Lincoln Douglas driving a team of horses in a chuckwagon race.

Cheam Chief races at Calgary Stampede

After 20 years, looking at hanging up the reins

Twenty-odd years of chuckwagon racing all boiled down to one pivotal rodeo moment for Lincoln Douglas this summer. He had made it to the Calgary Stampede, with his team of thoroughbreds and nerves of steel.

Lincoln Douglas, the only man from B.C. to command a team of horses on the Western Professional Chuckwagon Association.

It’s a tough sport to get into, even harder to succeed in, and the Calgary Stampede is the pinnacle of the grueling rodeo circuit.

“Everybody wants to go there,” Douglas told the Observer, through a phone interview from his travel trailer.

And he got there, winning a $70,000 sponsorship in the process.

But at the end of the day, a series of troubles left Douglas at the bottom of the scoreboard.

“This year I had a lot of horse injuries,” he said. “Some of my good horses are out and of course, I have to put new ones in.”

He’s also down one man, traveling shorthanded for the rest of the circuit, which wraps up next week.

And then, at the Stampede, one of his horses was injured.

“He got caught up over a rope and cut his leg up,” Douglas said.

When it was all said and done, after 10 days of racing, he placed 35th.

This is his fourth year with the WPCA, and that followed 17 years of racing pony chuckwagons.

It’s been a long haul for the Rosedale-based driver. He’s got a busy enough schedule back home, running his business K & L Contracting. He’s also currently Chief of the Cheam Band, a job he juggles while on the road with the help of his family and the rest of the band council and staff. It’s not always easy, he said.

“It would be hard to quit after 20 years,” he said, but admitted there is a chance he may change pace next year. Does that mean quitting chuckwagons altogether?

“I am thinking of trying something different,” he answered. “I’m looking at either taking a year off and just running the Westerns, or maybe I’ll buy a fishing boat. I love this sport and I love driving horses, but it’s getting pretty expensive.”

Driving chuckwagons cost him $100,000 last year alone, he said.

It wouldn’t be the end of horses for Douglas, or his wife Sandy. She’s a rodeo girl in her own right, as a barrel racer, and he also races horses at Hastings.

You can catch up on Douglas’ journey with the WPCA by visiting www.halfmileofhell.com.

news@ahobserver.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

WildSafe program wraps up quiet season for District of Kent, Harrison

Black bears biggest source of calls in the FVRD

Week of snow storms finally fades

Six snowstorms in seven days pours on more than 40 cm

VIDEO: Time’s running out for Montreal Alumni tickets in Hope

Habs will face off against Hope hockey players on Saturday afternoon

Westbound Highway 1 roll-over crash slowing commuters in Abbotsford

Accident occurred just west of Mt. Lehman Road, left lane blocked

5 to 10 cm of snow still coming to Fraser Valley: Environment Canada

Hard to say when the freezing rain will turn to regular rainfall, Environment Canada says

Protesters block entrance to Victoria government building to support Wet’suwet’en First Nation

A letter with four demands was delivered to the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

VIDEO: Langley woman without a home after houseboat sinks during snowy weather

A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help the Grant’s Landing resident replace her possessions

Boy, 13, arrested after alleged assault involving girl at B.C. middle school

Boy alleged to have used ‘inappropriate levels of force’ to injure the girl

Hospital patient pleads guilty to dumbbell assault of nurse in Abbotsford

Neale Heath admits to assault causing bodily harm in attack last September

‘Epic sky palace’: B.C. businesses help create dream treehouse for boy recovering from cancer

‘It was kind of a bright shining beacon at the end of a horrible, dark tunnel’

VIDEO: Nickelback gears up for nostalgia tour

Canadian band joins Stone Temple Pilots for a summer tour that includes just one stop in Canada

B.C. teacher suspended for poking student in stomach, pulling another’s ponytail

Teacher also swore in classroom, used Facebook to contact students

Larry Walker Jr. and Sr. keeping expectations low for hall-of-fame induction

Walker needs 75 percent of votes in order to be inducted into Cooperstown

Most Read