Bonnyville, Alberta Day #1

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends

It has only been four days since the ending of the 2016 Calgary Stampede.  Rick and I have had a few extra hours of down time here in Bonnyville to rest and relax before the next race meet begins.  We sat and chatted about our Calgary Stampede journey.  It can definitely be described as a roller coaster ride and one that will be remembered for many years to come.  We had the excitement of being one of the chosen 36 drivers to compete this year.  We arrived with the attitude of “Going For Gold!”.  Our first race was 5th on the day, very respectable.  We had experienced a horrific night #3,  of the chuckwagon rolling over, yet Rick and the horses were unharmed.  We felt so  many emotions that evening. We picked ourselves up, dusted us off and persevered on.  We were elated to win a day money and have a few more great runs.  Two disappointing nights of hitting barrels.  Our Wheeler Law, received top Equine Award, which made us very proud. We were one of the top money earners.  And yes, now that the dust has all settled, and we have traveled north to the town of Bonnyville,  together, we look back and say “Yes, we sure had an amazing Calgary Stampede, and we are forever grateful.”

 

Yesterday was a fairly relaxed day.  Some great folks of the town of Bonnyville, treated our  chuckwagon  families to some fun on the lake.  One of the Chuckwagon sponsors, swung by the grounds in their fancy limousines, to pick up all the patrons.  Off they went, getting loaded up in some pontoon boats, to a little island to have some fun in the sun.  Rick and I stayed back with the ponies, and let our working crew have some fun.  By the looks of their smiles, they enjoyed themselves to the fullest.  A huge thank you to all that gave of their time and boats for this afternoon adventure.  Its a real treat.

Later in the evening, the drivers, their families and sponsors were welcomed to the 2016 Bonnyville Race meet.  We all gathered into their new Beer Garden Facility.  What a great building they have there.  It has yet to be completed, but when it does, it will be put to great use for many venues I’m sure.

Our chore crew grew this morning.  Our Bonnyville friends showed up to give us a hand.  That meant that I didn’t have to head to the barn, I stayed in the kitchen to prepare our breakfast meal.

 

 

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I don’t leave camp too often, as there is plenty to keep up with,  first and foremost the caring of the horses, meals, laundry, sponsor events, book work and more. But today, relatives Bruce, Bonnie and I, were invited to go out to our Bonnyville friends to enjoy a morning of moving bulls from one pasture to another.  We were so glad we went.  Rick decided to stay back as Cody was hooking an outfit.  When he saw our photos, he wished he had come.  At any rate, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  The weather was perfect.  The horses were quiet.  The bulls trailed along like troopers, as if they knew where to go.  And the scenery was amazing.  There were saskatoons and raspberries along the route.  The birds in the air and the quietness of the country.  You don’t get it much better than that.

It was  a beautiful evening for wagon racing despite the bit of wind and rain that arrived early afternoon.  All chucwkagon outfits were rested and ready to get back at it.  Cody was slated to race in the third heat on barrel 1.  He had a terrific start.  Him and Cody Ridsdale battled to the finish line with Ridsdale edging him out.  Cody manage a time of 1:16.37 good enough for 9th on the day.  He was happy with that as he beat his dads time.

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Barrel Practice

Rick also came off the barrel #1 position, but in the fifth heat.  We thought the run was faster than posted, but then Rick said the outfit stalled coming around the top, which in turn causes to take up a bit more time. We did win our heat.  Our time was a 1:16.75, but was totally clean all around so we will settle with that.  The hook tonight was Spirit (LL), Speedy (RL) Cowboy (LW) Skippy (RW) with Stadium and Andy as our outriding horses being rode by David and Cole.  They are both great outriders doing a great job.

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Stadium and Andy

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and Team 23

P.S.  Respect is earned.  Honesty is appreciated.  Trust is gained.  Loyalty is returned.

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Barrel Practice

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