Howdy Chuckwagon Fans!
IT`S CALGARY STAMPEDE TIME!!!
We arrived into the big city lights of Calgary, Alberta on Wednesday evening with all our horses, tack and crew. With only a 2 hour jaunt from Ponoka, the trip seemed to go by very quickly. We had bedded the stalls prior, and Cody also went ahead to put up the stall chains, mix the feed, fill the water buckets and throw in some hay. So our unpacking time was quite minimal. We decided to wait until the evening because the province has been experiencing rather high temperatures that have been reaching up into the 30 degree mark. I personally love the hot weather, but for some others it is not so bearable. It looks like the Calgary Stampede is going to be a hot and dry one, so much different than last years wet, soggy and muddy one. I“ll take the heat any day.
When morning chores are complete, and our alley is swept, we wet down the cement, plug-in our two big fans and get them running. This works very good to keep the barn cool and the horses happy during the day. We have no pens for the horses to play in, as at our other venues throughout the summer, so twice a day we walk each and every one of them to get some exercise and we get our steps in too.
With the Calgary Stampede into full swing, so comes many events going on in the City and in the surrounding areas. Everyone is in full “Cowboy“ mode if you will . They don the cowboy hat, the jeans and even the cowboy boots to get into the spirit of it all. The famous saying throughout the 10 days is “YEEHAA!“. Yesterday Rick and few others were chauffeured over to the Children’s Hospital Annual Parade. The organizers put together an amazing morning for all the children and their families of the hospital. Some of the children get to come outside to enjoy the parade close up and others watch from their windows. Rick and I are looking forward to our annual visit there on Tuesday.
Friends are always good to have, and Dirk and I surprised Rick, by having Dirk come for a few days of Stampede. He`s a huge part of our“Team 23“. We welcome you.
Our horse Law, has been an amazing wheeler for us over that last few years. He`s won the World Professional Chuckwagon equine award a couple times and also the Calgary Stampede Equine award as well. He stands tall and proud in his stall in Calgary. He knows its game time and is quite ready to race. Did you know you can catch the Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Races on CBC and Sportsnet 1 Coverage, and along with that if you are not in Canada, you can go on the internet and watch on the Wrangler Network. Check it out, you won`t be disappointed.
We were drawn into the ninth and final heat on day #1, coming off the 3 barrel. The other drivers in our heat were Luke Tournier on one, Layne MacGillvray on two, and Kurt Bensmiller on four. Rick hooked our Left Leader Nickle, our Right Leader Speedy, Jim on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right. We have David Bensmiller holding the leaders with Ed, and Dustin Gorst throwing the stove with Andy. Two of the best outriders there are.
The horn sounded and they were off. Truthfully, I never even got a chance to ask Rick just how his race was tonight. We normally chat about how the barrel turn was and how the horses ran. The Stampede is so busy here. The chores take a bit longer and then we have family, fans and sponsors stop by afterwards. So Rick headed off to bed before we could talk. But from what I seen things went okay. The barrel turns were clean and he had to race three wide around the track.
We posted a 28th on the day with a time of 1:14.21. The races were all very clean for penalties except for four outfits and most of the chuckwagons were under 2 seconds from each other. Top day money winner was Mark Sutherland with a time of 1:12.31. Looking for a quick turn off the four tomorrow.
During the Chuckwagon races, my job along with one of the “Team 23” members, is to take the outriding horses to the infield and tend to them. While waiting for our heat, I took a few shots of all the different outriding horses awaiting their turn. Such different looks, colors and all attentive to what is going on.
It takes many helpers to get a Chuckwagon outfit to the track. In behind the chutes, with standing room only, we all peer through the gate to watch the action.
Just over the fence, was my little man Ryker, who came to watch Papa run his race. These precious grand-kids of ours, puts many warm fuzzy’s in our hearts.
From the Travelin Trailer
Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”
P.S. Diseases can be our spiritual flat tires—-discrepancies in our lives that seem to be disasters at the time, but end by redirecting our lives in a meaningful way. Bernie S. Siegel, M.D.