By Billy Melville
A night of celebration took take place in Calgary recently with the annual World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) Awards banquet that honoured those who achieved greatness this past season, as well as those who have contributed to the growth and prosperity of sport.
Jason Glass was the top honoree as he captured the World Chuckwagon Championship for the fourth time, in addition to being the champion of the GMC Sierra Cup series. Chad Fike was the 2012 World Champion Outrider for the first time in his career.
The WPCA Chuckwagon Person of the Year is the WPCA’s highest honor, with this year’s recipient being Calgary Stampede Top Rookie Driver Codey McCurrach. The WPCA Special Tribute was given to 1986 World Champion Chuckwagon Driver Mel Haase. The Calgary Stampede received Special Recognition in celebration of their 100th anniversary in 2012.
The George Normand Lifetime Builders Award is given to individuals who have dedicated a minimum of five years of service to the sport of chuckwagon racing as a competitor, sponsor, race official, or somehow affiliated with chuckwagon racing and the WPCA. This year’s recipient was former WPCA president Bruce Watson.
Barry Hodgson received the WPCA Clean Drive Award for having the least amount of penalty seconds during the 2012 season, former world champion outrider Chanse Vigen was named the WPCA’s Top Rookie Driver, Quaid Tournier received the Rod Glass Memorial Award for Most Improved Outrider, and Evan Salmond received the Herman Flad Memorial Award for Most Improved Driver Award.
The horses also shared in the awards through the WPCA Equine Outfit of Excellence. Chanse Vigen’s “Market” was named the champion right leader, Kirk Sutherland’s “Cougar” was named the champion left leader, Evan Salmond’s “D.J.” was named the champion right wheeler and Hugh Sinclair’s “Bump” was named the champion left wheeler. The champion outriding horses were Jason Glass’ “Ratt” and Rick Fraser’s “Beau.”