Guy Weadick Days High River Alberta Day #3

Howdy All!

What a fantastic day weather wise.  I believe many of our moods are determined by how the weather is on that particular day.  And the weather is also something that everyone talks about each and every day.  Well today was so bright, sunny, and warm  that everywhere we went, people were happy, content, and friendly  and so were we.

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After morning chores, Rick and I, along with fellow Chuckwagon Drivers Chad Harden and Mitch Sutherland, attended a breakfast downtown for MP John Barlow.  It couldn’t have been a better day with the sun shining bright.  There was plenty of food and beverages for all that attended.  Along our Chuckwagon Circuit, all the drivers are required to get out into the communities to promote the Western Heritage of our sport.

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Kids of Our Chuckwagon Families

When there are 36 families, and many relatives and friends of those families that travel along the trail all summer long, you know there are going to be many kids among the camps.  We are all competitors, but family too.  We love giving the kids treats when they come along.

Today was one of those days.  Our treat box consisted of some Double Bubble, the kind that is great for blowing bubbles.  Well, Rick bet the kids that they couldn’t get 6 pieces into their mouth at once.  The video tells the story.  So much fun.

 

 

At lunch, we headed out towards Okotoks to stop in at the Willard farm that was having a giant garage sale.  Lots of odds and ends, western items, wooden wheeled wagons and so much more.  It was all so very interesting.  Rick came away with a set of old harness with wooden hames.  He calls it a treasure.

Aunty Sarah

Our next stop was for horse feed at the Country Living and Garden Centre.  This big huge chair was sitting out front, and Aunt Sarah from Chad Hardens crew climbed up to have a rest.  Once in there, it was a little iffy trying to get her out!

Wedding Crashers

Wedding Crashers

Have any of you seen the movie “Wedding Crashers”?  Well, Rick and Chad can be somewhat of jokesters and love to have some fun.  So as we were driving along the highway today, along the roads of the beautiful Okotoks area, they seen a very long driveway upon which several cars were driving up.  Past the first house, and at the second, a big huge white tent was set up.  Well these boys were curious and had to find out what was going on.  Wedding Crashers they thought and maybe a free lunch.  Low and behold, there was going to be a wedding.  They jumped out of the truck and I got a shot of the Groom and his men, along with Rick and Chad too.  We may have stayed for the wedding, but the chuckwagon races come first.  We came away with a laugh and I’m sure they did too.

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Side Saddle Ladies

Our day was not finished as there was a Side Saddle race our friend Ryan was in.  The event took place immedialty after the afternoon rodeo.  These gals were dressed to the nines in the lovely olden day attire.  They had beautiful ponies from painted, to roan, to greys and bays.  Their saddles were special saddles where both the legs are to one side.

They raced from the back stretch to infront of the grandstand full gallop and all.  The cinch on the horse has to be as tight as can be, as most of their weight is to the left side of the horse. Those brave girls, they were a hit, and we hope to see them some more.

Our hook tonight was Nickle on the Left Lead, with Speedy on the Right.  Jim on the Left Wheel and Law on the Right Wheel.   Ed and Ice went again with the same outriders Chance Flad and Chanse Vigen.  Coming off the 4 barrel, the team started hard and was clean around the barrels.  They shot off like a rocket and Rick managed to get the rail on the first turn.  There was no breeze tonight and the dust was just hanging, thus the photo is not clear.  I need to learn a little more on using my camera to eliminate that.

 

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A 4 Barrel Turn

As the race continued, Rick stayed in the lead running along the rail.  Coming for home, both our outriders were in the 175 foot zone.   He crossed the line in a 1:14.81.  A day money run!!!!  How exciting our “Team 23” was.

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A Day Money Run

That speedy run brought us up into 3rd in the aggregate of the High River Show.  Tomorrow, the races begin early at 4:15 PM.  We will then be packing up and heading north to Ponoka Alberta, immediately after the races.  A full day ahead.

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Grandpa Time

Ryley, from Turner Valley got to spend some quality time with his honorary grandpa on Saturday.  Little did he know, his day was topped off with receiving our mini little chuckwagon giveaway after the races.  The smiles tell it all.

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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Sue

P.S.  Show class, have pride, and display character.  If you do, winning takes care of itself.

 

 

Guy Weadick Days High River Alberta Day #2

Howdy All!

