Ponoka Stampede Day #3

Howdy All!

It was parade day here in Ponoka and the forecast was looking to be rain.  When we awoke at 6 AM, it was cool but no rain.  That was a good thing for all the people involved.  So much work goes into getting prepared to show your stuff down the streets of the town.


My Grandsons and Me

As Ryker’s other grandparents took him to the parade, I biked on over to catch a few minutes of the entertainment and enjoy it with the boys.

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There was lots to see, and my favorite were the horse and wagon teams along with all the indigenous floats.  So very colorful.




Ryker sure enjoyed the parade, sitting with his other Grandpa.  I remember someone told me,  “A Child can never have too many people to love them.”  Very true.


All smiles and a Lollypop

Our oldest daughter Amy came along too.


Big Big Horses


Over There!

There was so much to see and Coy and Ryker really enjoyed it, especially the Tractors.


Talkin Driving

After taking in a few minutes of the parade, I pedaled on over to the track to help pick rocks.  All families are asked to send someone up to help with this job.

Rick and a few of the other drivers, would pick rocks,  stop a few, visit, pick rocks, visit and visit some more.  I think they call this “Male bonding.” So awesome.  I’m pretty sure by the way Rick’s  hands are, they are talking Chuckwagon Racing.


A Big One

The drivers sometimes get a few booboos due to a flying rock, or it could cause a horse to go sore and we would’t want that.  It was a good thing I went up as I found a couple of rocks this size.   After every pass of the harrows, more rocks seem to come to the surface so the job needs attending each and every day.


Top Barrel Turn

Rick hooked Cowboy on the Left Wheel, Jim on the Right Wheel.  Ranger on the Right Lead and Spirit on the Left Lead.  Quaid rode Ed holding the leaders and Chance had Andy throwing the stove.  The team had a really decent start.  When Rick came around that top barrel, the hub of the wheel just brushed the barrel and it fell down.  We were both so disappointed.  It will better tomorrow.

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What’s This?

What did make us laugh were these wonderful faces sitting on the fence cheering out-loud for Rick and I during our heat.  Pretty funny I must say.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Time spent playing with children is never wasted.  Dawn Lantero



Ponoka Stampede Day #2

Howdy All!

What a great surprise to be noticed.  These young ladies I met a couple of years ago,  they have been following chuckwagons for some time.  They also have been reading my blog and met up with me in Ponoka last year.  The flowers they gave me were a beautiful gift.  Red, my favorite color.  Who would know that?  This is the one thing that Rick and I will miss the most.  All the great fans, friends and family that we have had come join us in some way along the trail.  It has meant so much to us when folks such as these drop by to say hello.


Friendly Followers

All kids that come by are most welcome in our camp.  These little jiggers couldn’t help but put their hands into the soaked oats to have a feel.


Oh What a Feeling!

Today, Rick and I, headed down to the Tru Value Hardware store, where RedNeck Barbie had put on a BBQ to raise some funds for charity as well as promote the Chuckwagons.  Fellow Drivers Gary Gorst and Darcy Flad were also in attendance.  It was a good day to just goof around for a bit  and have the guys sign a few autographs.


Fun! Fun! Fun!

My little friend Dusty, RedNeck Barbies son, was busy looking after the hot dog stand.  He’s quite the little salesman and he also surprised us with a beautiful gift for Rick and I on our Retirement from the Chuckwagon Circuit.



Rick, as you can see, and many do know he likes his hockey and is a true Toronto Maple Leaf fan.  He wore his favorite sweater today, and it was quite the topic of conversation.

“GO LEAFS GO! is Rick’s famous saying.


Always Behind My Man


Filling In

You know that time, when your friend needs you?  Well tonight was that night.  Rick drove his buddies (Mike Vigen) outfit as he was unable due to a health issue.  It didn’t take long for Rick to accept and away he went.  Well that team flew when the horn sounded and Rick drove them like a Cadillac.  He managed to place 3rd on the day for his friend.  What a warm and fuzzy feeling that is, helping out a friend.


Some of Our Little Fans

The Ponoka Stampede is a great place to come to for an RV vacation.   There are so many fans from all over the the Province and beyond.  In the stands, our grandson and some relatives were flying our “Team 23” flag high and cheering Rick and the horses on.


Pulling For All Your Worth

Our turn on barrel 4 was tonight.  Rick hooked Spin on the Left Wheel, Sporty on the Left Wheel.  Louie on the Left Lead and Speedy on the Right Lead.  Quaid Tournier held the leaders with Stadium and Chance Flad threw the stove with Ice.  When the horn sounded, the horses started quite slowly.  Not the start he was looking for.  But it did work out in the end, as Rick pulled to go to the rail, tucked in behind Kurt Bensmiller and followed right along.  He had to pull a bit around the track as there was no hole coming home.  It was a great race and the fans enjoyed it.  Rick stopped the clock @ 1:16.46 which also puts us into 13th on the day.


