Glass wins aggregate at Stampede

Chuckwagons: Defending champ wins trophy named after late uncle

By: Bruce Campbell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014 11:08 am

High River chuckwagon driver Jason Glass waves to the crowd after finishing third in the $100,000 Rangeland Derby final Sunday at the Calgary Stampede.
High River chuckwagon driver Jason Glass waves to the crowd after finishing third in the $100,000 Rangeland Derby final Sunday at the Calgary Stampede.
Jordan Verlage/OWW

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A High River chuckwagon driver didn’t defend his Calgary Stampede title, but he did come home with a prestigious award named after his late uncle.

Jason Glass struggled coming out of the four barrel in the $100,000 Rangeland Derby final Sunday at the Calgary Stampede and wound up finishing third in the heat at 1:12.08, more than a full second behind champion Kurt Bensmiller at 1:10.75.

“My new horse he jammed my lead team, but I knew he was going to do that,” Glass said. “I just took a gamble that I could straighten them out quicker, but it didn’t work out.

“To outrun Kurt on the one-barrel, I just had to go for it.”

Rae Croteau Jr. finished second, while Gary Gorst finished in fourth-place.

Glass did win the Richard Cosgrave Memorial Trophy for the top aggregate time after the eight preliminary heats at the Stampede.

“I think that is what the Calgary Stampede is all about,” Glass said. “The aggregate winner is the best outfit after eight days, when you get to the dash, it’s just one race.”

Cosgrave, who was killed in a chuckwagon mishap in Kamloops in 1993 at the age of 37, was married to Jason’s aunt, Tara Glass.

“He was a first-class guy, always had a smile on his face and our families are very tight,” Glass said. “It’s hard to explain what this means to me…. The last night, is the title, it’s money, but it’s a bonus in my mind. The toughest thing to win is the Richard Cosgrave Memorial.”

Richard’s son, Chad Cosgrave from Brant, was one of Glass’ outriders along with Chad Fike. It was the fifth time Cosgrave had been part of a team that won the trophy named after his father.

Being the top driver after eight days made Glass the no. 1 seed among the eight drivers going into Saturday’s two semifinal heats.

Glass had the number 1 barrel for the semifinal ninth heat on Saturday, winning in a time of 1:11.52. Impressive, but three drivers, Bensmiller, Rae Croteau Jr. and Gary Gorst, from the other semifinal heat had faster times. In fact, Glass’ time was just barely good enough to get him into the final dash. Wayne Knight, who finished fourth in the other semifinal, was just 1/100ths of a second behind Glass.The result was Glass got stuck with the four-barrel for the final.

Glass, who won $47,000 at the Stampede, also took home the Calgary Stampede Safe Driver Award for the least penalized driver. It was third time he has won the award.

“I’m just proud of my horses — they worked really well and they are healthy,” said Glass, whose right wheeler, Prado, ran his first race ever in the Rangeland Derby final.

High River’s Jordie Fike was on the cusp of making the semifinals. He was in 10th spot with two more days of qualifying to go on Thursday. He also had the one and two barrel for those last two days.

However, he took six seconds in penalties on Thursday and plummeted to 21st place.

“They were first-year horses and there was a false start and that bothered them and they went too,” Fike said.

“There was nothing I could do to keep them off the barrel… I was pulling them left and they were going right.”

Fike, who picked up $29,000 in Calgary, qualified for next year’s Stampede.

He was 16th in the aggregate.

“I’m building for next year and now I’m looking to High River this weekend,” he said.

Okotoks’ Mark Sutherland was disappointed with his 18th place finish.

“I think my sponsors, my fans, my crew expects more and I feel like I let them down,” said Sutherland, who won $20,650. “I should be competitive and I should have a better Stampede than I did…

“Now I am looking forward to High River.”

The next stop for the World Professional Chuckwagon Association is the Guy Weadick Races July 17-20 in High River.

For more information about the Calgary Stampede results and the upcoming Guy Weadick races go to wpca.com.

bcampbell@okotoks.greatwest.ca


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