Paul Bittick

Excessive rain over the past week has resulted in the cancellation of Cal Poly’s annual truck and tractor pull.

“There have been two things that have been working against us,” said Mark Zohns, a bioresource and agricultural engineering professor. “All the rain from March and early April has completely saturated the pasture. The pasture had been replanted in October, and it hadn’t had a full year to get fully-established. Those factors combined to end up making the pasture pretty soft.”

Even though the weather has been much sunnier the last few days, it has been determined that the site for the tractor pull is too wet for the event to take place. University officials deemed that the pasture on Highland Drive would be unsafe for the event’s oversized vehicles to drive across.

Cal Poly has been doing the truck and tractor pull for over 30 years and this is the first time they’ve had to cancel the event, Zohns said.

“We’ve been doing this since 1971,” Zohns said. “There were a couple of years where we thought that we would have to cancel, but then we would kind of pull it out of the hat at the last minute.”

Preparation usually starts two weeks before the show, but it was too muddy at that point this year. Event organizers waited until Tuesday and finally announced that the land wouldn’t be dry in time, Zohns said.

Agricultural systems management senior Monty Baker is president of both the Tractor Pull Club and the Tractor Pull Team. The Tractor Pull Club has been working on this event since the beginning of the school year, he said, and the news of the event’s cancellation has been extremely disappointing for the group.

“Pretty much all year, we’ve been going through the steps to get ready for the event,” Baker said, “There are 30 or 40 people in the club. When they found out we had to cancel it, they had pretty much been hoping we could do it, but understood that we couldn’t. So, it’s kind of a gloomy day for everybody.”

The truck and tractor pull has always been one of the most popular events associated with Cal Poly’s Open House. However, despite the cancellation of the event, other open house events, such as Friday’s rodeo, are set to run as planned.

“Hopefully people look for the event next year, because it’ll be around,” Baker said. “Just by the way the weather worked out this year, we couldn’t help it and we had to cancel it. It’ll be back though.”

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