This year’s Chuckwagon race was won by Kurt Bensmiller, from Dewberry Alberta. Kurt was joined in his wagon on the victory lap by his Dad, veteran driver Buddy Bensmiller. This was Kurt’s first time in the winner’s circle. He takes home $100,000 and a beautiful bronze. Joining him on stage were his outriders Shawn Calf Robe and Wayne Wright who also share in the win with bronzes of their own, and of course some cash.
The results of Heat 9 were:
1st – Kurt Bensmiller racing for the Tsuu T’ina First Nation with a time of 1:10.75
2nd – Rae Croteau Jr. racing for Ranchman’s Cookhouse & Dancehall Inc.with at time of 1:11.35
3rd – Jason Glass racing for MJ’s Water Hauling with a time of 1:12.08
4th – Gary Gorst with The Kidz Wagon – Baytex Energy Corp with a time of 1:12.87
This was Rae Croteau Jr’s first time racing in the Dash for Cash. Kurt also won the Ponoka Stampede in June so it’s been a good year for him. The year isn’t over yet. The wagons are moving down the road to High River for the Guy Weadick Rodeo which starts on Thursday and runs all weekend.
A couple of veteran drivers retired following this Stampede. Tim Haroldson had already announced his retirement before an accident early on sent him to hospital. His horses and equipment were auctioned off Sunday morning and it was an emotional time for all the drivers and Tim’s family. Tim continues to recover but wasn’t able to attend the auction. Reg Johnstone, the Bashaw Flash, also retired and received a great send-off by the crowd and the outriders on his final lap following his race on Sunday. Brian Laboucane also reached the age of retirement at this Stampede. It will be strange not hearing the names of these veteran drivers next year!
The Guy Weadick Award this year was won by Brian Laboucane and is well deserved!
This award is presented annually to the one chuckwagon or rodeo competitor who best embodies what the cowboy stands for, and who best typifies the spirit of the Calgary Stampede. It is based upon ability, appearance, showmanship, character, sportsmanship and cooperation with other cowboys, the arena crew, the media and the public.
Congratulations to this years Calgary Stampede Equine Outfit of Excellence winners!
Right Leader: Blazer-Wayne Knight
Left Leader: Ace-Kurt Bensmiller
Right Wheeler: Law-Rick Fraser
Left Wheeler: Colonel-Kirk Sutherland
1) All About Me-Tim Haroldson
2) Tom-Rae Croteau Jr.