It was a windy weekend in North Battleford to kick off the 2017 CPCA Pro Tour race season. Under the breeze and some sunshine, stands were full and the fans came with lots of enthusiasm and anticipation. Our drivers worked hard in off season and in spring training to prepare their equine athletes to have an incredible and successful season.
Jamie Laboucane with Sidekicks Express took the win on the first night coming barrel #3 with a time of 1:03.11, followed by Outriders Logan Pethick and Tyler Mckenzie. Laboucane is the track record holder in North Battleford, set in 2011 with a time of 1:01.03.
“It was a special night for me, I got to put my old horse Non-Sense back on my outfit, who got injured here in North Battleford on Day 3 last year and perform very well, so did the entire outfit! Training is paying off and everything came together nicely but it’s the first run so were staying humble and going from there. Non-Sense adds another depth to my roster for sure, it’s nice to have a few outfits that run strong. Last year I was in the 20s for point standings after Battleford but coming back is possible so it’s nice to start the season strong, it’s important for sure.”
On day #2, Wayne Knight was back in the #1 spot with a time of 1:03.75 sponsored by Tim Winterhalt Farms Ltd. and Outriders Dale Mitsuing and Tyson Whitehead in tow. “Everything went well, it’s a team sport so every horse worked pretty well tonight and I’m happy with that. The way spring went, it was a little tough but you never know what’s going to happen. Jamie turned well but the rail is a little softer so I took advantage running two wide and it paid off.”
Kris Molle won Day 3 money with his non-point wagon. Sponsored by Benoit Oilfield Construction with Outriders Ryan Johnson and Teigan Larouche by its side, he made a quick trip around the track for the win. Making sure the opportunity to win his 3rd consecutive North Battleford Show didn’t get away from him, he putting down a penalty free run with a time 1:04.01, racing with Logan Pethick and Ryan Johnson, coming back with his point wagon (PMV Steel) in heat 11, securing the aggregate total time of 3:12.84. “Last couple of years we’ve had a few hiccups along the way but it’s nice to get these points early on. I didn’t expect this because I split a team but it pull through and I was lucky enough to have 4 teams here that are running good. It’s a good feeling, I’m going to drive smart and keep horses happy.”
Outrider Aric Pare, who got injured on night 1 and had surgery in Saskatoon yesterday, was a spectator for the first time in 7 years. He hadn’t miss a heat with Molle in 7 years, since they started racing together. Kris dedicated and offered his Olson Silver Champion Buckle to Aric, thanking him for his outstanding work and hard work for him.
The CPCA Board of Directors would like to thank the Race Committee from the North Battleford Ag Society for their consistent track and great work of all the volunteers.
The CPCA Pro Tour continues to Poundmaker, SK next weekend for the first time with a new track. All races for the CPCA Tour can be watched live on our Facebook Page and live radio broadcast on Real Country Lloyd 95.9, Q91 Country Drumheller and St-Paul’s The Spur 97.7 or click on Listen Live on our homepage.
All photos are taken by the CPCA Photography, the wonderful Carolin Mckenzie from CVM Photography.