It’s one of the few events happening this summer.
Chuckwagon drivers at the 2020 Fun Run Tour races in Dewberry will include a homecoming for one of the best to do it–Kurt Bensmiller.
From August 15 – 16, the four-time WPCA World Champion will be racing in front of his hometown crowd for the first time since he was fairly young.
“I’m excited to be competing at home,” said Bensmiller.
“Chuckwagon racing goes back to when they were doing cattle drives and the last one to pack up camp had to buy a round at the saloon. Now it’s about keeping people involved with horses and it’s nice to give people the opportunity to see what chuckwagons are all about.”
Chuckwagons have been a part of the Bensmiller family and the community for approximately 70 years. With so many drivers per capita, Dewberry is known as the Chuckwagon Capital of Alberta.
Started by his grandfather, Allan, Kurt also followed in the footsteps of his father, Buddy. The tradition now includes a fourth generation as Kurt’s nephew, Cruise Bensmiller, will be competing at this year’s races.
Race speeds usually average 60-70 kilometres per hour and 17-year-old Cruise said he loves every minute of it.
“I’ve been around it forever, but now I get to actually see what it’s like in the driver’s seat.
“I didn’t realize how hard it is to stop them – that was tough, or how much line you have to grab,” said Cruise.
Kurt said helping his nephew break into the sport has been exciting and that Buddy has also helped out a lot.
“He’s the first one of the nephews and because this year is for fun, it’s been a little easier to transition,” said Kurt.
This year, the local senior hockey team, the Dewberry Mustangs, are hosting the event as a way to support the community and to get people out in a safe manner. Social distancing will be in effect at the races.
The races get going next Saturday at 5:00pm and Sunday at 2:00pm.