When you are situated just beyond the mountains, one can never really predict the weather to accuracy.  It can change in a moments notice and you better be prepared.  Many of us have awnings on our trailers, and most of us have learned to never leave them open unattended.  On Wednesday evening, a big wind storm came through to which there was no warning except the dust in the distance to the north.  By then we had minutes to tie things down and run for cover.  Thank goodness it only lasted about 45 minutes and no damage was done that we heard of on the Agriculture  Grounds.

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A Surprise Gift

Everyone loves a present, and that is just what we received when we returned from our outing on Wednesday.  A bag of goodies was left in our liner from a local company called Bar T5 Trailers North Inc. What a generous gift to welcome the drivers of the World Professional Chuckwagon Association.  A huge thank you goes out to them.

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A Helping Hand

Over the many years that we have traveled and the many miles up and down the road we have driven,  we have had several different folks that have come along side and have given a helping hand.  Some were paid employees, others were family and/or friends.  One such helper was my brother-in-law Don.  This fella was trucker by trade.  Back in the 1990’s, Don and his wife, Dana (my sister) and their son Morgan spent many weekends coming down the dusty trail helping out with the many chores that go along with our interesting lifestyle.  Don drove our truck and liner with horses, helped harness and rode in the Chuckwagon as Rick’s right hand man.  Dana helped me out in the cooking department.  Back then we had 4 kids between the 2 families, and then 6 more when my other sister and family came along as well.  Those were the days.  We have so many great memories from back then, and enjoy reminiscing about them when we get together.  One of the things Don always said to me when we were together and I will always remember,  “Don’t worry, it will all come out in the wash.”  This has stuck with me till today, and will continue for a very long time.  Whether it was lending a dollar or two or more, a helping hand  or whatever, we knew it was always paid back one way or another.  Today, when we pull off the grounds, headed to the next show, I pick up the phone and dial Don’s number, to let him know we are on our way.  Thanks Don and Dana for all the good memories past.  They will never be forgotten.

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Cousin Troy and Brace

Rick’s cousin Troy Dorchester competes as well.  He races in heat #4.  Brace, another relative of Rick and Troy’s arrived today, and jumps in the wagon to give him a hand.  Troy came off the 2 barrel tonight and posted a time to give him a 13th on the day.

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Ready to Race

I head over to the infield with the outriding horses after the horn sounds of the 6th heat.  This gives me enough time to get to the back gate just as the race is finishing.  We wait in the infield until it is our time to race, then I give the horses to our outriders, Chanse Flad and Chanse Vigen.  Tonight they rode Ed and Ice.  They both stood very quietly while waiting their turn.  They are very attentive to all the action that is going on around them as you can see in their photo.  Their ears are pricked up high, as they see the chuckwagons on the track.

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Turning the Top of 3

Black is the color of three barrel, and tonight that is what Rick was on.  He hooked Speedy on the Right Lead, Barcardi on the Left.  Law on the Right Wheel, and Jim on the Left.  The skinner got them around the barrels when the horn blew.  Kurt Bensmiller got to the rail first.  Rick was three wide then pulled in behind the leader.  When the dust settled, he crossed the finish line 3rd in his heat and posted a 1:16.32 good enough for 10th on the day and sitting at 9th overall after 2 days of racing.

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95 1/2 Year Young

We couldn’t be more happy to know that this young lady received our mini chuckwagon give-away tonight.  She was so excited, and she made it known, she is going to be taking it down for breakfast with her in the lodge to which she is living to show it off.  Now how good is that?  I think Rick and I might have to top it off with a little visit as well.  And by the way, she by no means looks like 95 1/2!

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Pretending

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Flying High

After the races, we met some lovely folk all the way from down under from Deniliquin, Australia .  You see, these folks have been touring Canada.  They happened to be in Blackie, Alberta and seen a poster for the Guy Weadick days here in High River.  Well it peaked their interest and so they came.  One thing led to another, they met our friends up in the stands.  They were brought back to the barns to meet us.  Well we showed them around, they met the horses, sat in the Chuckwagon, got a signed poster and book and even threw the stove a few times.

To Rick and Sue and “Team 23”, this is what our life is all about.  Sharing it with others that cross our path.  They will go home now and spread the word to what they experienced here in Canada.  Maybe one day we will venture on down their way, and see the sights of Australia.

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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Sue

P.S. It’s the friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey.

 

Guy Weadick Days High River Alberta Day #1

Howdy All!

