Saskatoon Chuckwagon Races Day #1

Howdy All!

It has been a busy week thus far.  When we departed out of Grande Prairie on Monday morning, it had rained all night long Sunday evening, settling the dust for sure but in turn it made the ground fairly muddy to pack up in .  We got away around 11 AM arriving back home on the Ranch by 7 PM.  It was nice to be home, see the nice green grass and the lilacs in bloom on the trees.

We were home long enough to let the horses have a good run in the pasture and enjoy the lush green grass.  I quickly got the 4 loads of laundry going as I refrained from utilizing a laundry mat in Grande Prairie.  It didn’t take long to have a nice warm shower and hit the hay.


Beautiful Aroma

Tuesday morning came fast, and we were on the road again.  With a refill of oats, hay and groceries, our estimated arrival time in the city of Saskatoon Saskatchewan was 4:30 or 5 PM.   The drive was as smooth as clear waters and we landed at the estimated time that we said.  Rick and I enjoyed just a little bit of home in our trucks.  There is no smell like the lilacs when they come out in full bloom.  They may not last more than a day, but boy they sure to smell good.  As I have always said, it is just a little bit of home that we can bring with us on the road.


Making Friends

While in Saskatoon, we decided to do something just a little bit different with our sponsorship.  We contacted Scott and Laurie about honoring their late son Evan Thomas of the Humboldt Broncos, who’s young life was taken in the tragic bus accident a couple of months ago. We had never met these folks before, but had been given their name through a friend of a friend.  When we told them what we wanted to do, they were pretty excited and said yes to the whole idea.  Scott and his daughter Jordyn were able to come out the day before the races and meet up with us and  meet some of the horses.



One of their favorites was Louie the Grey.  And Louie was taking all the lovin he could get as he is just that kind of a horse.  Unknown really to the sport of Chuckwagon Racing, Scott and his daughter Jordyn were loving every minute of this new experience.


Jordyn especially like it as she came by right after school to help shovel the manure, fill the feed buckets and top up the waters.  Evans dad Scott, reminisced how Evan was the kind of young fella, that never cared for much recognition.  That he was a team player, and that he enjoyed more just being with the guys than the game of hockey itself.  We’re looking forward to the next three days, to have the Thomas family join us in enjoying what we do, in a full days work on this dusty o”l trail we call Chuckwagon Racing.


Giving It their All

Tonight, Rick was off the two barrel in the seventh heat.  He decided to hook a couple of new horses in the line up, that Cody had drove a few times.  He warned his dad that the left wheeler, Harlington Club was a good one and was a bit hard to hold.  Well, Rick said after the race that Cody meant what he said.  Rick was pretty excited with how he performed, along with the others as well.  He had a newby, Orchid on the Left Lead, good old Speedy on the Right.  Harlington Club on the Left Wheel and Bacardi on the Right.  Chance Flad held leaders with Ed, and Rory Jervais threw the stove with Air.   He had a pretty speedy time, placing fourth on the day.  But…………………………………………………….


One of these is not the Same.  Can you tell?

A little minor whoops kind of happened.  As Rick pulled into the barrels, our outrider throwing the stove,  calls to Rick “Hey, where’s your stove?”  All Rick could do was chuckle, as the stove was still in the liner tucked away safely in the storage area where we loaded it just before leaving Grande Prairie.  A minor 2 second penalty was assessed, which then brought us down to 23rd.  Tomorrow is a new day, and we will just have to suck it up and move on.  The positive about the race itself, was that was our 3rd string outfit ran so very hard and they proved themselves to be more.


Sittin Sky High Chattin

With any sport comes judges.  Third turn judge is retired veteran Reg Johnstone formerly from the little town of Bashaw.  His sidekick is Connor Dorchester, son of Troy, cousin of Rick.  He videos the races for the judges to review.


Ready to Race

As the evening comes to a close, the horses are all put to rest, the camps are quiet with not a sound to be had, I reflect on my day and realize just how fortunate I am.  My life is not free from the many ups and the downs.  Yet it is all put into perspective when we have met the Thomas family and their young son is gone.  So hold on tight to your loved ones and make everyday count.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  If I were to die tomorrow, what would you say to me today?





21 thoughts on “Saskatoon Chuckwagon Races Day #1

  1. Sue

    So amazed and humbled to see what you and Rick did with your tarp in Saskatoon. Our family in Wisconsin has been so saddened by the Humboldt tragedy. I have my own Humboldt Strong shirt. Thank you for your huge hearts in reaching out to the Thomas family and in honoring Evan. Wow.

    • Hello Kimera
      We are so blessed in what we do. We have met so many great people along the way. We are honored to meet Scott, Laurie and Jordyn. Unfortunately in a sad way, yet a happy way in honoring this young man. This will be one of our highlights over the years for sure. And I’m sure we will continue to have a relationship with the Thomas family as time goes on.
      Thank you for following along. Maybe one day our paths will cross. Who knows?

  2. Caring as only you and Rick can do Susie, you are right, hug your kids and grand kids each day and count your blessings, there are others who have their lives a lot worse.

  3. What a beautiful blog Susie. I am so happy that you were able to bring some happiness to the Thomas family. You are a special lady that brings so much joy to the world. See you soon in Ponoka.


  4. Thanks for all you do in the communities you visit, you will be missed! Young Connor can not will never be confused with any of the other racing families, he looks like a Dorchester thru and thru. Love your post and again they will be missed!

    • Hello Deana
      Yes Connor looks like a Dorchester, a mini Troy. Thanks for following along.

  5. I’d say Thank You !
    For taking us down the trail with you and Rick. For allowing us to be a part of your family. For your beautiful smile and for the messages you leave.

    • Hello Judy
      Your very welcome. It is something I enjoy, which in turn gives me many memories to cherish.

  6. Good luck Team 23. Definitely a touch of class with the Humboldt tarp. So enjoy your posts. Our daughter is taking our 7 month old grandson, Jake, to his first Chuckwagon races tonight.

    • Hi Linda
      Thank you for the kind comment. We are very happy to have met such wonderful people who are going through such a terrible loss.
      Excited for your grandson Jake! and daughter coming out. Let them know they are welcome to come a meet us back at our barn .

  7. Hi sue and Rick …heard tonight that you guys are hanging up the reins after Calgary ….so sad but yet very happy for you ….it must have been a very hard decision…you are both so young and healthy …enjoy your retirement …take care Donna sterling

    • Hi Donna
      Yes this is true. We are on the last ride on the Chuckwagon trail. Time to pave a new path in life. It has been a good ride.
      Cheers to you

  8. I have never met you but knew Ralph well and have always cheered for you. Good luck in your last year of racing . Enjoy a well earned retirement. Jean Flett.

  9. What a super nice jester for Rick and you to make to the Thomas family. I am sure their experience will lighten the heavy load they are carrying a this sad time. Tears at the start for them, laughter about the stove and sadness for your Chuckwagon trail good bye.

    • Hi Lou
      Thank you. It was very meaningful for us too. Good to hear from you. Catch you down the trail.

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