Grande Prairie Stompede: Night Four (May 30)

Still cold here today. I so wanted to sleep in. I’m not getting enough hours of Zzzzzs. Cody and Rick got up and fed morning oats, and then headed out to breakfast with Cody’s sponsor. I made a pot of hot coffee and tea for the crew to enjoy before the chores. There were a few slow-going kids this morning, as they went out to the cabaret for a couple of hours last night to have some fun.

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Cody lets Myra and Lucy sit on Ace.

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Time for a minty treat.

My nephew Shawn came by today with his girls to have a little visit and meet all the horses. Cody let them sit on Ace to snap a picture. Many of the horses love to have treats and the girls fed them some mints. A favourite for many.

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During this tour stop Harold Chapin, our farrier, has been busy resetting all our horses shoes. It’s a pretty big job but he manages to get through them, a few each day. The horse is such a magnificent animal. They all are amazing and are like people, in such a way that they all have their own personalities. It’s quite interesting when you get to know each one of them. We all have our favourites for different reasons.

Well, Rick hooked one of the best teams that we have ever had tonight off of the 3 barrel. Left Lead – Speedy, Right Lead – Nickle, Left Wheel – Sneakers and Law – Right Wheel. They are such an amazing outfit. Rory rode Ace and Dustin was on Andy. Both of these teams did an awesome job. The rains came down about 6 o’clock and it was cold and muddy. I had to drag out all the rain gear just to keep dry. The track here is one of the best tracks we compete on. All four wagons came into the barrels: Kirk Sutherland on 1, Jason Glass on 2, Rick on 3 and Kurt Bensmiller on 4. The horn sounded and they were off. Rick had an amazing start coming out into his lane. Kirk was in his lane, and Jason did not quite turn with them and was slower getting out, which allowed Rick to come alongside Kirk. Rick wears a Go-Pro on his hat when he races and it allows us to see just how the horses perform. Everything looked clean—he was ahead of Jason with room to ease down. Unfortunately the judging staff didn’t agree with this move. The judges came back to say, and I quote from the WPCA Inquiry Review, that Rick received “Wagon 3 moved Wagon 2 over to rail was too close to right leader then hit Wagon 1 on first turn” and  “3-second penalty was assessed to wagon 3.”  Rick also was penalized because the judging staff believed Rick’s wagon hit Wagon 1 on first turn. Yes, the two wagons did touch on the first turn, but according to a film that we reviewed, Wagon 1 passed over a bump, which in turn moved Wagon 1 into Rick’s wagon, thus being called interference.

Tomorrow is another day, and I’m very appreciative for all our Team 23 crew for how hard they worked over these last two weeks. It’s teamwork that gets us to where we are and to where we are going. Rick and I are very fortunate to have the horses that we do, the friends that we have, the people in our lives that come to support us. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are champions!

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Barn babes!

Barn babes!

Do it big, do it right and do it with style.

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