Howdy Chuckwagon Friends!
The count down is on. Only 2 more days of racing and then we’re headed home. “How Sweet it is!” As my husband often says. It’s been a good ride here in Calgary Alberta. Rick decided to hook an outfit for a practice run this morning at 7 AM. Our daughter Kaylee and husband Chris wanted to be a part of the action, so I offered to stay up in the camper with baby Ryker while he slept. So in turn, I got to have a sleep in morning and it lasted until 9:30 AM! Oh my Gosh that was so good. When Ryker awoke we headed down to the barn to find all the chores complete and breakfast done and cleaned up.
With the Stampede coming to a close, that means there is lots of packing to do. Our one tack room acts as a kitchen, clothes closet, and storage unit all in one. I decided to pack some of our belongings up to the camper that we did not need down there anymore. I got busy and did what I could. Back at the camper, I unloaded it all. Dishes had to be washed, bags put away, and the fridge cleaned out. Once that was all done, I got busy and made 2 pans of Christmas Morning Wifesaver for breakfast tomorrow morning.
When you have horses, there are always legs to attend to. Our “Team 23” has looked after each and every one of our equine animals this week with their utmost care and attention. We couldn’t ask for anything better from them all.When the chuckwagon team has been hooked and warmed up by trotting a few laps around the barns, they then line up into the 4th furlong chute to await their heat. Our team member Karina stands with the leaders to steady them until it is time to go. On the most part, the horses stand pretty good in the chute.
For safety precautions, the Stampede has random drug testing. The drivers and outriders have to blow into the mechanism for detection of alcohol usage. A breathalizer test. I’m not sure how many times Rick has had to blow, but I do know it’s been a waste of money, as Rick hasn’t drank any liquor for 34 years. None the less, they still have to test him.
Coming into the infield for a practice, after the barrel turn, often the drivers get their helpers to lend a hand at pulling on the lines to slow the horses down. The four thoroughbreds can be hard to hold as they know the race is approaching very fast and it is soon time to run fast. Once in a while, after completing the barrel turn, the horses can get away on a driver and think it is time to race. They pull harder and harder where the driver can not stop them and they have what we call, a run away. Eventually they get them stopped and head back to the barn with an unfortunate no time.
Tonight’s hook was Spirit on the Left Lead, Ranger on the Right. Sporty on the Left Wheel and Bacardi on the Right. With having a new barrel draw, it meant we had to change-up our outriders. Chance Flad was available to hold the leaders with Ed and a young rookie named Ethan Motowylo threw the stove using Andy.
Rick had a great turn around the one barrel, yet when he came onto the track, his Chuckwagon was just a little wide on the chalk line. The judges assessed us with a 1 second penalty. We ended up 23rd on the day.
On the way back to the barns, Duncan gets a few lessons from Rick on how to drive. He’s been enjoying the experience as he has nothing like this back in Australia, his home country.
After the races, our sponsors from Western Star had come by to visit us and the horses back at the barns. For some of them, it was their first ever Chuckwagon race. They loved it. For them it was great to get up front and personal with the horses.
Tomorrow evening will be a very exciting time for the four finalists that will be vying for the $100,000.00 prize. Congratulations to all the finalists who consist of Logan Gorst, Kurt Bensmiller, Obrey Motowylo, and Chanse Vigen. May the fastest wagon win!
From the Travelin Trailer
Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”
P.S. Failure keeps you humble. Success keeps you glowing. But only Faith and Determination keeps you going.