Calgary Stampede 2017 Day #9

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.


Holding the Leaders

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.


Only a Breath Away

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.


A Helping Hand

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.


The Top of 1

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.


Coming Down the Home Stretch

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.


Driver in Training

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.


One Happy Group

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!

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

DSC_2585 - Copy


P.S.  Failure keeps you humble.  Success keeps you glowing.  But only Faith and Determination keeps you going.




6 thoughts on “Calgary Stampede 2017 Day #9

  1. I have a question how many horses do you have to bring to the stampede? Do you also supply the out riding horses? Thank you

  2. Hi sue, I have really enjoyed following your blog which was forwarded to me by a friend. I have joined today.
    I have learned so much about chuck wagon racing this past few years and all the work that goes into that lifestyle and taking such good care of the horses and each other. Family for sure!
    It was a pleasure to meet you and Rich at the ponoka Rodeo. Thank you so much for talking the time to chat and take pictures.
    I was cheering for you at the Calgary stampede and looked forward to each race.
    All the very best in the future .
    Cheering for you all! Go for it!

    • Hello Murial
      Thanks for following along. It’s a pleasure to share what we do with others.
      Cheers to you

  3. Wx

    I caught Day 9 on CBC in Sask and  as I was grinning to see the mid race friendly chit chat An all time favorite song came to mind. These lyrics may vary slightly from the version u know, shamelessly plagiarized from
    Writer Carl Davis. Thanks for the beloved tune Carl and later to Alberta singer Paul Brandt and all of Team 23. Kari

    Yeah, breaker one nine
    This here’s Rick Fraser
    You got a copy on me Pig Pen, c’mon

    Uh, yeah, Ten-Four Pig Pen, fer sure, fer sure
    By golly it’s clean clear to Stampede Park, c’mon
    Yeah, its a big Ten-Four there Pig Pen
    Yeah, we definitely got the front door, good buddy
    Mercy sakes alive, looks like we’ve got us a convoy

    It was the  heat of the afternoon
    On the fifteenth of  July
    And a Kenworth pullin’ logs
    Cab over Pete with a refer on
    And a Jimmy haulin’ hogs
    We was headin’ for bear
    On Olympic Way
    ‘Bout a half mile out of Stampede Park
    I says, Pig Pen this here’s Rick Fraser
    And I’m about to put the hammer down

    ‘Cause we got a little ‘ole convoy
    Racin’ through the  Rangeland
    Yeah, we got a little ‘ole convoy
    Ain’t she a beautiful sight
    C’mon and join our Convoy
    Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
    We gonna roll this  wagon convoy
    ‘Cross the  finish line

    Yeah, breaker Pig Pen this here’s Rick
    And uh, you wanna back off them hogs
    Uh, ten-four ’bout five mile or so
    Ten-Roger them hogs is gettin’ intense up here

    By the time we got into  Stampede Park
    We had four wagons and  8 outriders in all
    But they’s a finish wire up on the clover leaf
    And them fans was wall to wall
    Yeah, them fans as thick as bugs on a bumper
    They even had Ian McIntyre in the air
    I says, callin’ all  wagons
    This heres Rick
    We about to go a huntin’ bear

    ‘Cause we got a little ‘ole convoy
    Racin’ round the Rangeland
    Yeah, we got a great big convoy
    Ain’t she a beautiful sight
    C’mon and join our Convoy
    Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
    We gonna roll this wagon convoy
    ‘Cross the  finish line

    Uh, you wanna give me a ten-nine on that Pig Pen
    Uh, negatory Pig Pen you’re still too close
    Yeah, them hogs is startin’ to close up my sinuses
    Mercy sakes, you’d better back off another ten

    Well, we rolled up to corner  three
    Like a rocket sled on rails
    We tore up all of our swindel sheets
    And left ’em settin’ on the scales
    By the time we hit that Stampede Park
    Them bears was a gettin’ smart
    They’d brought up some reinforcements
    driving legend Tom Glass, and chuckwagon historian Billy Melville
    There’s armored cars and tanks and jeeps
    And rigs of every size
    Yeah, them chicken coops was full of bears
    And  camera’s filled the skies
    Well, we shot the line
    We went for broke
    With a 115 thousand screamin’  fans
    And eleven long haired Friends of Jesus
    In a Chartreus microwagon

    Yeah, Rick Fraser ’tis Sod Buster
    C’mon there
    Yeah, Ten-Four Sod Buster
    Listen, you wanna put that microwagon
    In behind that suicide jockey
    Yeah, he’s haulin’ dynamite
    And he needs all the help he can get

    Well, we laid a strip for the finish line
    Prepared to cross the line
    I could see the bridge was lined with bears
    But I didn’t have a doggone dime
    I says, Pig Pen this here’s Rick Fraser
    We just ain’t a gonna pay no toll
    So we crashed the gate doin’ 98
    I says let them  wagons roll

    ‘Cause we got a mighty convoy   Racin’ round the Rangeland
    Yeah, we got a mighty convoy
    Ain’t she a beautiful sight
    C’mon and join our Convoy
    Ain’t nothin’ gonna get in our way
    We gonna roll this wagon convoy
    ‘Cross the Finish line

    Ah, Ten-Four
    Pig Pen what’s you’re Twenty
    Corner Four
    Well, they oughtta know what to do
    With them hogs out there, fer sure
    Well, mercy sakes good buddy
    We gonna pack on outta here
    So keep the mud off yer goggles
    And the  outriders on yer…tail
    We’ll catch you at the next one
    This here’s  Team 23 on the side
    We gone
    Bye, bye

Leave a Reply