Gary Salmond in heat five flies down the muddy track on the opening night of the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships at Westerner Days in Red Deer. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Drivers navigate muddy track on day 1 at North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships

The defending champ left off right where he finished.

Reed Rosencrans, the winner of the 2018 Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships was the fast driver on night one in 2019.

Heavy rain prior to the race made for muddy conditions but the American was lightning quick in second last heat on day 1 of the 2019 championships in Red Deer at Westerner Days. He cruised to the top time of the day and finished with an 80.91-second run on opening night, the fastest time by almost a full second.

Neil Salmond was the second-fastest driver, with an 81.69 and Lacombe’s John Stott was third with 82.08. All three top times came from heat 10.

Wade Salmond was fourth fastest with an 82.62 in heat four and Linda Shippelt-Hubl, also in that heat, had an 82.67 for fifth on the night.

Wednesday marked the second consecutive season that Alberta Professional Chuckwagon and Chariot Association brought pony chuckwagon racing to Red Deer.

Over five days, 40 drivers compete for the chance to be crowned champion at the 2019 Red Deer Motors North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships.

It’s the 51st season of racing for the circuit, which has been entertaining crowds since 1968.

Chariot races are also a big part of the racing at Westerner Days, they’ll take place before the chuckwagons on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Heading into the first race of five in Red Deer, Louis Johner led the APCCA standings with 517.5 points. Brett Dubuc is second at 479.5 and Mike Cooke sits third at 442.

Racing kicks off at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, chariot races start at 5 p.m. with chuckwagons to follow.



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Wade Salmond in heat four had one of the fastest times on the opening night of the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships at Westerner Days in Red Deer. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Linda Shippelt-Hubl was one of the fastest drivers on the opening night of the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships at Westerner Days in Red Deer. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Gary Salmond in heat five flies down the muddy track on the opening night of the North American Pony Chuckwagon Championships at Westerner Days in Red Deer. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

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