Logan Gorst wins Meadow Lake CPCA race

Gord McCallum of Meadow Lake could sing mud gets in my eye at the end of his heat Saturday evening. McCallum crossed the line third in his heat with a time of 1:11.60. The rain from the previous evening and most of the day Saturday saw the lap times increase from the night before.

By Rhonda Cooper

The Canadian Professional Chuckwagon Association’s annual stop in Meadow Lake July 22 – 24 was a soggy event. The featured 27 drivers, their outfits and outriders, raced in the rain Friday evening, under cloudy skies Saturday and finally in the sun Sunday. Heat times reflected the track conditions as Friday’s times ranged from 1:05 to 1:08, slowing down to 1:11 to 1:20 Saturday and picking back up to 1:09 to 1:15 Sunday afternoon.

Logan Gorst of Meadow Lake became the season’s first two-time aggregate winner being declared the show champion with a three-day combined time of 3:30.78. The fourth-year driver placed seventh Friday night, second Saturday evening and eighth Sunday afternoon.

Top day money on Friday went to Jamie Laboucane of St. Walburg, while Saturday’s winner was fellow St. Walburg driver BJ Carey. The fastest around the track Sunday was Ray Mitsuing of Loon Lake.

Heavy track conditions impacted the drivers’ decisions regarding which horses to hitch to their wagons.

“It was tough sledding out there,” said Loon Lake veteran driver Roger Moore. “But it’s good to get a weekend in. It’s only about our 15th day of racing, not including Calgary.”
The conditions had Moore mixing and matching his horses.

“I hook my horses in terms of barrel position and conditions. Some like to run in the mud, while some like the short barrels and others the long barrels. You usually try and figure that out in spring training.”

Moore had four different outfits with him during the Meadow Lake weekend. He also had two new horses he brought in from Saskatoon that he planned on working with before the CPCA’s next show in Turtleford.

With only 11 spots up for grabs for next year’s Calgary Stampede, Moore indicated the importance of each race left in the season. Rapid View’s Vern Nolin, by virtue of his top eight finishing at this year’s Stampede has already sewn up one of those spots, which has drivers jockeying for one of the remaining 10 positions. The cancellation of Cold Lake, which was to be re-run July 28 to Aug.1, means drivers only have Turtleford, Saskatoon and Lloydminster to garner as many points as they can. Moore anticipated he and some of the other drivers would remain in Meadow Lake for three or four days of training before heading onto Turtleford.

Although it was hard to judge his outfits’ performances, Moore was happy with his horses.
“We ran penalty-free and we are now in fourth place. The goal for this year was to make a run for the truck,” he said.

At the end of the Meadow Lake event, Gary Gorst of Meadow Lake sits atop of the driver standings with 533.5 points. Nipping at his heels is son Logan with 519.5 points. Within striking distance is a pair of Loon Lake drivers – Devin Mitsuing and Roger Moore with 480.5 and 475.5 points respectively.

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