WPCA Honors Those Who Achieved Greatness In 2019

2019 World Champion Chuckwagon Driver Kurt Bensmiller receives the keys to a new truck from representatives from Breakaway Energy, Summit Fleet and GMC.
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

A night of celebration took take place at the Grey Eagle Casino in Calgary with the 39th annual World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) Awards Gala that honored those who achieved greatness this past season, as well as those who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the most exciting professional sport in the world today. The evening was a tremendous success, with one of the highlights being the video presentations highlighting the 2019 season and all the champions were well received by a near capacity crowd.

As well, the WPCA remembered those who "went west" over the past year which included active supporters Donald Cross, Dr. Gary Harbin, Ray Ostrom, Rick Smith and Wayne Scaddan, champion chuckwagon horse Comet, and former competitors Terry Vigen and Hugh Greenwood.

2019 World Champion Outrider Rory Gervais (L) receives a trophy buckle from
WPCA President Ed Wittchen (R).

Photo By Fred Vidiuk

Kurt Bensmiller was the top honoree this year as he captured the 2019 World Chuckwagon Championship for the 3rd consecutive year and the 4th time in his illustrious career, and Rory Gervais was the 2019 World Champion Outrider for the for the second consecutive year. 

The 2019 "Jim Bottomley Trophy" for WPCA Chuckwagon Person of the Year
was presented to recipient Logan Gorst (L) from WPCA President Ed Wittchen (R).

Photo By Fred Vidiuk

The 2019 George Normand Lifetime Bilder's Award was presented to recipient Jerry Bremner (L) and his wife Donna Bremner (C) from WPCA President Ed Wittchen (R).
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

The Jim Bottomley Trophy given to the WPCA Chuckwagon Person of the Year is the WPCA’s highest annual honor. This year’s recipient being WPCA Marketing Manager Bryan Hebson receiving the prestigious award. The George Normand Lifetime Builder's Award was given to former driver Jerry Bremner who accepted the award in an emotional speech.

Wendy Daniel (L) of the Ranchmans Cookhouse and Dance Hall presents a commemorative statue to former driver Hugh Sinclair (R) for being recognized with the 2019 WPCA Special Tribute Award.
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

The WPCA Special Tribute was given to former chuckwagon great Hugh Sinclair. Vern Nolin received the WPCA Clean Drive Award for least penalized driver for the second consecutive year.

Josh Hrynyk (L), the recipient of the Herman Flad Memorial Award revives a trophy buckle from chuckwagon driver Troy Flad (R).
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

Rory Armstrong (L), the recipient of the Rod Glass Memorial Award revives a trophy buckle from Loreena MacGillivray (R).
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

The Herman Flad Memorial Award for Most Improved Driver went to sophomore driver Josh Hrynuik, while Rory Armstrong received the Rod Glass Memorial Award for Most Improved Outrider. 

Chance Flad L), the recipient of the WPCA Top Rookie Driver revives a trophy buckle from  Shelby Lockwood of Olson Silver Company (R).
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

Hayden Motowylo (L), the recipient of the WPCA Top Rookie Outrider receives a trophy buckle from Cynthia Williams of William Joseph Communications (R).
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

Chance Flad was named the WPCA's Top Rookie Driver, and Hayden Motowylo was named the WPCA Top Rookie Outrider.

Outrider Eddie Melville (2nd from right) from Import Tool Corp. Ltd., presents the
2019 Equine Outfit of Excellence Awards to:
(L-R): Rory Gervais on behalf of Mark Sutherland's horse "BARB," Britt and Doug Irvine
on behalf of his horse “NIGHHTLY,” Rochelle Normandin on behalf of Chanse Vigen's
horse “Tex.” Kurt Bensmiller on behalf of his horse "LUTESIFER," Brendan Nolin
on behalf of Vern Nolin's horse “HAWK,”
 Logan Gorst on behalf of his horse "JACK,"

Photo By Fred Vidiuk

The horses also shared in the awards through the WPCA Equine Outfit of Excellence. Equine outfit of Excellence winners included “JACK” of Logan Gorst’s outfit on Right Lead, “HAWK” of Vern Nolin’s outfit on Left Lead, “TEX” of Chanse Vigen’s outfit on Right Wheel, “LUTESIFER” of Kurt Bensmiller’s outfit on Left Wheel, and “NIGHTLY” of Doug Irvine’s outfit and “Barb” of Mark Sutherland’s outfit were the champion Outriding Horses.

Jenifer Dorchester (C), the recipient of the Ty Tournier Memorial Award revives a trophy bracelett from Lynn Fountain (L) and Steve Fountain (R).
Photo By Fred Vidiuk

Other award winners included Walter Fritsche, Nathan Stone, Gina Berreth and Precede who each received a WPCA Active Supporter Award, Century Downs Racetrack and Casino received the WPCA Top Race Committee Award, Jamie Tiessen received the WPCA Media Award, Jenifer Dorchester  received the Ty Tournier Memorial Award, while Lyle Bates and Harvey McKernon received Special Recognition from the WPCA.

The event, hosted by track announcer Les McIntyre was a tremendous success, and congratulations to all the 2019 champions and award winners.

Billy Melville