Maine Revised Statutes

§97. Pulling events between animals

1. Permit required.  A person or entity may not sponsor a public or private pulling event between animals or pairs of animals within the State without a permit from the commissioner issued in accordance with this section and rules adopted pursuant to this section.
[ 2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW) .]
2. Application.  A person or entity shall make an application for a permit in writing to the commissioner at least 10 days prior to the date on which a pulling event is intended to take place. The applicant shall provide the name of the person or entity conducting the event, the date and place the event is to be held and the names of the pull superintendent and superintendent assistants appointed to officiate at the event. One application and one permit may include one or more separate events when specified. Permits granted under this section are not transferable.
[ 2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW) .]
3. Fees.  The commissioner shall charge a permit fee of $40 per pull day for an event sponsored by a person or entity receiving a stipend under section 86. The commissioner shall charge a seasonal permit fee of $75 to a person or entity that does not receive a stipend under section 86. The seasonal permit covers all pulls conducted by that entity for the year in which the permit is issued. All revenue derived from the permit fees must be deposited in a nonlapsing dedicated account.
[ 2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW) .]
4. Statutory rules.  A permit may not be issued under this section unless the person or entity conducting the event has adopted the following rules governing the conduct of each pulling event.
A. All drivers who are to compete in contests must have their teams ready at the published starting time. All classes must be closed after the positions are drawn. Classes must start as nearly as possible to the published time. [2017, c. 207, §7 (AMD).]
B. Check weighing must be allowed prior to the official weigh-in. All weighing must be done in the forenoon if possible. Teams must have on halters. Horses and ponies must have on shoes. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
C. Measuring must be in a straight line to the nearest point on the drag. Line-to-line measuring is allowed. The front of the drag must touch the line before turning. To get the full-line measure, the drag must be turned more than 1/2 way or the back of the drag must be over the line. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
D. Teams must stay hooked to the drag at all times. Unhitching and rehitching are not allowed. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
E. An actual separation, breaking or bending of equipment constitutes a breakdown. A team breaking down may take the distance pulled or return to the last position and pull over. Only one breakdown is allowed. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
F. Time limits are a maximum of 5 minutes. Time starts when the drag is moved. The time limit to hook on in distance pulls is 3 minutes. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
G. On horses, the very light use of the reins on the hindquarters only is allowed and over and under is not allowed. Whips, brads or goads are not allowed. Reins may not be doubled up. Electrical or electronic devices are not allowed. Open bridles are not allowed. Ponies may not be struck except in a sweepstakes, when they may be struck with a cap or bare open hand. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
H. On oxen, the use of the goad must be very light. The goad may not have a brad in it, only a plain yoke and chain or pole that may be pulled, except that a rope may be allowed in children's classes as provided in rules adopted pursuant to subsection 5. All chains must be covered to the hook. Plastic goads are not allowed. The goad stick may not be over 4 feet long unless approved by the pull superintendent and may not exceed 1/2 inch in diameter on the small end. The goad stick may be taped but not weighted. The stick may be used lightly on the face to control the oxen but not around the eyes. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
I. Any number of helpers is allowed to help hitch. After hitch-on, there may be no more than 2 helpers. The helpers shall stay behind the drag unless needed to help the driver. The helpers may not have a stick. This paragraph applies to distance pulls only. [2017, c. 207, §8 (AMD).]
J. All participants must be properly dressed. Proper language must be used at all times. Any participant under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances must be disqualified from the contest. Tests may be made to determine intoxication. The drinking of intoxicating beverages by participants in and around the ring is prohibited. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
K. The person or entity sponsoring the event decides the splitting of teams. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
L. Heading of horses or oxen is not allowed. One inch pulled constitutes a hitch. Stepping over the rail counts as a hitch and 5 minutes are allowed for hitching. Three attempts may be made within that period. Time taken out to position the drag for the next pull may not be counted. Drivers may not be changed after the first load is pulled. A team deliberately driven over the rail is disqualified from the contest. In case of a tie on the longest distance, the 2nd-longest distances already pulled will take first place. Persons acting as eveners shall remain quiet after hitching on. This paragraph does not apply to distance pulls. [2017, c. 207, §8 (AMD).]
M. There may not be heading of horses after a pull starts unless there is a mix-up, snarl or breakdown. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
N. A substantial barrier must be maintained at the end of the ring toward which the pull is proceeding to prevent or substantially impede runaways. A driver losing control of the team is disqualified immediately. [2017, c. 207, §8 (AMD).]
O. There is 100 pounds' tolerance on draft steers and oxen on and after Labor Day weekend. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
P. An animal that is thin or dehydrated, shows open sores or is lame is disqualified. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
Q. Before a team is allowed to pull, the owner shall provide a certificate of liability insurance in the amount of $300,000. [2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW).]
R. An animal must have an ear tag or microchip implant for identification purposes. The pull superintendent or the assistant pull superintendent shall verify the animal's identification at the time of weigh-in and at the time of entry. [2017, c. 207, §9 (NEW).]
[ 2017, c. 207, §§7-9 (AMD) .]
5. Rules.  The commissioner may, with the advice of the Pull Events Commission, adopt rules necessary to carry out the purposes of this section and sections 98 and 99. Rules adopted pursuant to this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
[ 2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW) .]
2005, c. 563, §3 (NEW). 2017, c. 207, §§7-9 (AMD).