Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Half Mile of Hell

The sport of Chuckwagon racing is not an easy one for anyone. For my friends to the east, and friends to the south, this sport may be unfamiliar to you.

Here is a little video that shows what Chuckwagon racing is.

My family has had the pleasure of being part of this sport for the last 7 or 8 years through our cousin Troy Flad. Troy is a longtime driver on the World Professional Chuckwagon Tour. Each summer they travel around Alberta and BC taking part in meets.

This sport comes from the wild west. The point has always been to load up your wagon, and make it around the track as fast as possible. Over the years some new rules have been put into place, but the theory still remains the same.

As these drivers and their families, along with 15 or more Thoroughbred horses load up and take to the road for 3.5 months. They live a rough life, but love what they do. Many of the drivers are 2nd and 3rd generation drivers, with their children itching to get behind the lines.

To help pay for the expenses along the way drivers are bought to carry a tarp for the company. This tarp becomes part of the wagon, and the company becomes part of the team for the weekend or season. It gives the companies great exposure, and they also have a pretty good time along the way.

I love to not only watch the chuckwagons, but also to ride the horses. Crystal and I still help out where we can. Usually it is taking care of the horses in the barns, or riding an outriding horse up to the track. They can be intimidating animals, but they love what they do as well!

Next time you are in the area and you know that a race is going on, stop in and watch. It really is a wild and crazy sport!

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