Although clean-up is still taking place at the stampede grounds, the WPCA Chuckwagon events over last weekend went off without a hitch despite excruciatingly hot weather.
“It was a successful, hot weekend,” says organizer Larry Duxbury.
Kelly Sutherland led the top of the scoreboard in the aggregated three day standings, finishing with a seven point lead of 129 over second place's Jason Glass who finished with a score of 122. Luke Tournier finished in a narrow third place, with 119.5 points.
Kelly Sutherland, arguably one of the most successful chuckwagon drivers of all-time, is a two time world champion chuckwagon driver, in 2006/07, and last season finished in second place.
Attendance was about the same as last year’s event, with Sunday’s final race exceeding the previous year.
“All the horses and riders went home unscathed. We had a little rain on Sunday morning but we were confident the track would hold up, and it did,” says Duxbury.
Despite the rodeo event being cancelled this year, Duxbury said he only received a few questions regarding the cancellation, but people understood it was not fiscally responsible for the Drumheller Stampede and Agricultural Society to host the event.
As for next year, Duxbury says there are ideas floating around the boardroom to bring some new entertainment aspects to the events.
“We are looking at bringing in more community involvement leading up to the chuckwagon weekend, a couple events to host in the barn. One idea is to bring a hypnotist and get some of the riders up on stage,” Duxbury said. "I'd also like to see some more Stampede Breakfasts going on, maybe see if the town will support some more community involvement."
Overall, Duxbury says the event was quite a success. On Friday night they found the infield to be slippery, but Saturday morning workers came out to rebuild the field to make sure the racers were running on the best turf "they could provide."
"If you can plan for three races, and pull off three races, it's a success."
Duxbury says the plan is to keep growing the event, and add more entertainment value.