Left: Eighty-one-year-old Louis Johner at the Vermilion Fair.
Right: Eighteen-year-old Casey Wright with his horse, Crocket.
The youngest and oldest chuckwagon drivers in the Alberta Professional Chuckwagon and Chariot Association raced as hard as any other at the Vermilion Fair from July 26 -28.
Eighteen-year-old Casey Wright is the youngest wagon driver in the association, and 81-year-old Louis Johner is the oldest.
Wright is in his first year driving wagons and feels he is doing well; running good, clean, and hard.
“There’s always a big crowd in Vermilion, the people are always helping out making sure the track is safe for our horses, and there’s always something to do here!” said Wright.
Wright went on to say that the adrenaline rush made him want to switch from racing chariots to wagons and he loves that everyone in racing is like family no matter which camp you go to.
Johner, on the other hand, is in his 48th year of racing and has been driving horses since he was ten years old.
“I love the excitement and thrill of racing around the track!” said Johner.
He and his wife Rena enjoy coming to Vermilion because of the nice, green grass to park on, the reasonable gate rates, and the opportunity to get to see so much. Johner has won the chuckwagon races in Vermilion three years in a row.
“Chuckwagon racing is a different life, but it’s more fun than sitting at home. I’ve had daughters and grandchildren race. We also have a good time sitting in the camp playing cards, singing songs, etc. It’s a family sport so if we can have a nice clean race, and no people or horses get hurt, then it’s a good race!” said Johner.