We were High River bound on Tuesday in some pretty warm weather after enjoying a pretty good Medicine Hat.  We arrived at our destination around 1:30 PM.  The weather gauge was reading 27 degrees celsius which is 80.6 in fahrenheit for those of you that go by that.  At any rate, we were pretty warm setting up the barn that day.  We had lots of water on ice to quench our thirst, and when the horses were unloaded, I just happened to find some frozen daiquiri in my freezer.  A glass full of that beverage kept our feet a going.

Naughty Nets and Pets

Just one of our Sponsors

As we travel down the road, our sponsor “Knaughty Nets and Pets” Shannon and Michelle, have provided us with hay nets to which the horses enjoy  nibbling on good green hay while we travel from show to show.   This helps keep them happy and content while in the liner that is kept cool with big ventilating fans.  We recommend Knaughty Net products as they serve us very well.  They have an assortment of products for large and small animals, so it would be worth your while to look them up.

Nickle is always the last horse to be unloaded.  He gets special treatment riding in the front of the liner.  Its where the least movement is when going up and down the highways.  He’s one of the old boys that’s been around for awhile and he will be retiring on the ranch when his time comes to call it quits.  He came to us from a horse trainer in the Edmonton area.  He had  a bit of attitude when he came to us, but it only took about a year to get into the groove and he’s been one of our best ever since.  He’s quite friendly, however, when he’s hooked on the left lead,  Nickle likes to occasionally nip the arm of the outrider.  We always give them a friendly reminder to just be aware.  Oh the personalities of a horse.

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A Panoramic View On Top of the Liner

While setting up, we have to scurry up on top of the liner to pull up the ratchet straps that secure the sidewalls to the unit while traveling.  This photo is facing north to the track.

Once our horses are unloaded, the barn is unstrapped, Rick starts the built-in generator to power up the hydraulics to open up the side walls, which make up our barn.  Its a pretty unique barn, yet it still takes about 2 hours to be completely set up from the time of arrival to bedding, hanging dividers, to filling feed and water buckets to putting the horses in.

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Fed and Watered

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A Home Away from Home

With a bit of down time on Wednesday,  Rick and I decided to take the kids out west to Longview area, about a 30 minute drive to John Scott’s Ranch.  John is involved in Motion Picture Productions and his Ranch is a beautiful place with so much interesting artifacts that are used in many movies over the years.

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The day was beautiful, the sun was shining, a breeze was blowing and the sky was breathtaking blue with fluffy white clouds.  The day couldn’t have been better for photography.   I am no professional, but I did get a few good shots and the Rocky Mountains are amazing to see.  This country down south here is so beautiful, that everyone should get a chance to travel it.

Our first night of racing here in High River was a bit cool with a wind.  When you are near those mountains, you just never know what the temperature will be.  Nine heats of chuckwagons with 4 to a heat went without a hitch.  A few penalties here and there, but good just the same.

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A Helping Hand

Once Rick takes his practice turn, he often asks Duncan our barn hand to reach over and help pull the lines as the horses are raring to go.  This just settles them a bit before the race begins.

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Coming off the Barrels

We hooked Ranger on the Right Lead, Spirit on the Left.  Air on the Right Wheel and Sporty on the Left.  Chance Flad held the leader riding Beau, and Chanse Vigen threw the stove with Ice.  Rick was off the two barrel tonight and made a safe turn around the top and bottom.  Kurt Bensmiller off the four barrel outturned all the other 3 outfits.  The heat was a fast one, and we ended up 10th on the day with a 1:15.89.

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Track Announcer Mr. Les McIntyre

Our announcer here in High River and at several of our other World Professional Chuckwagon shows, is Les McIntyre.  He hails from the town of Vulcan.  Les was a chuckwagon competitor himself many years ago, but then took on a role as an auctioneer, announcing rodeo and chuckwagon races where his voice permeates throughout the crowd each night bringing the races to life.

Until Tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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Sue

P.S.  You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

 

Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Chuckwagon Races Day #4

Howdy Folks

Some of our final days of racing at a venue, end up being early afternoon start times .  This really puts a twist into our day.  Some good and some not so good.  Morning chores go as usual, and then it seems that 2 pm comes quite quickly.  The daily scheduled nap rarely happens on these days.

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Making Friends

We always enjoy little visitors that stop by.  Joey, along with her mom and brother stopped in for a visit.  They are city folks, so when we come to town, they are so excited to meet the horses and feed them some carrots.  Its a little bit of country coming to the city as the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Race Track is situated within their city limits.

