WOW!! As I write this I am still in shock that we won the Calgary Stampede with Chad Harden. It was as exciting a race as I have ever been in, full of ups and downs. I feel bad for my friend Mark Sutherland, he got hit with the false start before the race, it happens to everyone, and unfortunately for Mark, it happened in the biggest race of his life. Mark will be back, but I am sure this is tough to take. As for Chad Harden, he has been a close friend of mine for about 20 years now, and I was proud to be along with him for the biggest week in his racing career. To the other 3 three outriders, Jason Lemieux, Chad Fike, and Jamie Laboucane (wo won the top outrider award), we are all close friends and, man, what a feeling to win it with those guys. Jason Lemieux was a favorite of my dad, who got to know Jason through the oilpatch, and I know Jason looked up to him as a mentor and father figure. Jason served as a pallbearer at my dad’s funeral in Oct. 2007. It wasn’t lost on us that my dad would be looking down upon us, proud of both of us, we talked about that while we were on stage. Chad’s crew at the barn should take a lot of pride in this, because they do all the thankless jobs so these horses can perform, and we all know how important they are. We were in the barn last night when Kelly Sutherland came over to shake Chad’s hand and congratulate him. That was really cool to see, and I know Chad got a real charge out of the fact that he beat The King to win it. It means a lot to beat the greatest driver in the history of the sport. I would like to congratulate Obrey Motowylo for winning my Grandfather’s award for Rookie of the Year, The Orville Strandquist Award. Obrey scared everybody this week with his good outfit, he will be back for a lot of years to come. In closing, it was a great week, $23,000 was raised for Dustin Gorst, who got run over by 2 wagons 3 weeks ago. When I see the wagon community rally behind their own, it makes me feel proud to be a part of it. Again, thanks to the Calgary Stampede for allowing me to become a champion, it was a great week.
Ed Melville Jr.