Day six was a very busy day that included much more than just the wagon racing. The day started at 6:30am when I attended a pancake breakfast at Spartan Controls. This was only the first sponsor function of many that I would attend. After a wonderful breakfast, I headed downtown to Stephen Ave, where I left Skippy the Squirrel to entertain the gathering crowd. Then it was back to the barns to pick up fellow drivers, Rick Fraser, Shane Cartier and Darcy Flad and head off to the Children’s Hospital. We were able to bring a smile to many kids faces as we answered questions and signed posters. We could tell that the kids really enjoyed seeing us.
I headed back to the barns and after having a quick lunch I went up to cheer on my fellow Stampede competitors at the rodeo.
By 4:00pm I was back at the barns to start chores and ensure that everything was running smoothly for our ATB financial guests who were visting the barn for supper.
After much deliberation the final decision of which horses (Meaver and Fred on the lead and Regal and Zack on the wheel) was made and they were sent off to the wash rack. The rest of the horses were exercised, cleaned and fed.
After supper, the horses were harnessed and then hooked to the wagon and Skippy headed up to the grandstand. As heat #4 roled around we headed up to the track.
We were lucky to have a clean race, but we couldn’t quite catch Doug Irvine on the homestretch and ended up second in our heat and 20th on the day. We picked up Skippy and managed to keep him safe and sound in the wagon as we paraded past the Grandstand. (Poor Skippy fell out the night before).
After the horses were bathed and cooled and brushed and all the harness was put away I sat down with friends and family and reflected on the day.
Chad Harden – Chuckwagon Driver