Chuckwagon star lives long career

He’s the last remaining founding member of the Alberta Racing Club and the founder of the pony chuckwagons.

He’s the last remaining founding member of the Alberta Racing Club and the founder of the pony chuckwagons.

Ray Adamson has been racing chuckwagons for 50 years.

Adamson’s father was a horse dealer and as a boy Adamson grew up around horses, breaking and riding them. However, he was never allowed to compete in rodeo events.

When Adamson left home he hopped on the chuckwagon bandwagon and he’s never looked back.

Over the course of his career Adamson has earned over 300 titles, including 10 consecutive wins at the Ponoka Stampede. He has been ranked Alberta high points champion more than 10 times, and has even been world champion.

“That’s a lot more than Kelly Sutherland” Adamson said with a chuckle.

“I’ve had a good season,” Adamson said. But it hasn’t been as good as last year. In 2011 Adamson won first in Grande Prairie, Ponoka, and Red Deer, not knocking a single barrel.

But Adamson doesn’t mind too much. “You can’t always be on top. I say if you’re in the top five you’re doing good.”

This season Adamson bought 35 horses from across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and as far south as Tennessee. He uses thoroughbreds to race, even though they have a tendency to “blow up.”

However, after 50 fantastic years of racing Adamson is slowing down. “I promised my wife I’d retire,” Adamson said.

But, he’s glad to be racing in Ponoka again. “I always think Ponoka is the greatest in the world.” Adamson says at Ponoka you’re so close to the action. At Calgary you can hardly see a thing, and at Ponoka the rodeo officials know how to do their jobs right.