Calgary: Night One (July 3)

Well, what an exciting time it is to be here at the Calgary Stampede. The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth! There is so much to do, so much to see and 10 days to make it all happen.

With such a short turnover from Ponoka, it’s been a very crazy day here in Calgary. We do not use our portable barn here, as Calgary has barns for everyone to utilize and this is our ponies’ home for the next 10 days. It’s all good, except we have no pen space to let the horses run around. So this leaves us to walk our horses for exercise twice a day.

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Rick and I rise shortly before 6, as Rick heads down to the barn to feed oats and I prepare the coffee in the 30-cup percolator to share with others in the nearby barns. My favourite time before chores begins, sitting around BSing about old times.

Tonight after the races, Rick enjoyed a visit with Brian Burke, the Operations Manager of the Calgary Flames. He was down visiting some other drivers.

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We are always so happy to have some of our Overacker relatives come down to cheer us on. Maxine and one of her daughters Shawna were happy to pose with me for a candid shot.

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Rick was sportin’ an Alberta Premium shirt from our friend Norm Little. I think he looked pretty darn handsome in it.

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The barn crew of Team 23 are doing a tremendous job, preparing the horses for race time. This allows Rick and I to spend more time with sponsors and folks who come by.

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Rick chose to hook Speedy on Left Lead, Nickle on Right Lead, Sneakers on Left Wheel and Law on Right Wheel. Cole rode Ace and Dustin rode Andy.

Rick Fraser Team 23

Lining up at the 3 barrel, the lead team was not co-operating with what the driver wanted them to do. They were kind of doggin’ it! Rick’s rear right hub touched and knocked down the barrel of the guy on 3. Dustin, our outrider, reached over to stand it up, and he did, but didn’t quite get back in time to get our stove to the ground before the horn blew. If your stove is not on the ground when the horn blows, the outfit gets assessed a 1-second penalty and we got it. So instead of a 12th for the day, it dropped us down to the 29th spot.

Rick Fraser Team 23

No worries, though; we will persevere and have clean and fast runs tomorrow and on.

The only certain measure of success is to render more and better service than is expected of you.

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