The 2021 WPCA schedule incorporates steps to reduce travel as part of a continuous effort to sustain chuckwagon racing.
The WPCA's 2021 race season is scheduled to commence on Wednesday May 26, 2021 with a five-day show in Grande Prairie, Alberta.
Century Downs Racetrack and Casino will once again host the 2021 World Finals with a 5 Day championship format August 25th through August 29th.
In between Grande Prairie and Century Downs to make up the 2021 WPCA Pro Tour presented by GMC will be Bonnyville, Saskatoon, Medicine Hat, Ponoka, High River, Strathmore, Dawson Creek and Rocky Mountain House.
Two noteable changes to the 2021 schedule include date changes for High River and Bonnyville. The High River show has moved from their traditional June dates to July 22nd through July 25th.
The key change related to travel sees the Bonnyville show moved from mid July to early June following the Grande Prairie Stompede.
In past years the WPCA would travel North to Bonnyville after the Calgary Stampede then back South to Strathmore located 20 minutes East of Calgary.
Prior to 2021, the WPCA Pro Tour schedule consisted of over 5,000 kilometers of highway travel starting in Grande Prairie and finishing in Century Downs. The adjustments to the 2021 schedule will reduce travel by over 1,000 kilometers and with that a reduction in fuel costs and expenses related to travel.
Four-Time World and Calgary Stampede Champion Kurt Bensmiller knows all about travel expenses and recently shared his teams position. "I have one Semi, one Mini Pete and a One Tonne Truck" he said, "add on the people that travel to help and that’s another 3 trucks. The schedule change could save our team over $1,000.00."
An adjustment to the WPCA schedule is not a new conversation and with Covid-19 likely affecting revenues related to wagon racing, now was an important time to make adjustments.
"Travel has always been a hot topic for the WPCA" says Bensmiller, "This adjusted schedule allows for a smoother flowing season without the cost of losing any of our shows."
The optics for each show have yet to be determined and will be subject to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols.
The WPCA is working closely with the host committees and planning different scenarios to be prepared for whatever Covid-19 restrictions may be in place.