HALF MILE OF HELL - Troy Dorchester and his team race at the 2015 Ponoka Stampede. Dorchester finished in 21st place

HALF MILE OF HELL - Troy Dorchester and his team race at the 2015 Ponoka Stampede. Dorchester finished in 21st place

Chuckwagon driver Troy Dorchester experiences challenging season

After a season of ups and downs, professional chuckwagon driver Troy Dorchester remains 21st in the world standings with 873.5 points.

After a season of ups and downs, professional chuckwagon driver Troy Dorchester remains 21st in the world standings with 873.5 points.

Dorchester, whose family hails from the Pigeon Lake area, says it was one of those years when the end just could not come soon enough. “For me, it was probably one of the longest years in 20.”

At the beginning of the season Dorchester retired three older horses between 17 and 19 years old and brought in a few younger horses, which was a challenge for the outriders. “They just struggled early in the year.”

“They were a little rambunctious at the beginning of the year,” he added, referring to the horses.

Dorchester says he accumulated 18 seconds in outrider penalties but ran his last three shows clean. He feels by the end of the season the horses had calmed down and were working better with the outriders.

For him, a plus to the season was all his horses came home healthy.

Another highlight for Dorchester is just being able to share the journey with family and friends, especially around a campfire in the evenings after a show. “It means a lot for me to go down the road with my family.”

“So it was a bad but a good year, you’re still there.”

Dorchester also mentioned another bonus to the year was seeing Kurt Bensmiller take the world championship title. He says he likes seeing a driver from a multigenerational chuckwagon family do so well.

Aggregate race stats:

Grande Prairie Stompede – 20th place, 109 points

Saskatoon World Chuckwagon Races – 17th place, 82 points

Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede – 23rd place, 61 points

High River’s Guy Weadick Days – 13th place, 102 points

Ponoka Stampede – 21st place, 102 points

Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby – 22nd place

Bonnyville Chuckwagon Championship – 11th place, 105.5 points

Strathmore Heritage Days Stampede – 19th place, 80 points

Dawson Creek’s Battle of the North – 9th place, 145 points

Rocky Mountain House’s Battle of the Rockies – 18th place, 87 points