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When he raced carts, Hugh Sinclair did his best to stay out of the spotlight.

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It was pretty tough considering he won Rangeland Derby titles all four times he won the championship for cash at the Calgary Stampede in 2000, 2004, 2006 and 2008.

“I was the type of guy who would like to sneak around without anyone knowing who I was, so even if they don’t know what I look like, they’ll know who I am,” the former chuckwagon driver said in a soft voice. .

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Turns out people got to know both his legendary name and what he looked like.

On Monday before the start of the afternoon Stampede rodeo, Sinclair was honored along with bull rider Dale Johansen and tie-down roper Dean Oliver by being welcomed into the Rodeo Pioneers Class of 2022.

“It’s quite an honor,” said the 55-year-old former reinstator, who has lived in what he calls “the same backyard” his entire life in Grande Prairie. “I just wanted to be part of the vibe when we came to Calgary. Joe Carbury, it was amazing growing up listening to him.

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A big point of pride for Sinclair is the fact that the legendary track announcer called his last Rangeland Derby victory in 2008 against Kelly Sutherland, Kirk Sutherland and Jason Glass.

“The last time I won here was Joe Carbury’s last race,” he said. “We have photos with him. I was honored to listen to Joe and to be called by Joe. It was great. It was the best and since then I have bragging rights. I didn’t mean it like that. That’s how good Joe was.

Son of Tom Sinclair, one of the best wagon drivers of the 1970s, “Hughie” actually wanted to follow in his grandfather Hugh’s footsteps and race standard-bred horses.

“I grew up wanting to be a jockey on the racetrack,” said Sinclair, who started out as a racer instead before becoming a driver. “I never thought that I would ever be here. It’s good. I’m just lucky to have been able to meet so many people and friends… a lot of good times here.

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“The adrenaline, thinking about things like that, is hard on me, but when I got on the wagon, it was like I was in a different world. Most people’s hearts race and I think mine may have slowed down, I don’t know, but I’ve had a lot of good horses and a lot of good times and memories.

While others like Kelly and Kirk Sutherland continued racing well into their 60s, Sinclair decided to call it a career after the 2013 season.

“It got harder and harder the older I got to do things the way I wanted to,” said the man dubbed ‘the Mighty Midget’ by the former Calgary Herald sportswriter John Down. “Everything was getting harder and harder and I was so busy for so many years trying to pay the way to go.”

He vividly remembers all the flooding in Calgary and High River the last summer he raced.

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“It was getting tough last year when I ran, everywhere I went there was flooding,” he said. “It was horrible how it flooded here (on Stampede grounds) and in High River. Everyone was evacuating and I was like, ‘How come we can’t leave?’ Then a helicopter landed right next to us and (the pilot) said, “You have (so much time) to get out of here. ”

Although he has left the racing life behind him, Sinclair still keeps tabs on how the current crop of competitors are doing on the circuit.

“It’s good that they’re back,” he said. “There is a lot of heritage there. Wagon racing was good for me, so good to see them survive.

Although he hasn’t been in enough races to predict who will win the new Cowboys Rangeland Derby this year, he is leaning towards picking another four-time show champion.

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“It’s hard to say, but Kurt Bensmiller is so consistent,” said Sinclair of Bensmiller, who was second overall behind Layne MacGillivray heading into race night six on Wednesday. “It’s hard to count, but I haven’t watched enough to really know.”

NIGHT 6

Chanse Vigen made quite the turnaround with his wagon rig Wednesday night at the Calgary Stampede. He went from worst to first in heat action from performance to performance, setting the fastest time of 1:12.88 in the action of the night 6 24 hours after being last with a 1 stumble : 20.63.

But it was Layne MacGillivray and his team at Spray Lake Sawmills who did the most damage to the scoreboard, moving into first place overall after six performances. MacGillivray now leads the 2022 Cowboys Rangeland Derby after his 1:14.10 trip on Wednesday propelled him to first place with a total time of 7:23.45.

