle Puller. She did just that.
The national competition itself is a huge event that draws people from all over the country to a building known as “The Corn Palace.”
“There’s no pull in the U.S. bigger than that one,” Matt said. “The top three placers are invited from each state. It is growing every year, it gets bigger and bigger. Each tractor is different — some are two wheels, some are wide wheels. (Addison) has pulled 460 pounds before. A lot of the heavier tractors are modified so (the kids) can pull the weight easier.
“It’s so much fun to watch these kids. It puts them on a pedestal. The crowds go nuts when the kids start pulling the tractor. When there is a little girl going against two boys, the crowd goes wild. It makes the kids feel like giants. I think the oldest kid was 12 or 13 and there are kids as young as 3 or 4 just getting starting. She loves it. We can’t stop her. She knows what she's doing. She’s smart.”