The Ponoka Stampede Association (PSA) Tarp Auction, held at the Stagecoach Saloon on May 6, brought in a total of $389,750 for drivers and their teams — $13,500 over what was raised at the last Stampede in 2019.
Third year driver Wade Salmond and reigning world and former Ponoka Stampede champion Kurt Bensmiller had the highest selling tarps of the evening at $20,000 each.
That is $5,000 less than the top bid from 2019.
Salmond’s went to VJV Livestock Auction and Bensmiller will fly the tarp of Versatile Energy Solutions.
The close third and fourth were Layne MacGillivray at $19,000 to sponsor League Projects and Dustin Gorst to Century Downs Racetrack and Casino, also for $19,000.
Following right behind were Troy Dorchester, who’s tarp went to Team Rig and Supply for $18,000 and Troy Flad, who’s tarp also sold for $18,000 to Five Star Propane.
The average bid was $10,826.39 and the median bid was $9,000.
The Ponoka Stampede Tarp Auction was the final chuckwagon canvas auction for the 2022 WCPA Pro Tour.
There were 34 drivers and two wild card spots.
Full results can be found at wpca.com.
Before the bidding got underway, buckle presentations were made to the 2021 world champions and top rookies. World Champion Chuckwagon Driver Obrey Motowylo, World Champion Outrider Hayden Motowylo, WPCA Top Rookie Outrider Nolan Cameron and WPCA Top Rookie Driver Chance Thomson all received Olson silver belt buckles commemorating their achievements.
Crowning the queen
PSA president Jason Cline crowned Mackenzie Skeels as Miss Ponoka Stampede 2022 with the help of outgoing queen Naomi Akkermans. Akkermans has held the title for a record three years, due to the two-year COVID-19 hiatus.
“These guys dedicate everything and they’re always behind you every step of the way,” said Akkermans.
With the exception of the two years there was no Stampede, Akkermans has attended the Ponoka Stampede every year of her life.
“I’m still never going to miss one,” she said.
Skeels, who was previously rodeo queen for Sundre and Rimbey, was born in Ponoka during Stampede time. She is the daughter of auctioneer Danny Skeels.
The 2022 Ponoka Stampede will be held from June 27 to July 3.
Driver/sponsor partnership teams
Vern Nolin - McCaw’s Drilling & Blasting
Mark Sutherland Chuckwagon Team - Pidherney’s Inc.
Obrey Motowylo - The Cooperators
Kurt Bensmiller - Versatile Energy Solutions
Layne MacGillivray Chuckwagon Team - Lead Projects
Kris Molle - Eagle Builders
Codey McCurrach - Tomco Group of Companies
Kirk Sutherland - Morskate Manufacturing Ltd.
Chanse Vigen Chuckwagon Team - Busted Ladies Lingerie
Cody Ridsdale - Rai-Lynn Trucking
Jordie Fike Chuckwagon Racing - Irvine Tack & Western Wear
Evan Salmond - Wheelers Transport
Jason Glass - Birchcliff Energy Ltd.
Mitch Sutherland Chuckwagon Racing - Pride of Ponoka
Darcy Flad - Wetaskiwin Ready Mix
Doug Irvine - Silent Ice
Dustin Gorst - Century Downs Racetrack and Casino
Chad Fike - Calnash Trucking Ltd.
Chance Flad - Aspen Crossing
Chad Harden - IMAGE Distributors
Troy Flad Racing - Five Star Propane
Troy Dorchester - Team Rig and Supply
Roger Moore - Bobcat Of Camrose & Ray’s Trailer Sales
Wade Salmond - VJV Auction Co. Ponoka Cattle Sales
Josh Hrynyk - Long Score Saloon
Dayton Sutherland - Sutherland Racing
Kelly Morin - Jeff Desutter
Layne Flad - Quick Moves
Chance Bensmiller Racing - Tim Wilson
Roy Romanow - Pride of Ponoka
Chance Thomson - Thorsby Stockyards
Derek Aebly - Secure Energy
Dean Dreger - Northern Mat and Bridge LP
Tuff Dreger - Reinhart Oilfield Services
Wildcard spot No. 1 - Benchmark Commodities
Wildcard No. 2 - Canadian Premium Meats