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  • Vermilion Voice

Calgary Stampede Chuckwagon Tarp Auction

Bidders pledged just over $2.4 million to advertise on the canvases tarps of the 36 chuckwagons at the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon auction on March 23.

The auction, which is considered to be a reflection of Alberta’s oilpatch economy, raised just under $2.3 million last year, the worst showing since 2010 when it brought in $1.97 million.

This year the auction took place with crude prices lingering below the US$50 per barrel mark, US$10 above what they were at this time last year.

Kurt Bensmiller’s outfit was bought by West Industrial Ltd. for $87,500 this year. It was a change from his sponsor Tsuu T'ina Nation, who backed for the last three years and bid $120,000 for him in 2016.

“We’re down a little bit from last year, but coming in blind and with the economy, I think we did pretty good. We are excited to have West Industrial with us as our new sponsor. Anytime you start a new relationship, you start off small so hopefully it grows into a long term relationship.

Chance Bensmiller was sponsored by Mavericks for $70,000 at the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon auction on March 23.

Photos Marie Conboy

As soon as I get home we will start training. I have got 43 horses out in the field, so we have to bring them all in and start truck training them, exercising them, feeding them, shoeing them all and we’ll start breaking and driving the news ones,” said Kurt Bensmiller.

Kurt’s younger brother Chance Bensmiller was up this year, sponsored by Mavericks for $70,000. Chance said he was very happy with how the auction went for him.

Kelly Sutherland was the top earner of the night, bringing in $110,000 for his last ever auction.

The chuckwagon racing season starts May 30.

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