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A Man of Many Trades

For several of the years that we have been coming to Medicine Hat to race, we’ve always been met by Rodger when we arrived on the grounds.  You see, Rodger came our way through some of his family members, as they were sponsors of ours.  This fella has helped us tremendously over the years doing odds and ends fix ups on our traveling trailer, our horse liner and also helping out with the chores.  He might not handle the horses, but he is one of the best handyman guys around.  We sure do appreciate all that he does for us.  We can’t say enough how this Chuckwagon way of living has given us so many new friends for life.

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One Lonely Rabbit

Just as the races were starting, I saw this rabbit in the infield where we watch the first three heats.  He was the cutest little thing.  Sighting a rabbit is a good thing.  It primarily means abundance, comfort and vulnerability.  It also means it is closely linked to the seasons, the changes of Mother Earth, and specifically Springtime.

Our afternoon outfit consisted of Ranger on the Right Lead, Spirit on the Left Lead, Jim on the Left Wheel, and Law on the Right Wheel.  Ed and Stadium were the outriding horses ridden by Rory and Casey.  As you can see on the video, the team started hard.  That’s a good thing!  The skinner, (AKA Rick) drove that team around the barrels like no tomorrow.  He kept the lead all the way around the track to finish first in the heat and 7th on the day.  We had good show overall and are sitting 2nd in the World Point Standings.  A congratulations goes out to Luke and Michelle Tournier on their championship win here in Medicine Hat.

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Smiles So Big

Well you couldn’t wipe the smile off this little gal.  Her family has also come to know us through our Chuckwagon life.  Once a year we get to see them and catch up on things.  These little Chuckwagons are very special to receive, as we only give them out at the races.

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One Last Group Photo

We were happy to have them come back to the barn at the end of the races.  The excitement to show us what she got was  priceless.  A gift that keeps on giving.

Onward to High River, Alberta, the next stop on the tour.

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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Sue

P.S.  Faith is to believe what we do not see, the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.   Saint Augustine

Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Chuckwagon Races Day #3

Howdy All

Today we had sunshine, yet there was a coolness in the air.  After morning chores, I went over to the local farmers market and picked up some home baked pie, cinnamon rolls and carrots for the horses.  You can’t beat the home made goods.

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Loving the Attention

We had some visitors come by to meet the horses.  Our friends Steve and Lynn Fountain brought their daughter and grandkids down to our barn.  They are city kids and wanted a close up and personal experience with our thoroughbreds.  Rick took them out to the pen and let them do just that.

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Say Cheese

They couldn’t leave without a photo in front of the chuckwagon with Rick.

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Waiting

Ernie and Andy were our outriding horses again tonight.  Rory and Casey both rode them well.  I  go over to the infield with them and await our heat.  Tonight, these 2 horses were exceptionally well behaved.  They just stood so quietly for me.  What a treat.  Just because sometimes the horses get worked up as they know it is getting close to race time.

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Cleared the Barrels

We hooked Nickel on the Left Lead, and Speedy on the Right.  Sporty was on the Right Wheel, and Louie on the left.  With Louie being new, when the horn sounded, he just kinda stood there.  Then when the other horses got going, he had no choice.  So the start was a bit slow, but when they went, the went.  Rick did a good job driving around the barrels and the rest of the race took care of itself.  We had a decent time of 1:02.55 ranking us 8th on the day and seating us 8th in the agregate after the three days of racing.  Tomorrows dash for the championship race, consists of Kurt Bensmiller, Luke Tournier and Doug Irvine.  May the fastest wagon win.

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Wagon Winners

Our friends Jan, Astrid and Stephan from the Netherlands were the lucky recipients tonight at the races.  They were pretty excited to have received the mini Chuckwagon so they can take it back to their home country and show all their friends and family.  We met these fine folks about 6 – 8 years ago here in Medicine Hat.  They were just walking by the grounds and wondered what the heck we were up to.  We treated them to the races that night, showed them our barns and horses, and we’ve been friends ever since keeping touch by email.  They love coming to Canada, and make a point to come see us every time they do.

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A Different Kind of View

Tomorrow’s races are early, beginning at 2 pm.

Until tomorrow

From the Travelin Trailer

Sue, with Rick and “Team 23”

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Sue

P.S.  Everyone in your life serves a purpose.  Everyone has something to teach  you.  And while people who are kind and friendly help teach you who you DO want to be, those who are not kind and friendly teach you who you DON’T want to be.