Bonnyville Chuckwagon Races Day#4

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends,

Well, another stop on the tour has come to an end.  We awoke to rain clouds this morning.  It intermittently opened up with rain on and off throughout the morning.  Sometimes a light rain, other times, more of a down pour.  It finally quite, around 11AM. The races were early today, beginning at 2:15 PM.  So there were no time for naps before the races began.


From the Box Up Above


The Man Behind the Mike

Here in Bonnyville, for the four day show, the Chuckwagon Races were called by Professional Rodeo & World Pro Chuckwagon Announcer and Auctioneer, Mr. Gary Gross. Gary hails from the area of Ponoka, Alberta.  He is no stranger to the world of Chuckwagons as he has been announcing a few of the venues for several years now.  You will also recognize his voice announcing the pony wagons at the Ponoka Stampede, as well as many rodeos across Alberta and abroad.   Gary continues to use his strong voice to inform and familiarize  the crowd with all aspects of our sport as each heat goes by.  Look him up on his Facebook Page, Gary J. Gross (Team Double G).  Gary will return to the announce our last venue which will be in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta.


Headed to the Races

Each and every night, there are 72 outriding horses that compete in one evening.  Those 72 horses are cared for by many people from each camp.  Some are brought over by the outriders, barn hands, family members and friends.


Double Duty

Each and every one is important and has a special job to do.  They also have such interesting personalities just as the people do.


A Friendly Hello

Here, Seairra a helping hand at our barn, reunites for a hello to a horse that now resides in the Motowylo camp.  You see, this horse was previously owned by Chuckwagon Driver Layne Bremner.  Layne packed it in after the Ponoka Stampede and had an auction sale of all his horses and equipment.  For personal reasons, he decided it was time to move on.  All of his horses were purchased by fellow competitors and were given a new home. The horse continues to do what he loves, race behind a Chuckwagon rig.


The Practice Turn

Todays hook was Bacardi on the Left Lead, Sporty on the Right.  Spin on the Left Wheel and Cowboy on the Right.  Dustin Gorst held leaders with Beau and Ethan Motowylo threw the stove with Andy again.  These two are really bonding.  Rick had a great start and made a nice turn coming onto the track to get the rail.  As the running was a bit heavier on the rail, our time was a bit slower.  We ended up clocking a 1:23.68 which put us into 20th spot and 15th in the show overall.  The horses ran very well throughout the venue.  If you take away the downed barrel 5 second penalty, we would have been 2nd in the show.  It is important to look at that when assessing how things went overall for our team.


Talking Through the Lines

Our lead man is Dustin Gorst.  We appreciate him stepping up to hold our leaders as he is also a Chuckwagon Driver too.  He is a very talented outrider that continues to ride for his Dad, Gary Gorst, his brother, Logan Gorst and us, Rick and “Team 23”.


Chuckwagon Driver/Outrider

And when the dust settles, he welcomes his little one into his arms and becomes a daddy again back at the barns.  Family is where it’s at in our circle of life on the Chuckwagon Circuit.


And a Daddy Too

On the way back to the barns, little Brit, Chuckwagon Driver Doug Irvine’s son, handles one of their outriding horses.  He loves the horses so much that he gets right in there to help out any way he can.


Following the Footsteps of Dad

Yes, he’s still a kid, but the passion for the way of life runs deep.  He will one day be riding around the track too, then up into the wagon box as well.

We are off to southern Alberta tomorrow to the town of Strathmore for their Stampede which begins on Friday.  They host a rodeo in the afternoon with all 36 Chuckwagon Drivers in the evening.

Until next time

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Close some doors.  Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere.



Bonnyville Chuckwagon Races Day#3

Howdy Chuckwagon Friends!

As the days go by, I still never seem to get enough rest in.  We continue to try and catch up on some each day, from the hectic pace of the Ponoka Stampede, the Calgary Stampede and the Wedding.  Today at noon, I started in on getting the GST done for month end.  After about 20 minutes in, I knew I had to sleep instead.  It was a very good nap.

Today was a very low key day.  There is only a small window of time to do extra things during the morning and afternoon chores.  With having to hook up 2 teams instead of 1, changes up our chore time.  We start earlier in the day to get ready for the evenings performance.


A Much Needed Bath

Washing horses is something we do before the races and after.  This photo was taken by my friend Lucy’s cousin, Curtis Cameron.  He was wandering around the grounds the last two days and took some very amazing shots.  He does have a Facebook Page called Curtis Cameron Photography.  Check it out as a person can also order to purchase from him.


Proud to Be Doing What He Loves

Another shot from Curtis, as Rick stands proudly near his Chuckwagon he built almost 20 years ago.  It hardly seems that long ago.  I love how he’s in his rubber boots!  This was the day after the big rain storm that flew in, and the mud was still around the barns.


Awaiting to Start

My new camera has some pretty neat settings.  I have been trying different things and today I used a special effects mode.  It sure gives the photo a bit of a different outlook.  Here the outriders are waiting for the races to begin.


Taking the Rail

Our hook in the first heat consisted of Louie, Ranger, Air and King.   They turned and ran alright placing a 23rd on the day.  Some of them are a bit newer and have to get some more runs in them for experience. Even though having two outfits to prepare to compete is plenty more work,  it is a great way for training.



Our main “Team 23” horses tonight were Jim on the Left Wheel, Law on the Right.  Speedy on the Right Lead and Nickle on the Left.  Dustin Gorst held the leaders with Stadium tonight and Ethan threw stove with Andy.


Full Bore Ahead

Just as Rick got his team set and was waiting for the others to move into position, the team jumped just a wee bit, stopped and then the horn blew and away they went.  Nickle ended up being a bit crosswise when the horn blew, but they straightened out and made a pretty fine run for 5th on the day.  With that good run, we jumped all the way up into 14 in the aggregate.  Pretty good I must say.


Andy and Ethan


A Pack of Outriders

I love to see the outriders and their mounts go racing by.  They all have a bond with each and every horse.  The outriders share information about the horses with each other, as different riders may have to mount different horses, for different Chuckwagon Drivers.


From a Birds Eye View

I’m the one usually behind the lens taking photos.  But this time our President Ed with the World Professional Chuckwagon Association managed to capture me getting ready to take a few photos of Rick when he came into the infield.

Oh, and just a reminder, tomorrow is an early race day with the races beginning at 2:15PM rather than an evening performance.

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S. “Rest and self-care are so important.  When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow.  You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”  Eleanor Brownn