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After starting the 2019 summer away from the WPCA circuit, Dayton Sutherland comes back to Rocky Mountain House and successfully defends his title.

In 2019 driver Dayton Sutherland had the option of running on the WPCA Pro Tour or heading up to the Peace Country to join the WCA and gain some more experience and break more of his horses. He chose the
latter and it certainly paid off. Sutherland came back later in the year to re-claim his Battle of the Rockies crown.

“The whole focus of the year was more or less to break some of my newer horses that I’ve been packing around,” Sutherland explains. “When I was in the WPCA, you didn’t have a lot of opportunity to break in
new horses especially if you’re in the bottom. I was trying to break some horses, cause I haven’t had the opportunity to do it to much in the last few years.”

While Sutherland was in Dawson Creek, he received a call to drive for the WPCA in Rocky Mountain House and he was confident he’d be able to defend his show. “It was before Dawson Creek, then I get
the the call that I’m going on the WPCA Pro Tour, then I start running the plays in my head. I start thinking about how I’m going to do this with horse power, who am I going to hook where- cause I have to hook two

Sutherland was running his two outfits for both the WCA and WPCA. He needed to have enough horse power to get through The Battle of the Rockies, Century Downs and the run off. He won the WCA show in Dawson Creek and placed 15th in the show for the WPCA. Not too shabby for the kid from Okotoks, Alberta.

In 2018, Sutherland got his first career WPCA victory at The Battle of the Rockies. He admits he gets a bit lucky with the Rocky Mountain show as that’s when he and his horses get better and being in the earlier
heats provides a bit of an advantage too.
“It was a big deal for me to even be in the first heat. I was one of the younger guys to win a show and haven’t been in the association that long. So it still felt good, even though I knew I had a lot of unusual
advantages to win it the first year.”
The victory got the monkey off his back and he gave him the confidence that he could win a show and start to focus even more on performing well.

After The Battle of the Rockies, the WPCA headed off to the Century Downs World Finals. Sutherland, despite having some bad luck during the event, had nothing but high praise for the event. “Century Downs is awesome. That’s a really good show. They’re really supportive of the sport and that’s the main thing. It was really good to race there. The facilities were awesome.”

You can hear more from Dayton Sutherland on his podcast “After the Ninth” available on Apple Podcast and Spotify.

Next week we finish off the 2019 rewind with a trip to the aforementioned Century Downs where we determine who will claim the title of “2019 WPCA World Champion.”

-Nathan Bannerman

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