Ponoka Stampede Day #6

Howdy All!

Wow!!!  The 2018 Ponoka Stampede has come to an end.  What a busy time it has been this past week.  We made many great memories that we will cherish forever.


2018 Ponoka Stampede Champions

I’d like to congratulate Vern Nolin and Lisa Bensmiller on an amazing Stampede.  They made 6 great runs to capture the title of the 2018 Ponoka Stampede Champions.  Good for them.  This is a well deserved win.  They are a strong team that works together to accomplish many great things.


Kendal Reunited

Today was an exciting day for our Family and “Team 23”.  We were donning the Kendal Pipelines tarp one last time on the WPCA tour for our final run.  You see, we had been fortunate to carry this tarp for 7 years back in the 2000’s.  I still remember the day when we got together with Ken Drysdale, the owner and he told Rick and I that he would like to partner up with us.  Rick was so excited, he was like a kid in a candy store with so much excitement of gaining sponsor.  Little did we know this friendship/business partnership would last so long.


Ready to Race

My job has always been to tend to the outriding horses.  Over the week, Candice, Kaylee and Ellie have been giving me a hand bringing the horses to the infield.  It takes many hands to make the operation run smoothly.

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I have so may photos that I would love to share, but I had to pick and choose those that would speak the story.  On the three barrel, Rick hooked Orchid and Spin on the Wheel and Louie and Nickle were the Leaders.  Rick and “Team 23”  had a very impressive run.  They didn’t start the hardest, but they shot out there alongside the other competitors.

When the four wagons rounded the fourth turn, the burners seemed to come on.  The horses shifted gears and continued toward the finish line like a bat out of hell!  Boy did that team run.  It was so very impressive.


Best Buds

Ken and Rick, through this sponsorship have become very goo friends because of this chuckwagon  Venture. And I know that they will continue for many years to come.


Two Special Friends

Through the many miles we’ve traveled, we have met so many great people.  And plenty of them have become friends.  Dave and Darcy are just that. It was great to get a photo with the two of them and their rides.


Smiles Cheek to Cheek

I had the pleasure today of tossing the mini Chuckwagon to this young gal.  She was most excited to have her photo taken with it.  Over the years that we have given these away, it warms our hearts that we have touched someone with a gift and are truly grateful for this.


Happy Happy Happy

Our crew, Kim (Kiwi Kim) Rick calls her, and David also known as “Ben” have been amazing barn hands for us since April.  They came in know nothing really about our Chuckwagon Journey.  Yet it didn’t’ take them long to catch on.  A huge shout out to them for all the work they do.


A Wave to the Fans


“Thank you”

After our race, we made our pass in front of the grandstand one last time here in Ponoka as we have many friends, family and fans in the area.   It has been very rewarding coming here and racing in front of them.


One Special Moment

Before I close off, I need to share this little story.  After we got the horses back to the barn, Rick and I came back up to sign a few posters for some of the crowd.  The first place he went to was this couple, Larry Bull and his wife.  As we were chatting, she told us that when we did our gratitude pass in the infield, four eagles flew overhead.  How cool is that?  I take that as a sign that Grandpa Tom and Grandmaee Joy Dorchester, Rick’s Dad Dave Lewis and also his Uncle Dallas were looking from above.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.   Melody Beattie


6 thoughts on “Ponoka Stampede Day #6

  1. Thanks for all the great memories. Will miss cheering you on at wagon races but wishing you both all the best at whatever your next adventure will be

  2. Ponoka was a great event once again. Tried on Sunday to do our hook up but you were off to the Vet and Rick was busy doing chuckwagon work. I did visit with the German kids staying at your cousins home. Lovely young couple. Hope they enjoyed both the rodeo and chucks as they told me they knew nothing about either event. I’m sure they would have been cheering loudly for Rick.

    • Hi Lou
      Sorry we didn’t meet up in Ponoka. That show is always busy preparing for Calgary. The German kids were very kind to chat with. They really enjoyed the Chuckwagon Races. We always just take it for granted as it was our life. We had the New Zealand couple work for us and they said working for us was the best thing they did in Canada for a job. Wish we could have gone the full summer just for them. They just left the Ranch yesterday to go spend time with her folks who have come over. We will meet up with them again in Rocky Mountain House.

  3. I watched Team 23 all week in Ponoka. It felt pretty emotional seeing Rick do the final pass with the wagon on Monday night. Thanks for driving past the Bucking Chute fans! I understand you’re ready for the next stage in your lives but will certainly miss cheering for you guys and I will definately miss your blog. Hope you do well in Calgary!

    • Hi Barb
      Thank you for your note. Ponoka was always a favorite show of ours. A great Pre-Calgary. Thank you for following along on my journey. It has been great to write. I will have lots of stories to pass onto the grandkids.

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