Calgary Stampede Day #10

Howdy All

So much has happened this past two days, and I have long way to soak it all in.

The races are complete and we congratulate Kurt and Ashley Bensmiller and another win.


1st Harrow Interview

I was given the opportunity to meet up with Kelly Vanderbeek in the CBC booth to be interviewed on our last harah.  The interview went well, and it was good to have a moment to tell a piece of our story.


Ron Maclean and I

While there, I was able to tick off my bucket list of meeting Mr. Ron Maclean, the man of Coaches Corner in Hockey Night in Canada.  A kind soul he is.


In Awe

The fireworks are always a sight to see and the kids sat still long enough to watch them.


A Piece of Memory

In our barn over the years, we have been measuring the kids each and every year to keep track of their height.  To add to this tonight, we had everyone sign a message of what they wanted to say.  We get to take that keepsake board with us, and we will replace it with a new one.


Happy Little Kids

My nephew and family came for the last day of racing to see us off.  How special is that.  We were very happy to see them and this means the world to us.



Friends are what matters.  Keith has been along on our journey for many years.  He may not have been at all the race meets, but he said he’d never miss this one.  And he didn’t.


Barn Crew

We could’t have done all that we accomplished this week without our family and barn crew.  We had tears, we had laughter, we had grumpiness and pain.  But most of all we bonded and got so much closer.  We thank them all and would not change a thing to make it better.  It was beautiful.



I am so proud of the family we created.  We may not be perfect, but hey what family is?

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S. This journey is yours, enjoy each and every step.




Calgary Stampede Day #9

Howdy All!

Just so you know, this one is going to be short and sweet.  I’m so tired and need to get some sleep.

What a Day!!!  With all things being considered, this day was a very good day.  Everything went perfectly.  Well almost perfectly.



It was our sale day of our horses.  It went well and we were happy and sad all at the same time.


We also sold a wheel jack with all the proceeds going toward the Wetaskiwin Food bank.  Rick did a pretty good job!


After lunch my kids had a room on the grounds secured by the Chuckwagon Committee to hold our own little service to honor  my dad.  This was so beautiful.


Our race off the 4 barreol didn’t quite get us into the final dash for cash.  Darn it.  But yet we still had a  really awesome day.  I want to fill you in tomorrow as I really need some shut eye.

From the Travel in Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Always believe that something WONDERFUL is about to happen.



Calgary Stampede Day #8

Howdy All!

I was pretty excited to have Rick come down to the barns this morning.  You see, Rick and I had always talked about how neat and special it would be to have many rose bouquets outside our barn, to look and feel a little like the Kentucky Derby.  It was always just a dream.  Well I decided that it would be a dream no more.  I got our daughter Amy to pick up 20 dozen roses from Costco and arrange them accordingly.


Our Kentucky Derby

Amy and her husband Chris, along with friend Seairra, stayed up after midnight making the display beautiful.  I wanted it, so when Rick came down in the morning it would be a great surprise.  Well it was a surprise indeed he said.

I too thought they looked beautiful.  And also, I am a little bit partial to them as the color red is my favortie.


A Special Little Visitor

After chores, I hurried on over to an appointment I had in Calgary with a friend.  It was a much needed time.  While I was away,  Amy sent me this photo of a little butterfly that stopped by our barn  I like to think that it was my dad dropping in to say hi.


A little lovin goes a long way.  Our worker Kim from New Zealand gave Louie a really good massage by doing this for him.


A Sign of Respect\

Each night before the races, the Army Helicopter fly’s by our grand Canadian Flag flying below.  The band on the stage and the people in the stands sing our national anthem freely,  proud and strong.  Back behind the chutes, the outriders take off their helmets, and stand and recognize the free country that we live in.


The Top of One

We had the coveted one barrel tonight.  Just before the races, a major wind storm flew in and the temperatures dropped.  We see all kinds of weather here in the city all due because it is so close to the Rocky Mountains.

Our hook tonight was Spirit on the Left Lead, Ranger on the Right Lead.  Jim on the Left Wheel and Sporty on the Right Wheel.  Chanse Vigen and Ryan MacNeill rode Ed and Andy.  The team started pretty good, but Rick said he didn’t make the prettiest turn.  But you know what?  He made it around the barrels in a clean manner, and ran the race in a 1:12.06, which in turn was fast enough to get us into the top eight for the semi-final Saturday.  Our “Team 23” Crew were pretty happy with that.



