It came down to the wire but the heaviest horses won.
Lumsden, Saskatchewan’s teamster Ron Sebastian and his horses Mark and Jeff hooked their way to a big win at the 2019 Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull in the Heavy Weight Division Sunday night with a 13,000 lbs full pull, edging out Randy Dodge of Albany, Oregon who capped off with a 73” pull at 13,000 lbs.
And the Sebastian team almost broke the heavyweight record of 13,300 lbs, too.
“My heart is in a flutter, I have to take it easy for a few minutes,” he said after attempting a new heavy weight record with a 13,400 lbs pull, falling short of a full pull.
“I thought I may as well go for the record at my age. Thought maybe I would get lucky. It was kind of a bad spot but I wanted to try it.”
Sebastian’s horses, Mark and Jeff, weighed the most in the division at 4,596 lbs, and the duo made 11 pulls together.
“They’re still young and I love them. Mark is kind of a cheater, but tonight he overlooked everything and put out all he could.”
In the Stampede’s Heavy Horse Pull, teams in three weight classes pull weighted sleds — up to more than five times the horse’s body weight — up to 14 feet, known as a “full pull.” The Grand Champion in each class receives $3,000; the Reserve Champion $2,500, with a sliding scale of payouts for the rest of the field.
There were eight competitors total in the Heavy Weight Division that took place Sunday in the Western Nutrien Event Centre. The full competition with classes for Light, Middle and Heavy Weights were spread over three nights.
Sebastian has been in the industry for 40 years and has 19 championship wins under his belt. In fact, he’s hoping to make it 20 in 2020, though he will have to go through Sunday’s Reserve Champion and perennial contender, Dodge, who has won the heavyweight class 16 times.
“Randy is probably one of the best in north America and the young guy Curtis, he is right there, too,” Sebastian added.
Dodge was equally complimentary of Sebastian.
“Ron’s tough, he’s always tough. He’s got good horses and they’re well kept; he’s a good teamster,” Dodge said, after collecting his Reserve Champion ribbon.
“It feels good. For the Calgary Stampede, the top three or top four is always really good here. That’s the biggest crowd I’ve seen in there.”
Ironically, it was Dodge who finished as Grand Champion on Saturday in the Middle Weight Division and Sebastian who placed as Reserve Champion. Dodge finished with a full pull at 12,000 lbs while Sebastian finished with 133” at the 12,000 lbs weight.
On Friday, Travis house of Wheatland, North Dakota took the Lightweight Division with an 11,000 lbs 99” pull.
For full results from the Calgary Stampede’s Heavy Horse Pull, please visit https://ag.calgarystampede.com/results.
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The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and promotes western heritage and values. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
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