Fan acknowledgment

After each and every race, the fans are so appreciative on the what just went on in front of their eyes.  We don’t often see posters hanging on the fence after a race, but this young soul made our day.


All Smiles

From where we set up camp, to where the infield is, it quite aways away. Today Kaylee stayed back and helped a bit, then hopped on the Chucwkagon to catch a ride for the ninth and final heat that her dad was in.  Cody and Kaylee have been a huge help when they come aroun.


End of The Day

As we were closing up the barn for the night, the sun was slowing going down in the horizon.   I managed to snap a photo of it before it disappeared all together, but the outcome of the moon doesn’t do the real eye capturing scene any justice.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  You have to say “No” to a lot of good things in order to be able to say “Yes” to a lot of Great things.

Ponoka Stampede Day #1

Howdy All!

It has been a busy couple of days since we settled here in Ponoka. We hold many great memories from High River and this is one of them.  Our sponsor from Peter Niemans Water Well drilling, were in attendance with their little guy.  Well I’m a sucker for kids and we were entertained a fair bit with his cuteness.

Even on non race days, some of the horses need to run.  It just depends on the rotation of when they are hooked at the show.  Tuesday morning, it was time for one of the teams to go.  Rick, David and fellow driver Chad Harden went for the ride.  This photo amazes me at how hired barn hand David just sits on the seat, not hanging on enjoying the tour around the track.  Being from New Zealand, and not knowing much about this sport, he’s adapted to it quite well.


Along for the Ride

Many other teams hook up and utilize the track as well.  The outriders also get out and ride a few horses to keep them in shape.


Morning Exercise

Chanse Vigen, World Champion Outrider and now driver, continues to exercise his own horses.  He’s one of the best that has ever been.  An all around athlete.


After a run, the horses will often enjoy a roll in the dirt.  It’s a way that they like to scratch their back.  I always enjoy watching them, do their little body shake when they get back up.  It must feel so good to them.


A Wall Display

Thursday morning, Rick and I will be heading to the local Tru Value Hardware store here in Ponoka.  Our friend Red Neck Barbie is having some drivers come in to sign some posters.  We had given her a coat, poster and hat, and I thought she needed a pitch forkas well.  My thoughts were that she was going to come and utilize it by forking the manure in our barn, but she apparently had other plans.

With the help of our daughter Kaylee, and Candice (our so called adopted daughter) we managed to put together our Horse Auction Sale Brochure.  It took some time getting the photos of all those horses, and trying to make them stand in the perfect position.  I knew it would be a chore.   Nonethe less, it is complete and I handed it out to all the camps this morning.  I didn’t get emotional doing this, until I chatted with Quaid an outrider, then I felt a tinge of sadness.  I said awhile ago that we were going to ride a roller coast with plenty of emotions, and this is so true.




And They’rerere Off!!!

Our hook tonight was Bacardi on the Left Wheel, Vegas on the Right Wheel.  Louie on the Left Lead and Speedy on the Right Lead.  Quiad Tournier was holding the leaders with Stadium and Chance Flad was throwing stove with Ice. Rick said they started with the other teams at the sound of the horn, and ran right along with them three wide.  He posted a 1:17.02 which was good enough for 16th on the day.  Our sponsor was Crystal Kids.


Team Favorite

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow.  Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guartenteed.


Guy Weadick Days High River Alberta Day #4

Howdy All!

What a day!  So very, very busy for me.  As it was the final day of racing in High River,  I had my day planned.  And sometimes no matter how planned a person can be, things can change in a moments notice.   With all the mud, came a whole lot of cleaning.  After breakfast I was headed to the laundry mat.  But not before Rick and I took time to visit with our friend Ralph who stopped by.  It was nice to just sit and shoot the breeze in the early morning sunshine.  And how spoiled are we that he brought along a container of coffee and timbits too.

Well the laundry did get done, a few groceries picked up and a quick stop to fuel up the truck, as it was moving day right after the races.  I got back to camp around 2 PM and madly got busy putting the laundry away, packed up things in the trailer, and prepared  lunches for the trip north to Ponoka.

We were treated to a lovely lunch, prepared by our Niemans Water Well Drilling sponsor, Doug.   Our crew and I really appreciated this nice gesture.  It really freed me up to get things ready for our trip.



We thank you Doug and Melissa for the sponsorship, food and friendship.  We were excited to get you a Day Money Run.

It was a bright, hot summer day for the last day of racing in High River.  The track was heavy, but had dried up somewhat.  Rick hooked Spin on the Left Wheel, Sporty on the Right Wheel.  Louie on the Left Lead and Speedy on the Right Lead.  Quaid held the leaders with Stadium and Chanse Vigen threw the stove with Ice.


