The World Professional Chuckwagon Association (WPCA) regrets to announce the cancellation of the 2021 Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby.
Earlier today, the Calgary Exhibition and Stampede informed the WPCA that they will be cancelling the 2021 Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby citing safety concerns due to the cancellation of the majority of events leading up to the 2021 Calgary Stampede.
Covid-19 restrictions have forced WPCA race committees in Grande Prairie, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat and Bonnyville to cancel their scheduled events. The Ponoka Stampede is still evaluating on whether or not they will be forced to cancel their event scheduled for June 29 – July 4. These events along with the extensive 3 months of training, exercising and daily fitness programs wagon drivers invest into their horses, contribute to the overall fitness of the wagon teams before competing at the Rangeland Derby.
Yesterdays update from the Alberta Government that outlined their Covid-19 “Open for Summer Plan” created some optimism within the wagon racing community that the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby would move forward as previously communicated. While the plan is favorable for events happening in June, a similar plan communicated in early May would have helped prevent the cancellation of a number of the WPCA’s June events required to meet the Calgary Stampede’s race requirements.
Today’s news of the Rangeland Derby cancellation comes as a big surprise and will be devastating for many families in the wagon racing community who have collectively lost millions of dollars in revenue and incurred horse care expenses since the cancellation of the 2020 season.
Collectively, hundreds of thousands of dollars have already been invested over the last 3 months into horse care, training and preparing for the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby. Similar to 2020, the cancellation of the 2021 Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby and scheduled WPCA events will have a major financial impact on the WPCA drivers, families and their teams.
The WPCA will continue to work with the remaining show committees scheduled for 2021 to determine a path forward and establish what a race season may look like.
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