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Calgary Stampede Centennial 2012 Part 2

Chuckwagons!!!  I need an entire post dedicated to Chuckwagon racing!  It was an EXTREMELY controversial year at the Stampede for Chuckwagon racing.

 

 

 

 

 

Entering the Grandstand Arena for the first time was really exciting for me!

Hey!  These guys should audition for “Hell on Wheels”!!!!!

What is Chuckwagon Racing?

I’ll tell ya (because I had no idea it existed until I met Jeff).  A chuckwagon race is led by a driver who represents a symbolic “cook”.  An outrider on the rear of the chuckwagon loads a barrel representing a camp stove into the back end of the chuck as if they were “breaking camp”.  The team of horses is raced through a figure 8 obstacle, lead by a 2nd outrider + the chuckwagons begin the race on the track.  “DO WHAT?!”  you’re asking – don’t worry it’ll be laid out in the next couple of paragraphs.

The day before we attended the Chuckwagon races there was a terrible accident on the racetracks.  Chad Harden’s left lead horse suffered a ruptured aortic aneurysm, causing the horse to immediately collapse.  This impelled 2 other horses to come tumbling down with him + all 3 horses had to be put down.  It really grieved me + all of the racing community. It tore me apart.  I was shopping around town + it was all over the radio, all over peoples’ lips as I walked the town.  I have more to contribute on this much disputed subject towards the end of the post.

Here is Jeff’s buddy Jason Glass, three time world champion Chuckwagon Driver explaining the intricacies of Chuckwagon Racing in a more detailed manner.

Well said, Jason!!!  Thank you!  Here comes the outriders.  Jeff had to explain to me 3 times what the outriders’ purpose was.

Ooooh, I see!  Looking good in tight jeans! 

I kid!  Additional outrider fact:  outriders must cross the wire within 5 seconds of the wagon, or late outrider penalties occur. There are also penalties for missed pegs, dropped stove and other things the spectators seldom catch.

Ahem!  Moving on!

Chuckwagon competitors entering the arena.

Funny I took an action of shot of this driver because he was really giving it all his heart: it was Chad Harden.

Da-da-da daaaa (trumpets)!!!  Here comes Jason Glass in his tell-tale checkered Shaw GMC chuckwagon.  The Glass family has been involved with chuck wagon racing for nearly a century. Jason Glass is a fourth generation chuck wagon driver!!!

Driving!!!

Jason won Saturday’s “heat” to much fanfare.  Jeff scored some “Barn Passes” from Jason for Saturday night.  I had no idea what “Barn Pass” meant.  Was it a petting zoo?  A show-and-tell”?

It’s basically a barn party, y’all!!!  Although all the riders were competing the next day for the big Centennial win, everyone was gracious as could be!  Here I am with 2 time world champion outrider (+ 4th generation Chuckwagon competitor) Chad Cosgrave.    Super Hooooottieeeee!!!!!

I look mischievous, no?!  Well, not TOO mischievous – Jeff was taking the photo!  Here I am in a heavenly “cowboy sandwich”!  Jeff, Jason Glass, me + Chad – chuckwagon Royalty, y’all!

Here I am with sweet + jovial driver, Troy Dorchester!  Apparently I had worked with all 3 cowboys on, “Inception”.  But I wouldn’t have known with all the snow storms + balaklavas covering every inch of their faces.

Lastly, we arrived at the barn door of legendary Chuckwagon driver, Grant Profit.  Jeff had known him for years as a teamster in the film industry.  The next day (Sunday) was to be his last day of racing – he was to retire.  Thus, his barn was more lively than others who were early to shut down before the big day.  We asked a drunken reveler to take a picture of the 3 of us.

“You might want to take another picture, your finger was on the lens.” we said.  Aaaah, another blurry photo.  So appropriate.

Grant’s stables were so beautiful.    His thoroughbreds were so silky, so shiny – their coats were gleaming!  Grant’s family + admirers alike were fawning over the horses, cooing + nuzzling with them.  It was magical.

After the races the Profit family held an auction that sold off more than $800,00 of their racing legacy.

Congratulations + well wishes given, Jeff + I rambled onto the Grandstand floor!!!

Such history!  The centennial racing floor, everyone!!!

The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth!!!!

After we relished our time on the Grandstand racing floor, we walked to the train station.

I had a 15 minute long conversation with an eager, drunken young man who explained to me in length about why he couldn’t grow a moustache as resplendent as Jeff’s + how he tried + wished that he could.  I expressed to him how truly sorry I was.

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you.  ‘Tis a drunken maiden laid out upon the concrete before her friends.

A thrilling first day at Stampede.  Yes, sometimes I have a really difficult time at rodeos because I love animals SO much + have conflicting views.  But after spending hours with the chuckwagon drivers + their thoroughbreds, I no longer feel conflicted.  I have never felt so much love, companionship + teamwork from the drivers towards their horses.  The drivers are crazy IN LOVE with their horses!  The horses are extremely well taken care of + doted over, like babies.  And you can tell from the body language – the animals adore + seek out their drivers.  It was truly a beautiful + moving dance to watch.  That is my stance, I witnessed the love with my own eyes.  And I’m sticking to it.

This was a longer post than intended, too much to say on the subject – more Stampede to come!!!

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Bitter en Zoet #

    When I was a kid I was a young Canadian. The chuckwagons have always been part if my stampede, though thanks to your post, I finally know something about it. Thank you for the insight. Yeeha

    July 18, 2012
    • I loved the Young Canadians!!!! I was only able to watch 15 minutes of their performance before we went to the barns! They were AMAZING!!!!

      July 18, 2012
  2. kenny daddO/Papi nishino #

    Hi, Nan, glad U had fun at The Stampede, hope
    all is well, when is ”Hell on Wheel’s” finishing ???
    let us know when it gets close 2 ur trek back down
    2 LALA-Land,…Take Care, best 2 Jeff, Mahalo !!!!!!

    July 21, 2012

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