The Chuckwagon Races

( The Original Extreme Sport )

Photographs taken at Edmonton in 2006 and
the video on the right was taken in 2007.

 

Chuckwagons 
begin by assembling 
in the infield.  (273 kb)
click to enlarge (273 kb)

At the beginning, they all assemble
in the infield. (In order to view a sharp photograph, you must enlarge this to its full 1 1/3 screen size.)

In the small towns across Western Canada, chuckwagon drivers are heros that everyone looks up to.

Although a few people think this sport is cruel to the horses, my impression is that it is the cowboy who has the worst experiences. They can prove it by telling you about the bones they have broken. Their job, working with massive powerful horses, is tough and dangerous. They haven't chosen an office job, calm and comfortable, filled with modern technologies, www.o2.co.uk internet access, tea breaks and swivel chairs. This is Chuckwagon racing. This is the original extreme sport.

View this video at youtube.

a close-up look at a 
Chuckwagon race.
Click here to view video.
click to view video at youtube

Experience a close-up view of an exciting chuckwagon race. Analyze the high spirited horses and the tough job of the outriders. This video was taken at Edmonton, Alberta where I was able to get a close look at the action.

A Minor Accident:

a chuckwagon has
an accident  (37 kb)
click to enlarge (37 kb)

One chuckwagon gets too
close to another.

an outrider
is thrown to
the ground (37 kb)
click to enlage (37 kb)

An outrider is thrown from his horse and lands
on the ground. He is shaken up a little.

he gets help,
then walks to
the ambulance (57 kb)
click to enlarge (57 kb)

Eventually the outrider is able to walk
to an ambulance.

 

A Close Look at the Performance
of the Honest Mur's Bar and Grill chuckwagon:

 

a chuckwagon
approaches the 
track (179 kb)
click to enlarge (179 kb)

A helper gets ready to catch a ride to the starting line. You get the feeling that when Honest Mur decided to pay for a chuckwagon tarp, he looked to people in his bar to help him out. Maybe, at the end of a night of drinking, the hangers-on drew straws to decide who would get the chance to drive the chuckwagon.

 

a helper 
catches a 
ride (197 kb)
click to enlage (197 kb)

The helper catches a ride. At this point, I suspected they were new at the game. They didn't look like agile athletes; and everything looked bright and clean. Maybe it was their first race? But wait, there is a little mud on the front of Marty Maxwell's hat.

the chuckwagons
line up at the 
starting line  (213 kb)
click to enlarge (213 kb)

The chuckwagons line up at the start line. Honest Mur is hoping for an honest day's work.

Marty Maxwell
headed for 
the next barrel (157 kb)
click to enlage (157 kb)

Honest Mur gets an honest
day's work.
(This photograph shows Marty leaning into the turn as his massive, powerful chuckwagon horses spring into action. Two helpers can be seen frantically running to get out of the way.)

Marty Maxwell in action (137 kb)
click to enlarge (137 kb)

As Marty Maxwell turns the barrel and heads for the track, you can see he has done this before.

Honest Mur's
is first onto
the track (96 kb)
click to enlarge (96 kb)

He is the first chuckwagon on
the track. (It was a great start,
but unfortunately, he finished
the race in second place.)

 

Honest  Mur's Chuckwagon, 
etched in stone.  (31 kb)

Here, etched in stone, we see Marty Maxwell driving
Honest Mur's Bar and Grill Chuckwagon as
the horses head towards the next barrel.

 

The Trials and Tribulations of the Outrider:

 

a chuckwagon has
an accident  (161 kb)
click to enlarge (161 kb)

An outrider works to keep the lead horses straight as the horn blows and the driver yells to his horses.

an outrider
is thrown to
the ground (135 kb)
click to enlage (135 kb)

The outrider is able to keep safely out of the way as the lead chuckwagon horses begin to turn.

he gets help,
then walks to
the ambulance (110 kb)
click to enlarge (110 kb)

He jumps onto his horse quickly so he isn't left behind.

 

a chuckwagon has
an accident  (187 kb)
click to enlarge (187 kb)

In this race, the photograph shows the outrider struggling with the horses. The driver doesn't look very happy because the race can't start until the chuckwagon behind him reaches it's starting position.

an outrider
is thrown to
the ground (39 kb)
click to enlage (39 kb)

After the horn finally blows, everything takes off at top speed. It isn't surprising that
this photo is blured.

he gets help,
then walks to
the ambulance (88 kb)
click to enlarge (88 kb)

The outrider turns the barrel and quickly heads for the track. At the end of the race, his chuckwagon will be penalized if all the outriders are not right behind it.

a chuckwagon has
an accident  (136 kb)
click to enlarge (136 kb)

When the horn blows, the job of this outrider is to throw the red stove into the back of the of the chuckwagon before the chuckwagon takes off. Behind him, a driver pulls back on his horses with all his might.

an outrider
is thrown to
the ground (187 kb)
click to enlage (187 kb)

The start of this race was a little chaotic. Before the start, the outrider has trouble with the two lead horses who appear to be falling in love.

he gets help,
then walks to
the ambulance (168 kb)
click to enlarge (168 kb)

Four seconds later, this photo was taken and it looks like the situation is getting worse. But the horn soon goes.

a chuckwagon has
an accident  (194 kb)
click to enlarge (194 kb)

Three seconds after the last photo, this photo was taken. I am busy fumbling with my camera so in the excitement was unable to aim straight. The horn has blown and the outrider has gotten out of the way.

 

an outrider
is thrown to
the ground (133 kb)
click to enlage (133 kb)

Three seconds after the last photo, an outrider heads towards the camera. My camera is new so I took this photo while focused on trying to find the zoom lens button. Everything happened so fast that I am uncertain what happened, and don't know if this is the same outrider.

the back of a horse (40 kb)
click to enlarge (40 kb)

This horse brushed the fence immediately in front of me and then headed back into the race. My camera says it was nine seconds between the last photo and this one.

 

 

the end of the day (45 kb)
click to enlage (45 kb)

Many chuckwagon races are held in the evening.
The races come to an end as the sun goes down.

click on this map
 to return to westerntour - 18 kb


Visitors since September 2, 2006:

2006 Brian M. Brown All rights reserved.