Waterhen Lake First Nation
The horn, wagons, outriders, a cloud of dust … and they're off! What's new about the age old sport is that this track is on-reserve. The decision to go with developing rodeo and gymkhana grounds with an encircling track grew out of the long-time local interest in horsing, and teams looking to get into the World finals at the Calgary Stampede. Two teams out of Waterhen Lake First Nation were cheered loudly at the new grounds. The wagons and outriders rounded the barrels seconds after the horn blew-and they were off, thundering down the track. These are fast heart pounding races, and the dust at the quarter turn was barely settling on the track as the crowd was on its feet with shouts of encouragement when each Waterhen Lake wagon neared the finish line.
The track venture has made a quick entry into the professional chuckwagon circuit, and it's clear these races are a hit for miles around. Accommodation has already been secured at the resort for next year by fans, barrel racers, chariot and chuckwagon drivers and their teams. Food booths with bannock and burgers did a brisk business, and compliments were heard all round from businesses in the vicinity. Waterhen Lake First Nation believes the facility and track proved a winner in its first season, thanks to the opportunity the FNT monies provided.