Grande Prairie Stompede: Night Three (May 29)

Brrrrrrr! It was chilly this morning when we arose. Good thing I put the furnace on last night or I might have opted to stay in bed a whole bunch longer. Rick fed morning oats at 6am then headed in to tidy himself up and ventured off to his old elementary school, Hillside, to see the kids at a pancake breakfast. Chad Harden and Chad Fike also went along. Throughout the summer at each of the Tour stops, all the drivers and outriders are assigned to go out into the community to different functions to promote our heritage lifestyle. Some of the places they go to are schools, UFA, a sponsor, car dealerships, seniors’ lodges and hospitals, to name a few.

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I zoomed into the city at 11 to buy some more groceries for the crew. Made it a speedy trip, and then headed to a restaurant to meet up with Rick and Ken Drysdale, our sponsor from a few years ago. Some of you may remember the company Kendal Pipeline? Yes, we carried that tarp proudly for seven years. It was a great partnership that began as business but quickly became a friendship that has lasted to today. We must say that chuckwagon racing did well for Kendal pipeline and Kendal Pipeline did well for Rick and Sue Fraser and Team 23.We had lots of great times, and together won a World Champion title in 2004 and numerous shows along the trail. So many great memories.

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A day can go by quite quickly in this lifestyle we live. After lunch, I got back to our home on wheels and rushed to get the groceries put away and supper layered into the crockpot, with just enough time to take an hour’s nap before the 4 o’clock chores began. I have a hard time falling asleep, so I think maybe only 30 minutes of that counted. Will try to shoot for a nap again for tomorrow.

Coming off of barrel 2 tonight, Rick decided to keep the exact same lineup as last night. Spirit, Speirman, Vegas and Zorba, with the same two outriders, Rory and Dustin, riding Beau and Trixter. I give those boys credit, because it’s a job that takes a lot of talent with a very fit body to boot, especially if they have seven to nine rides in a night. Just as Rick had rolled into position, our lead man Rory was having a bit of a time trying to get a hold of the crosschecks of the two leaders to steady them in place for Rick. The lead horses kept backing up just a bit, refraining Rory from handling them and pointing them in the position to which Rick asked him. Then the horn blew. They started pretty good—Rick drove them around the barrels and came out right alongside Jason Glass on barrel 1. They were running neck and neck until the second turn, then our outfit started to fall back just a bit. Rick said Vegas didn’t run quite as fast as yesterday. Not sure why, but we managed to come out with a  1:18.68, good enough for 15th on the day.

We are sitting third overall in the standings after three nights of racing. If we manage to have a nice, fast, clean run tomorrow, we could find Team 23 vying for the win on Championship Sunday. Let’s cross our fingers and our toes that this will come to fruition!!! As I always say, it’s nice to get into the final dash of the meet, and a bonus to take home the win. Hope we can make Direct Horizontal, our sponsor, very proud this show.

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Live to learn, and you will learn to live.

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