By LOGAN CLOW
World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) driver Obrey Motowylo is $50,000 richer.
Sunday, Motowylo captured the WPCA’S Dash for Cash at the 40th annual Grande Prairie Stompede at Evergreen Park alongside his outriders Chad Cosgrave and Ethan Motowylo.
Motowylo clocked 1:18.89 in the final heat against Grande Prairie’s Rick Fraser (1:19.14), along with Layne MacGillivray (1:19.88) and Ross Knight (1:21.05).
“(My horses) just really worked all week,” said Motowylo.
“If you were to ask me before the show if I was going to win it, I would have said ‘not a chance’. I’m just really proud of my horses and my outriders and my wife and my whole crew, and everybody involved. It just worked out great.”
Motowylo, of Bluffton, Alta, also captured the WPCA title at the GP Stompede in 2015.
This year, Motowylo also captured the WPCA aggregate title (Ralph Vigen Memorial Award) with a four-day total of 5:18.03. MacGillivray took second in the aggregate with 5:18.10, followed by Fraser with 5:19.80.
Sunday also marked the final hometown WPCA chuckwagon race for Kelly Sutherland. The 12-time world champion is racing in his 50th and final campaign. In Sunday’s sixth heat – Kelly’s final GP Stompede race – he finished third with a time of 1:20.35 and was able to hold off his brother Kirk – 1:22.38. Kelly received a standing ovation from the crowd after the heat.
“It was phenomenal. It’s actually unbelievable,” said Stompede president Terri Sudnik, of Kelly’s ovation.
“Kelly’s a big reason why the Grande Prairie Stompede exists today… I think everyone needs to salute an individual that’s dedicated his life to his western way of life and the cowboy way. And, he is our ambassador and we are very grateful for everything he has given to the sport.”
The next WPCA stop is in Saskatoon in June 8-11.
Rever captures WCA Dash for Cash
Manning’s Eric Rever captured the Western Chuckwagon Association’s Dash for Cash on Sunday.
Rever clocked in at 1:18.84 in the final heat and defended Kelly Somerville (1:20.97), Ron Bolin (1:23.67) and Derek Aebly (1:24.90).
Despite being penalized one second for his wagon moving ahead of the horn, Rever said he was pleased with the win.
“I just kept looking back at the other guys and I knew I had a one second penalty to outrun and I just kept going and the horses pulled through,” said Rever.
Rilee Letendre – the first female chuckwagon driver on the WCA/WPCA – finished 11th in the aggregate with a total of 7:09.75.
The next WCA stop is back at Evergreen Park for Guitars and Wagons on June 15-18.
Kevin Desjarlais was the winner in Sunday’s All Pro Chuckwagon Dash for Cash.
Stompede success: Sudnik
Organizers are deeming this year’s Grande Prairie Stompede another success.
“I know midway (ticket sales) was up and we saw more people through the midway than we saw last year, so that’s positive,” she said, noting ticket sales and attendance was still being tabulated, but were expected to be on par, if not up slightly from last year.
“We saw more families, but we also saw more millennials. I think we’re reaching a different target with social media and things like that,” said Sudnik.
“If you look at some – the chuckwagon drivers, their demographic is changing too – like Dayton Sutherland. Yeah, he has a feather in his hat; he is The King’s (Kelly Sutherland) grandson.
“We’re working together with guys like that to promote the sport.”
During this year’s Stompede, Sudnik said the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance was in attendance. Sudink noted the group was taking surveys and come August, will have produced an economic impact assessment report to share with the community.
“We really need to start understanding the numbers and what chuckwagon, rodeo and sports tourism does for our economy,” she noted, of the report.
In the coming days, Sudnik added the Stompede committee will meet and start “strategic planning” for next year’s event.
“Now is the best time to invite the community to get engaged. If you saw something you want to be a part of this week, I empower you not to wait. Don’t wait until next year. Don’t wait until after Christmas,” she said.
To find out how you can get involved in planning next year’s event, visit: www.gpstompede.com