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Kurt Bensmiller is next with a total time of 7:24.09. And Obrey Motowylo is third at 7:26.25.

— with files by Todd Saelhof

COWBOYS COURSE DERBY
Results of the 6th day
Pilot, Sponsor, Time
1 Chanse Vigen, Summit, 1:12.88
2 Kirk Sutherland, Silverhill Acura, 1:13.14
3 Layne MacGillivray, Spray Lake Sawmills, 1:14.10
4 Kurt Bensmiller, Glencross Inv./Hockey Alta, 1:14.59
5 Obrey Motowylo, Explore Edmonton, 1:14.80
6 Darcy Flad, EquiPride®, 1:14.83
7 Jason Glass, Birchcliff Energy Ltd., 1:15.00
8 Ross Knight, Rangeland Midstream Canada, 1:15.53
9 Cody Ridsdale, O’Chiese Business and Inv. CT, 1:15.57
10 Kris Molle, Servus Credit Union, 1:15.80
11 Doug Irvine, Gilligans Boat Sales & Service, 1:15.81
12 Dallas Dyck, Friends of Found Balance., 1:15.85
13 Vern Nolin, McCaws Drilling and Blasting, 1:15.88
14 Codey McCurrach, Western RV Group Simco, 1:15.99
15 Jordie Fike, Summit Flee, 1:16.03
16 Evan Salmond, Hotel Dorian, 1:16.07
17 Danny Ringette, Liberty Energy, 1:16.07
18 Troy Dorchester, Dorchester Ranch GC, 1:16.39
19 Roger Moore, Cohesion, 1:17.35
20 Chad Fike, Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick, 1:17.85
21 Troy Flad, Erza Wellness, 1:19.16
22 Kris Flanagan, National Thermovoltaics, 1:19.23
23 Chad Harden, CMI Financial, 1:19.83
24 Todd Baptiste, Manteo Group, 1:20.52
25 Chance Bensmiller, Flynn and partners, 1:20.53
26 Mark Sutherland, Dr. Wayne Young, 1:21.53
27 Mitch Sutherland, Tundra Process Solutions, 1:41.44

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General classification of day 6
Driver, Sponsor, Total 6 days
1 Layne MacGillivray, Spray Lake Sawmills, 7:23.45
2 Kurt Bensmiller, Versatile Energy Solutions Ltd., 7:24.09
3 Obrey Motowylo, Buckle Premium Vodka, 7:25.51
4 Darcy Flad, EquiPride®, 7:26.34
5 Kris Molle, visitlethbridge.com, 7:28.35
6 Doug Irvine, Private Sales Financing, 7:28.47
7 Jason Glass, Friends of Glass Racing, 7:28.59
8 Kirk Sutherland, Silverhill Acura, 7:28.60
9 Chad Fike, Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick, 7:28.79
10 Chanse Vigen, Cowboys Casino, 7:29.10
11 Evan Salmond, MobSquad, 7:30.82
12 Cody Ridsdale, O’Chiese First Nation, 7:32.53
13 Troy Dorchester, Cam Clark Auto/Smithbilt, 7:32.99
14 Vern Nolin, McCaw Drilling and Blasting, 7:33.03
15 Danny Ringuette, The Brakeman Foundation, 7:33.12
16 Ross Knight, The Kidz Wagon, 7:33.29
17 Mark Sutherland, Cowboys Casino, 7:34.31
18 Chance Bensmiller, PCL Building Services, 7:34.96
19 Codey McCurrach, Western RV Country, 7:36.13
20 Jordie Fike, Shaw GMC Chevrolet Buick, 7:36.30
21 Dallas Dyck, The Libra Foundation, 7:37.09
22 Roger Moore, national coach, 7:40.32
23 Todd Baptiste, SORE Oilfield Services, 7:41.73
24 Chad Harden, CC Contract Sales, 7:47.71
25Kris Flanagan, KV Capital, 7:47.98
26 Troy Flad, Friends of Troy Flad, 7:55.48
27 Mitch Sutherland, The CanWagon, 7:57.14

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