Night number 8 was a good one to celebrate with just one drink.  Our friend and relative Tammy, arrived before the races.  We decided we after the dust settled it was time to make that happen.  A little bit of red wine doesn’t hurt anybody.  So that is what it was.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”


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P.S. Very little is needed to make a happy life: it is all within yourself.  In your way of thinking.


Calgary Stampede Day #7

Howdy All!

It wasn’t too exciting of a day.  Chores went according to plan.  We had a great breakfast made by the Dorchester Clan next barn over.  We then went over to a near by building to be interviewed by the historical committee.  Rick, Coy and I had stories to tell.  There is a group of people that are compiling all sorts of information from different drivers and outriders for their archives.


Another Year Older

We celebrated our son Cody’s twenty seventh birthday. I don’t particularly like store-bought cakes, so I got Rick’s relatives to make up one of Cody’s favorite………….a lazy daisy cake. It was delicious!


Papa and Ryker

After the horses were all walked for afternoon exercise, Papa took grandson Ryker for a round about the barns.  He really like it.


Sponsor Photo

Around five pm we have the sponsors come through, and today we had another great group of people go through the barn to meet the horses and ask a few questions.  Rick and Cody looked after them all. This is a really great way to promote  a business.


Heading to the Barrel

Tonight we were off the four barrel.  We hooked Louie on the left lead, Nickle on the right.  Spin on the right wheel, and Orchid on the left.  Chanse Vigen rode Ed holding the leaders and Orchid was rode by Ryan MacNeill.  The boys didn’t start as good as yesterday.  Rick got out and decided to pull and go to the rail.  Sometimes this works and you can get a hole coming home down the stretch but not today.  It was a slower heat and we place 31st on the day  and sitting 5th in the aggregate.


Over the Tunnel

Tomorrow the aggregate champion after 8 days of racing will be crowned.  We hope to stay in that top eight for the 2nd last day of racing in order to get a shot of making it to the final Dash for Cash heat on Sunday.  I hope the stars all line up.


New Friends

Coy has no problem showing people around the Chuckwagon barns and answering any of their questions.  These two girls then wanted a photo with Coy and he obliged.


Group Photo

Our daughter Amy’s husband arrived today to spend the last three days and cheer the team on.  They sat up in the stands and got the crowd going with all the “Ricky” faces.

Only three more sleeps and the 2018 Calgary Stampede will come to a close.  This is so hard to believe as the week has just flown by.  We are going to make the most out of the time we have left and enjoy every minute of it.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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P.S.  Never force anything.  Give it your best shot and then let it be.  If it’s meant to be, it will be.

Calgary Stampede Day #6

Howdy All!

When I stepped out of the trailer this AM and onto my bike to head down to the barns, I looked up to see this pretty little rainbow.  It hadn’t rained and the clouds didn’t look to threatening.


So I just felt that my dad sent me a happy message.  Lift your chin, remember the good days, the many happy memories and keep on keepin on.  And this I will do.

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After chores and breakfast, Rick and I and fellow driver Curtis Morin and trick rider Paynton Bensmiller were off to the local Childrens Hospital for our annual visit.  We met some really unique kids on our rounds.  So many questions and lots of answer pertaining to the Calgary Stampede and Chuckwagon Racing.  This is one stop we will truly miss when we retire from our Chuckwagon Life.  It always is such a humbling experience.


Chit Chatting

After lunch, the Chuckwagon Committee so graciously put on a Spa day for all the women of the wagons.  What a treat this is.  I look forward to this each and every year.  I really appreciate all that is put into making this day a time of pampering for all us busy ladies.

The committee brought in guys and gals that are practicing the career in massages.  Well this was a great place to come, because the chairs were continuously full.  It felt so good.

A little bit of hair and makeup to finish up the day, and a gal never felt so better.


Cleo Energy

Before the races, Cody and Rick gave a barn tour to our sponsors and their clients.  The folks were all excited to see the horses up close and also ask questions about what we do.


Ready Set

Rick was off the 3 three barrel tonight.  He decided to hook Louie the Grey on the Left Lead, Nickle our old boy on the Right Lead.  Orchid the little new guy on the block on the Left Wheel and Spin on the Right Wheel.  Stadium went up front to the leaders with Chanse Vigen and Mad Dog, (AKA Ryan MacNeill) throwing stove with Ice.  When the horn sounded, Rick said Nickle started harder than he ever has.  The Team was amazing as they went around the track.  The barrel turn was clean.  When the dust settled, we posted a 1:12.66 good enough for 4 on the day.  This fast time  also boosted us up to 2nd in the aggregate.


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P.S.  A bend in the road is not the end of the road………..unless you fail to make the turn.  Helen Keller