The Mud is Flying

It was a pretty good run, however Rick felt they didn’t start as hard as they could have.  He still had a decent run placing 5th on the day with a 1:21.29.  This wasn’t quite enough to capture the winning title, as Kurt Bensmiller went just a bit faster.  Congratulations to Kurt and Ashley Bensmiller on the 2018 Guy Weadick Chuckwagon Championship.


The Homestretch Drive

Coming home was a crowd pleaser finish.  The chuckwagons were all so very close.


Break In Between


Three Abroad

I am sharing more of my photos I have taken this past week or so.  I have so many good ones, that I want to share them all!  In time you will be seeing more.


In Sync


Hey There

When the final race was finished the real pack up began.  We had a few extra helpers as our Son Cody was there, our adopted daughter Candice and boy did we fly.  When the last horse was loaded, and we were on our way.  The time was approximately 6:30 PM.  It was smooth sailing all the way to Ponoka. We arrived there around 9:15 and the set up began again.


Ready to Go

We were busy little bees, and again we had a few more helpers.  I think this was the fastest set up yet.


Anxious to Go In



Well it was dark, when the horses were wanting in. They were hungry for their supper.

When the last horse entered the barn and was put in his stall, the clock read 11:00 PM.


Happy and Content

And now that all my work is done, it’s time for me to go to bed too.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Do not go where the path may lead.  Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.    Ralph Waldo Emerson



Guy Weadick Days High River Alberta Day #3

Howdy All!

Rick and I both awoke around 3 AM to hear the pitter patter sound upon the top of our home on wheels.  When we got up for morning chores, the rain was socked right in along with a gentle but steady wind.  It didn’t look very good for the rest of the day.

Chores were completed in rain gear and rubber boots. I made a big breakfast for the crew including bacon, fried potatoes, scrambled eggs, toast and coffee.  At home we rarely eat like this, but on the road, I find it is better to serve a big breakfast, help yourself kind of lunch, and some kind of hot supper with all the fixings. Nobody ever complains to the cook, so I think I’m good.

The day was a lazy one.  I had full intentions of going to do laundry, but Rick had taken the truck into town to run an errand.  So, too bad for me, I decided to tuck right in, watch a movie and fall asleep.  Yup!  That is exactly what happened.  And I enjoyed every minute of it.


Grandpa Tom Dorchester


Someone had forwarded this photo of Rick’s grandfather Tom Dorchester  (sitting on the fence)  to us on the internet.  I had to share it as the person commented on how he was such a prankster.  Well that he was, and I do know where Rick gets his fun and crazy personality from.



Before long, it was 4 PM.  The time that the track directors would decide if we were going to race or not.  By this time the rain had quite and things seemed ok, despite the soupy mess all around the track.  All things were considered into the decision, and it was know the races would carry on.


Its All in the Lines

I dug out the mud pants, rubber boots and the hat covers and away we went.

Rick decided on hooking our 3rd outfit coming off the two barrel tonight.  They consisted of Bacardi on the Left Lead, Speedy on the Right Lead.  Club on the Left Wheel and Vegas on the Right Wheel.  Quaid held the leaders with Ed, and Chanse Vigen threw the stove with Air.  They had their hands full, as when Rick pulled into the barrels, he came to a full stop, and then a couple of the horses decided to move forward before the horn went.  Darn it anyways!  No worries though, as Chanse managed to grab the Chuckwagon and pull it back into position, just in time for the horn to ring.  We posted a time of 1:21.49 which was good enought to place 3rd on the day and move us to the top of the aggregate.  We’ll take that!

The horses were amazing, and so powerful when they went charging past the bottom barrel and onto the track.  I know they do so well, but it is the driver who leads them.  And I must say………………………Rick is a pretty good skinner, but I know he would never tell you that.


Retired Veteran

We always enjoy seeing and chatting with people we meet after the races.  And tonight was no different as retired Chuckwagon driver,fellow Mel Haase stopped into say hello.  The guys had a pretty good chat and reminisced for some time.


Telling Stories

I guess it was a good decision for me not to go do laundry today as this weather brought in quite a bit more work for me.  I was hoping to leave the duty for another day, and it was good thing that I did.  The hamper became a bit more fuller, so I know whats on the menu for tomorrow.


Shower Time

As people need to wash up after a good day of work, so do the horses.  The ones that are racing on any given night, always have a bath/shower.  It feels pretty good to get the first few layers off after a muddy night.

All in a Days Work

This picture of Chance Flad is one of a kind.  I admire those outriders as it is a very unique and amazing job that they do out on the track.


Happy Campers

During the races here in High River, it is impossible for me to see the mini chuckwagon being given out as I am busy gathering the outiriding horses.  So I found out from my daughter that on social media, these young fellas were the recipients of the mini chuckagon, and were they happy!


A Days Done

One more day has come and gone, and I sure enjoyed just relaxing, rather than “doing” the whole day long.  Sometimes you just gotta do what you do.

From the Travel in Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”


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P.S.  Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth;  without rain, there would be no life.   John Updike