Ponoka Stampede Day#3

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends!

What a beautiful warm sunny day with temperatures hitting around 25 degrees celsius.  A perfect day for a parade.  Rick and I have been in the parade in prior years, but not this time.  After chores I zoomed over on my bike to see our grandson, Ryker.  He got to go with his other  grandparents, Les and Linda to watch all the action along the parade route.  He was quite curious about it all.

Ryker & Grandpa Les at Ponoka Parade

Ryker and Grandpa Les

Along our travels in the summer there are few parades,  but Ponoka has one of the best with so much talent involved.   From horse-drawn wagons, to musical marching bands, to kids on bikes, antique cars, beautifully decorated floats and so much more.  The crowds coming out to watch were plenty.

Of course, what is a parade without the candy that they through out?!  Well Ryker was good with the grape sucker he received.  What kid doesn’t like that?


Dace and Rick

Our Chuckwagon Family consists of so many kids ranging in ages from baby to teens and above.  I would love to feature them all.  So many awesome personalities.  Dace comes from the Irvine Family up in the Bonnyville area.  Dace, with down syndrome is such a ray of sunshine to our community of families.  Her mom and dad, Jimmy Lou and Doug have raised her to be quite the young lady.  We’ve watched her grow every summer along our travels.  She is now 14 and going into grade eight she tells us.  She never passes Rick by without saying a hello and giving him a big hug.  So so special.

As our sport consists of outriders,  over the years we have seen many come and go.  Rick himself was a very good outrider winning many championship buckles.

Dave Lewis driving Rick Fraser outriding

Dave Lewis and son Rick Fraser

He rode for many drivers including his grandfather Tom Dorchester, his dad Dave Lewis, his Uncle Dallas Dorchester, Kelly Sutherland and last year for 1 ride for his son Cody Fraser, to make history.  And he did a pretty darn good job at the age of 57.  I’m not sure that anyone can top that one in the future.


Outrider Dean

Our outrider list today is pretty small.  We currenlty don’t have too many up and coming.  With having 4 chuckwagons to a heat, it doesn’t leave many sitting on the fence.  Here in Ponoka, we have hired Chuckwagon Driver Dustin Gorst to hold our leaders.  He is one of the few drivers that continue to outride as well as drive.  It is so important to have a good lead man to set the horses as they come into position.  Our stove man, is rookie outrider Dean Arcand.  He comes to us from the Saskatchewan area.  We see very good potential in this young fella.  He mounts the horse well, he listens to pointers to improve his riding and he was very excited to be hired for “Team 23”.  He will do very well into the future.


On the Home Stretch

Well I did have my cameras with me, but I didn’t have it put onto the proper setting.  Darn it!  So this is how it turned out.  A little fuzzy but you can still see the 4 wagons.

Rick hooked Bacardi on the Left Lead, Speedy on the  Right.  Jim on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right.  Same outfit as last night, we just switched out Nickle for Bacardi.  Ed and Andy were the outriding horses, again rode by Dustin and Dean.   All 4 Chuckwagons started together and cleared the infield in unison.  Rick was off the four barrel and so he had to race 4 wide all the way around the track.  This just means his outfit has many more strides to run.  Kurt Bensmiller on 1 barrel won day money, so our heat was fast.  That gave us a 13th on the day and sitting 10th in the aggregate.  With a very clean fast run tomorrow, we could possibly make the cut for the top 8 in the semi-finals on Sunday.  That would be so exciting.

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”



P.S.  A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things that renew humanity.       Buddha

4 thoughts on “Ponoka Stampede Day#3

  1. Hi Sue;
    Love your blog and have just started following it. I have always wondered why there are no female outriders? Is it due to a lack of interest? Talent? or just tradition?

    • Hello Piper
      Back in the 80’s, there was a female outrider. Her name was May Gorst. She is a sister to competitor Gary Gorst. I am not sure how long she rode for. The reason there are not other female competitors, is because of strength. When you mount the horse, you need so much upper body strength. The guys have it, the gals lack it. It is not that girls can’t ride any less. There are lots of good female riders out there. At the end of the day, there is no ruling saying a girl can’t ride.
      Cheers and thank for following along.

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