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

Just Posted

Harrison to bring better lighting to boat launch

The four new lights were made possible by not replacing concrete light poles on Hot Springs Road

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

EDITORIAL: What does being a Corn Capital really mean?

The Observer has been asked to help Agassiz become a bigger Corn Capital. But what does that mean?

Construction project in Hope means bus diversion starting today

Bus riders will have to flag down driver for Route 22

Figures reveal spike in highway traffic jams between Abbotsford and Langley

Nearly one in 20 westbound vehicles between Abbotsford and Langley clocked at under 60 km/h

VIDEO: Agassiz remembers local officer at grave-marking ceremony

Montague White-Fraser had been buried in the Old Cemetery for 92 years without a headstone

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

Most Read