Photo by RANDY FIEDLER/Advocate staff

Thiel holds on for first chucks title

The final race at the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships came down to last year’s champion Ray Adamson chasing Garry Thiel, who was looking for his first ever title.

The final race at the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships came down to last year’s champion Ray Adamson chasing Garry Thiel, who was looking for his first ever title.

Thiel and his Pumps and Pressure wagon put down the best run of the day in an exciting Dash For Cash finale at Westerner Days on Sunday. Thiel held a slim lead going into the last race but the Sherwood Park driver made sure there was nothing to stop him from his first championship by throwing down the best run of the five-day event in a time of one minute 15.6 seconds, close to a full second over Adamson who finished third in the heat.

“The track was awesome,” said Thiel. “I had to be cautious today and just come out clean but when the horn sounded my horses ran hard.”

The duel win (the Dash for Cash and the North American crown) was a career highlight for Thiel who is in his 25th year of racing. He has won the chariot championship portion of the All Pro Taste the Dust tour five times but was only able to crack third in the pony chuckwagons which was last year.

“There is 56 wagons here and they’re all tough competition,” he said. “To win both is very special.”

Thiel did win the chuckwagon title in Westlock in early June and felt confident heading into Westerner Days because his horses have been running good. He rested up his horses by not racing them last week and the move seemed to pay off.

“They have been doing well all week and I knew if we came out clean we had a chance,” he said.

The great final run gave Thiel a five-run time of 6:26.76 over two seconds better than Adamson’s Pidherney’s Trucking wagon who finished second with a time of 6:28.76. Curtis Hogg and the Kellough Enterprises Wagon held on to third place after posting the second best time on Sunday (1:16.38) and finished at 6:30.55. Wade Salmond drove the Nossack Food Group rig to fourth with a time of 6:33.26.

Jim Lang and the Hoff Trailer Sales wagon jumped up a spot to take fifth place with an overall time of 6:33.92. Dale Young’s Calgary Flames Ambassadors wagon also jumped up one spot to finish sixth at 6:34.43. Seventh place went to Chris Spreen’s Trojan Safety rig who started the day in ninth, but after posting the fourth best time Sunday (1:17.09), finished with a time of 6:35.62. Eighth place went to Louis Johner who clocked a 6:35.9 while Jack Stott and the Strategic Energy Group wagon finished ninth at 6:37.01. Rounding out the top ten was the ABC Country Restaurant rig and Neil Salmond at 6:37.28.

The drivers certainly saved their best runs for the final day as over half the field had their best times of the week. Thiel said the track was in great condition and it made for a great week with an exciting last run.

“The fair board and Westerner Park did a great job and treated us very well here,” he said. “It is one of our favorite places to come to and always makes for some fast races.”

Just Posted

Alberta premier unhappy with Suzuki honorary degree but defends academic freedom

EDMONTON — Premier Rachel Notley says she does not agree with the… Continue reading

Sylvan Lake wants to create year-round tourist season

Public open house and workshops held May 10-12

Historical bylaws show a different Lacombe

Staff combed through records to find hundreds of outdated bylaws still on the books

Gravel companies facing fee increase

Red Deer County considering raising levy charged to gravel companies for road repairs

Excessive dog poop on Blackfalds ball diamonds frustrates town

Melting snow in Blackfalds uncovered ball diamonds full of dog poop, frustrating… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer students get active, healthy

Healthy Active Schools Symposium takes place in schools

Poll: Advocate readers support Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Red Deer Advocate readers want the Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion to be… Continue reading

Celebrate all women this Mother’s Day in Central Alberta

A breakfast fundraiser is scheduled May 12 in Lacombe

Photo: Poplar Ridge Grade 6 class learn about newspapers

Red Deer Advocate editor Crystal Rhyno visited the school on Wednesday

‘The Heat’ doc examines gender barriers for top female chefs

TORONTO — In making a documentary about top female chefs, Toronto filmmaker… Continue reading

Hank Azaria willing to stop voicing Apu on ‘The Simpsons’

NEW YORK — Hank Azaria is ready to stop voicing Kwik-E-Mart owner… Continue reading

US stocks mostly fall in wobbly trading as costs, rates rise

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks are wobbling and trading mostly lower Wednesday… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month