The 4th Annual Bonnyville Chuckwagon Championships started out with two beautiful, sunny evenings. Capacity crowds filled the grandstands with the excitement of running four wagons per heat for the first time in Bonnyville. And the WPCA wagon drivers did not disappoint! The racing was tight and thrilling as the boys vied for the George Normand Memorial Aggregate Championship Buckle.
And then, late on Friday night the rain started…and it rained... and rained... and rained.
On Saturday morning, members of the Bonnyville Committee, the WPCA directors, and most of the drivers themselves had an emergency meeting to discuss whether or not that evenings show would go on. After much deliberation and a few treks around the track; it was deemed too dangerous for the show to go on.
The disappointment could be felt throughout the chuckwagon community, but with the lives of the drivers, outriders, and horses at stake; there was no doubt we made the right decision.
The weekend ended with Grant Profit and his JayCo Welding and Consulting wagon being declared the two-day aggregate champion along with his outriders Chance Flad and Chad Fike.
The Bonnyville Chuckwagon Committee has been working hard to put 2011 races behind them; and are excited to make up for the loss with a phenomenal 2012 show! They can be heard throughout town chanting “Rain, rain, go away, come again another day.”
The brand new grandstands were ready to go on the first night of racing, and boy, were they put to good use! Thousands of excited fans showed up for the 2nd annual Bonnyville Championships, and even a little rain couldn't dampen our spirits or the fantastic races!
The weekend was a busy one, with pancake breakfasts at Brosseau's and Sobey's, a pontoon boat party on Moose Lake and Ladie's Spa Day all rolled in to the thrill of the evenings races.
As a huge summer storm swept through the grounds on Saturday night, the Pride of the Lakeland party blew the roof off the infield tent (and almost everyone else's tents) almost literally!
Mother Nature tried as she might to upset our George Normand Memorial Dash for Cash on Sunday afternoon, but we raced on, in the rain and mud, much to the delight of the many dedicated fans who braved the elements!
Rick Fraser (Xtreme Oilfield), Obrey Motowylo (H&E Oilfield) and Bryan Mayan (Ross & Sylvestre) lined up at the muddy barrels for the 12th and final heat. "Mudders" prevailed in the end as Bryan Mayan won the $15,000 Bonnvyille Chuckwagon Championships much to the delight of new Chuckwagon sponsors, Ross & Sylvestre Accounting!
Dash for Cash Champion: Bryan Mayan
Other Dash for Cash Participants: Rick Fraser, Obrey Motowylo
EnCana & the Bonnyville 4-H Clubs help create a memorable experience. Crowds in the thousands were there in attendance. Agland from St. Paul donated Two Children's Motorized Gators to give away at Friday evening's performance. Anyone wearing Green in support of 4-H entered the FREE Draw.
A huge downpour of rain on Friday, July 18th stopped that evening's performance which was heartbreaking. An unbelievable amount of rain trounced the grounds and without the remarkable efforts of the local businesses, the races would not have run on Saturday. We cannot say enough about our local businesses dedication to creating a successful event.
Saturday evening's show went on to an attendance high. Two Pink Children's Motorized Escalades were given to people who wore Pink that evening (Tough enough to wear Pink - Breast Cancer awareness) the two units were donated by Trax Food Services & Todd & Tammy Schneider.
Due to Friday performance being rained out, the finals were held on Monday, July 21st with Kelly Sutherland winning the 1st George Normand Memorial Dash for Cash.
Pancake Breakfasts were hosted by Brosseau's Dept. Store (Saturday) & Sobeys on Sunday. Some of the Drivers were on hand to sign autographs for the fans.
Bonnyville Chuckwagon Committee of the Year presented by the WPCA at the awards banquet in Calgary, October 25, 2008.
Dash for Cash Champion: Kelly Sutherland
Other Dash for Cash Participants: Buddy Bensmiller, Jerry Bremner