Greetings Chuckwagon fans, it won’t be long now until we are once again doing what we love, watching and listening to the exciting action of the CPCA. As we enter the 2018 season, I decided that I would do a recap of what happened in 2017, and get everyone caught up for the beginning of the 2018 season.
First off, I want to start by stating how amazing the 2017 season was. I have spent many years on the Chuckwagon trail, but I felt that this year was one of the best to date. Right up until the final day in Lloydminster we had a race for the 2017 Championship Title, and also for personal best placings in hopes to qualify for the Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth, The Calgary Stampede. As a Co-Host to the Chuckwagon Radio Network, there was always a sense of unpredictability that inspired me.
For example, Wayne Knight started the season strong and never looked back. He always had company on his tail with the likes of Jamie Laboucane, Ray Mitsuing, and Kris Molle to name a few; but Wayne set out with a goal, and a strategy and never looked back. This led him to claim the 2017 CPCA Championship and a guarantee to the Calgary Stampede. Along with Wayne, drivers: Barry Hodgeson, BJ Carey, Chance Bensmiller, Jamie Laboucane, Kris Molle, Ray Mitsuing, and Todd Baptiste will also be representing the CPCA association at the 2018 Calgary Stampede. Danny Ringuette, one of the association’s youngest drivers was also selected to be a demonstration driver at the stampede, signifying that he is making a name for himself in the sport.
Now lets talk about some personal bests. As a second year driver, Brad McMann finished 7th in the driver standings jumping up from the 12th place finished he achieved in his rookie year (2016). Danny Ringuette jumped up from 16th in 2016 to 10th in 2017 in only his 4th year on the circuit. Kris Flanagan moved up from 22nd in 2016 to 12th in 2017. With results like this the future of Chuckwagon Racing in the CPCA is bright.
The 2017 season was an interesting one in regards to outriders. At the first show of the year veteran outrider Aric Pare was injured when his outriding horse pawed him in the face while holding leaders, but he was able to return later in the season. Shortly after that another veteran outrider, Reg (Ryan) Johnstone suffered a shoulder injury, brining his season to a hault as well. Kale Lajeunesse returned from the WPCA and there was also an influx of rookies: Basil Mosquito, Tiegan Larouche and Cody Hodgson, whom all proved they belonged in the association. The talented Tyler Mackenzie took home the 2017 CPCA Outriding Champion Award.
As for 2018, many changes are to be expected. It has been said that Meadow Lake will not be hosting a show, due to grandstand repairs, and the CPCA is working very hard to find a replacement show. Along with this, the association is also looking into promoting the sport by adding additional shows to the season’s schedule. As always, there will be some drivers who may not return or choose to run in another association, as well as new driver’s making their CPCA debut, or even veteran drivers choosing to return to the CPCA.
I encourage you to check back, as I will have many more updates and stories in the future as we prepare, and begin the 2018 CPCA season.