Grande Prairie Stompede Night #2

Howdy All!

The jitters are all gone from the first night of racing.  The Chuckwagon Drivers, the outriders, the barn hands and all the outstanding volunteers feel them on the first day of competition.  Once that first race day is under our belt, it is full force from then on.  Routine sets in.

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Peaceful Morning

The mornings here are just fabulous when the weather is cooperating.  We’ve had such amazing warm temperatures here in Grande Prairie, AB, which tends to put horses and humans in really good arrays.   Once the ponies run around stretch, buck and kick  after they are let out of their stalls, they settle themselves down, and rest.  They can sleep either lying down or standing up.

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Quite the Pair

With 19 horses to look after day in and day out, there is a unique routine that we follow each and every day.  Our on the road “Team 23” consists of Rick and I and our 2 helpers, Duncan and Karina.  Dunce hails from across the waters, in Australia.  He ventured over to Canada just under two years ago to explore our great country.  Karina, comes to us from Ontario.  They met up in the beautiful mountainous area called Banff.  Duncan happened to be working on a Ranch down south near Bassano, AB some time ago where he met our friend Derek who worked for us prior.  They got chatting about life in general and Chuckwagon racing came into the conversation.  Duncan was given our number in case he would be interested in checking us out.  Well he kept that number in his pocket and decided to give us a call this spring.  He and Karina were ready for an adventure.  They packed up their belongings and headed out west to the Fraser Ranch.  These two have been hard-working young kids enjoying the  tour thus far.

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One Scoop Here……………..

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And One Scoop there!

Our Team is always up for some helpers.  These two young fellas,  Karter and Ethan, (our World Professional Chuckwagon Association Secretary Tammy’s Boy’s) happened to stop by with their mom.  Well we put them right to work helping us make the evening mash for the horses.  As they are city kids, they found this quite appealing.  We had to make sure they left with a little something, something, so the candy dish came out.

The horses love their oats, beet pulp and mineral.  Especially Nickle.  He tries his darndest to get an extra nibble any time he can when we’re not looking.  We have to be very careful where we place the wheel barrow.   The horses all have a personality, just like people.  He’s one of our older right hand lead horses which we have had for quite some time now.  He’s a keeper.

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“I hear the horn”

When race time arrives, and the horses hear the rumbling of the passing chuckwagons and the sound of the starting horn, their ears perk up.  They know its time to race.  They get their adrenaline pumping.  They were born to run.  They amaze me, as they are very much like a human athlete.

Tonight our hook coming off the 3 barrel, we had Bicardi on the Left Lead, Spin on the Right Lead, Jim on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right Wheel.  Ed was rode by our lead outrider man, Cole Somerville, and Stadium was our stove horse rode by Casey Knight.

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Things went according to plan getting out of the infield.  Rick drove a great race placing 13th on the night, and 8th overall.  Still sitting not to bad in the show.  Need two more real good runs.  It looks like the sunny warm weather is going to hold for us for the rest of the event.

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

As I was walking from our trailer to our horse barn, which happens many times a day, I spied this very beautiful, bright yellow dandelion.  Now many may curse this plant, but when you look close up and see the beauty within, it may just give you a different opinion.

Until Tomorrow,

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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Sue

P.S. Everything has its beauty, but not everyone see’s it.

Confucius

Grande Prairie Stompede Night #1

Howdy All!

On Tuesday, Rick and I and a few other drivers, attended the Grande Prairie Stompede Bust Out Kick Off.  This was like the main start to the week of Stompede here in the city.  There was a free lunch provided to all that came out, and many presentations were made.

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Our good friend Dougie

We were thrilled to see our friend Dougie.  He was born and raised here in Grande Prairie.  He attends so many functions of every nature in the city.  From hockey games to the rodeo and chuckwagons, special olympics and more.  He is always a ray of sunshine when you see him.  He will be down on the grounds greeting the fans these next few days.

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A friendly little guy

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Posters for everyone

The crowd was many that came out on this beautiful afternoon.  We met a lot of new faces and were able to catch up with some of the others that we’ve known over the years.

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Jim Watson and Rick having a chat

Jim Watson has contributed countless hours over the years to making what the Stompede is today here in the city of Grande Prairie.  We appreciate all the work that he and many others have done to put together such a successful venue.

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The Grande  Prairie Heritage Foundation

Another team of special folks, are the Grande Prairie Heritage Foundation.  They are a not for profit group dedicated volunteers that promote the preservation of Alberta’s number one sport, professional Chuckwagon Racing.  Since the conception of the group, they also have put countless hours into keeping our heritage alive.   The world revolves around so many volunteers and all of them are great people who want to make an impact in life and they are doing just that.

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While at the Kick Off, a special moment occurred.  The unveiling of a unique chuckwagon.  The Stompede committee were looking for a Chucwkagon that they could use to take to different functions to utilize  to promote the sport.  Rick and I donated Rick’s dads, the late Dave Lewis’s chuckwagon.  They took it and did an amazing job shining it all up.

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High Fives

The luncheon ended with some highfives with some cute little kids that were enjoying a hotdog, pop and received a poster too.

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A special bond

Well race day #1 of the 2017 Chuckwagon season arrived.  Rick likes to have a little pep talk with the boys before they go out to run.

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And They’re Off

Tonight we were off the 2 barrel.  Rick felt really good about the crew that was going.  We had Spirit on the Left Lead, Speedy on the Right Lead, Cowboy on the Left Wheel, and Glory on the Right Wheel.  Our outriders were Cole, as the lead man riding Beau, and Casey in behind throwing the stove with Ice.  Both these fellas are very good riders.  And tonight they made things happen.  When the horn sounded the team started fairly hard.   They didn’t get around the barrels as fast as Rick would have like, so he ended up trailing behind.  On the 3rd turn, he decided to pull and go to the rail, which was good thing.  The team picked up speed, and almost caught the others at the finish line.  We managed a 10th place on the day with a time of 1:19.52.  All around for all the outfits, it was a pretty good night.

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Evening Sunset

The northern country up here in Grande Prairie, can produce such amazing skies at night with beautiful sunsets and fantastic northern lights.  But to see those, you need to stay up fairly late as the sun doesn’t go down until pretty near midnight.

Until tomorrow,

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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Sue

P.S.  No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.