The Story from Lacorey, Doug Irvine won the races in Medicine Hat this past weekend. Irvine says his horses really pushed to compete and take the win for the driver.
“I was hooked off two of the best this weekend, so it was good to beat them!” Irvine proud to take that championship heat, which was ran against Jason Glass and reigning WPCA champ, Kurt Bensmiller. “The horses are the ones that push themselves; they’re working really hard right now.” Late last season Irvine put together this winning outfit, “we had some success with them late last season, they continued and hopefully, they’ll peak at the right time.” Irvine closed last season with a win at the Battle of the Rockies in Rocky Mountain House.
Coming off barrel number two in the final heat, Irvine’s horse primed, “they’ve been firing all year.” In a penalty free heat, in the B&R Eckel’s outfit, Irvine got the edge on Calgary Stampede Champion Kurt Bensmiller, by just 14 one-hundredths of a second. This was the first weekend win for Irvine in Medicine Hat, in his career. “Every time I’ve hooked [these horses] they’ve been in the money. They don’t really know who they’re hooked with, they go hard every time.”
Next on the circuit is High River, which starts Thursday. The little break from racing gives Irvine some time with the family, who’ve joined him on the circuit and there’s never too little chores to keep a man busy. “Yesterday we hooked some other horses, then you do your chores and then I took the kids out bowling last night for a treat. You just kinda spend family time and relax, catch up on things that don’t get done on race day and focus on wagon racing.”
As a seasoned driver, Irvine knows each community on the circuit, “when we come to Medicine Hat they have a really nice pool, so I’ll take the kids swimming a few times while we’re down here. They have a nice bowling alley, so I take the kids bowling. Usually, we stay a little longer [in Medicine Hat].” There’s other communities where there’s not as many amenities so the driver may head home to Iron River for a few days or stay longer at the last stop.
Irvine is taking in the season for everything it has, as his kids get older he knows these June trips will be less frequent due to school. “I imagine in a few years it’ll change, but this year the whole family was able to come.”
You can catch Doug Irvine in action when he comes to Bonnyville on the WPCA circuit July 21-24 for the Bonnyville Pro Rodeo & Chuckwagon Championships.