WPCA continue advancing code of care for horses

Ponoka Stampede is just around the corner and as the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) drivers

AMELIA NAISMITH

Black Press

Ponoka Stampede is just around the corner and as the World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) drivers pile into town, they’re bringing special members of their family with them: their horses.

“Our horses, they’re really part of the chuckwagon family,” said WPCA president Arnold McKernon.

Last year the WPCA implemented a new Code of Care for the animals. “That covered everything from transportation to general care,” said John Lee, chairman with codes of care and volunteer officer on the WPCA board.

With technological advances the code of care continues to improve the health and wellbeing of the animals. All competing WPCA horses and any of their horses at a venue are in the process of being micro-chipped for monitoring.

With the microchips, WPCA competitors and other officials can tell when a horse last raced and how many runs were recently made. “Horses are regulated that they can only run so many days in a row,” said Lee.

“There’s so many mandatory hours of rest a horse must have before they can compete,” he added.

The microchips also track an animal’s transportation route, which again leads into an allotted rest period before they even see the track.

If there is something physically wrong with a horse, the microchip will pick it up and the animal must be treated and cleared before being able to race again.

The code of care also states what is required of a venue the WPCA horses enter. “For safety reasons,” said Lee.

Although it is common practice for rodeo and chuckwagon competitors to subject their animals to the best care available, the code of care reiterates what is compulsory. “By having the Code of Care it really deals with specifics . . . we have it all spelled out there,” said Lee.

Ponoka Stampede parade marshals

This year the Ponoka Stampede Parade Marshals are the drivers and outriders of the WPCA. The public will also have a chance to meet the drivers at the parade.

The first official chuckwagon races took place at the 1923 Calgary Stampede with only six outfits competing and no rules to speak of.

Before that, the idea of the races had to be dreamed up and this is where the stories get a little fuzzy.

One tale suggests that it was Calgary Stampede founder, Guy Weadick, who implemented the races after witnessing impromptu wagon races in the Wild West, with the last one into town buying a round of drinks.

Other accounts suggest it was the 1919 Victory Stampede that gave birth to modern day chuckwagon races. In 1919 two camp cooks were in a race to serve a barbeque in front of the Victory Stampede grandstand. They loaded up their wagons and took off down the track to see who would reach the spectators first.

While the facts are not clear, it is these legends — and many more— that make up the colorful history of the WPCA races.

 

 

Just Posted

Red Deer will officially be the home of the Canadian Finals Rodeo

CFR has potential to bring in an economic impact of $20-30 million

UPDATE: Highway 2 lanes were closed due to milk truck fire near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

What to do after online accounts are hacked

Facebook, email and other accounts hold vital information

PETA picking wrong bone with meat tax

Science shows vegetarian diet doesn’t lessen cancer risk

Rumsey Coyote Derby promises a lot of fun

Rumsey 4-H kids heading to beef congress

Erskine Professional Motocross Athlete appears in Edmonton

Chad Bauman performs as part of ‘Ground and Gravity’

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read


Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.