Grande Prairie Stompede: Night Two (May 28)

I’m beginning to think I’m a day behind in things. I can’t explain it; it just feels that way. With that dump of rain yesterday afternoon, it sure put us behind in our chores. We have a routine set up but then the rain interfered with the horses being put out to play in the pens, thus the stalls didn’t get cleaned out until after the races. And to add to all of that, the evening events were running late by approximately 45 minutes, and because we are in the ninth heat (not complaining about that) the feeding, the bedding and the washing of the horses took much, much longer and this made for a very late departure from the barns to my bed. I was beat, to say the least. Oh, and in between the barns and the bed, Team 23 was a tad bit hungry, so the snacks came out, the stories of the day were shared, we received the times for the evening and then it was time to sit and write my blog. I believe the clocked chimed 1am when my head hit the pillow. Will have to shoot for an earlier exit tonight.

The daily chores this morning were greeted with a very chilly air. So much so that Ricky put the long johns back on. When we pack for the summer, all-weather clothing comes along, as you never know what the temperatures will be like. Heck, we’ve even seen snow in July in the past. Even with the cold temperatures, it’s nothing that a good cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea can’t warm up the souls to keep us going. Just more than thankful it wasn’t raining. No practice runs this morning so the chores were completed in record time, and I prepared a nice big breakfast for the crew with homemade hash browns, eggs, toast and REAL bacon. I normally purchase the turkey bacon, so this day they had a treat.

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Shortly thereafter, Rick headed to town to run a few errands while the crew fed noon oats and then snuggled down for a nap. And I finally bunkered down to catch up on my office work. GST and payroll have to get done, as Canada Revenue Agency like to have their money on time, you know. I don’t usually like to procrastinate for too long. But now that I’m caught up, I can tuck that part of my job description to the wayside…at least until the MasterCard bill arrives. A never-ending cycle, isn’t it? It keeps my brain going.

Did I say how much I love kids? And Rick does too, for that matter. We love to spoil them when they come around. No shortage of suckers here. And they are always so happy to chose one.

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Just don’t let the parents know…wink wink!

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Day 2, and we raced off the 1 barrel. What happens at the beginning of the year is that all the wagon competitors are placed in order of the way they finished up in the standings the year before. So, for instance, the top four drivers of 2014 are in the last heat here on day 1. They are Kirk Sutherland, Kurt Bensmiller, Jason Glass and Rick Fraser. All drivers are placed in a heat respectively, and then the office does a barrel draw out of a hat to see which barrel they begin on. From there, the outfits rotate to the next barrel and continue each day on a different barrel. After four days of running, the times of all the competitors are added up and the outfits are reseeded once again from the fastest times to the slowest. The top four outfits with the fastest times on day 5 will compete in the last heat for a chance to win the championship title.

Our hook tonight was Spirit – Left Lead, Speirman – Right Lead, Vegas – Right Wheel and Zorba – Right Wheel. Rory and Dustin rode Beau and Trixter. I was a little nervous on how things were going to pan out tonight, as Rick decided to hook a green (meaning the horse has not run in a race) horse on the wheel. We have only had Vegas a year now but he has never been in a race as of today. Well, today was his maiden voyage and I must say he performed very well and runs like the wind. So much so that with the other three horses they won us a third-place finish on the day, stopping the clock at 1:17.40. And the driver did very well too! LOL! Day money went to the Chad Harden camp, posting a very speedy 1:15.90. Cheers to them!!

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Cody drove off the 2 barrel tonight with the Western Chuckwagon Association. His hook tonight was Air – Left Lead, Ranger – Right Lead, H – Left Wheel and Sporty – Right Wheel. He did quite well skinning around those barrels. I must say, he looks like a natural. But then he does have a good teacher behind him in the box (his dad) and great genes to go with it (the late Great Grandpa Tommy Dorchester and Grandpa Dave Lewis). All of them earned World Champion Chuckwagon titles.

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Some of our biggest fans back home were taking advantage of getting together and listening to the races live on SiriusXM 80. It’s a great way to keep up on things if you can’t make it to the track to watch. “Go, Team 23, Go!”

If you’re not using your smile, you’re like a man with a million dollars in the bank and no chequebook.

One thought on “Grande Prairie Stompede: Night Two (May 28)

  1. Thank you Sue for your great updates. I look forward to receiving them. Congrats on placing third in the day 2 aggregate. Best of luck on barrel #3 tonight. Go Team 23 Go!

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