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SALUTE TO KELLY SUTHERLAND AND CHUCKS

After 50 years, the career of the greatest champion in chuckwagon racing history has come to a close.

Kelly “The King” Sutherland hung up the reins at the end of the 2017 World Professional Chuckwagon Association season.

He is being honored with A Salute To Kelly Sutherland And Chuckwagon Racing in Clarkson Hall at Evergreen Park on Saturday, Oct. 28.

“The Grande Prairie Stompede is the signature event annually at Evergreen Park so we are delighted to be able to host this salute to Kelly on Oct. 28,” said Evergreen Park General Manager Dan Gorman. “The Evergreen Park board initiated the idea of honoring Kelly this fall and both Stompede and the Chuckwagon Heritage Foundation jumped in quickly to be a part of it.

“It is going to be a wonderful event and tribute to a man and the sport of chuckwagon racing. Kelly has done so much for chuckwagon racing and the Grande Prairie area over the last 50 years. It is fitting he is being honored with this salute on the 28th.”

Sutherland leaves the sport as a 12-time Calgary Stampede GMC Rangeland Derby champion: 12-time World Champion Chuckwagon Driver; a six-time Calgary Stampede aggregate winner; and an eight-time Ponoka Stampede champion. He also won Stompede II in 1979.

Sutherland is the only driver to have competed in all 40 Grande Prairie Stompedes.

“The legacy and contribution from Kelly Sutherland has placed Grande Prairie region on a world stage and brought recognition to the sport of chuckwagon racing,” said Stompede president Terri Sudnik. “His investment into Canadian western heritage has led the foundation for the Grande Prairie Stompede to give back to our community over the past 40 years.”

Sutherland is a founding member of  Stompede and was its first president. Over one million patrons have watched him competed at Stompede since 1978 - an event that contributes $6.5 million dollars back into the local economy annually.

“On behalf of the Grande Prairie Stompede, we tip our hats to the legend Kelly Sutherland and say Thank You!”

The Chuckwagon Heritage Foundation has also been heavily involved in the sport both at Stompede and around the Peace Country with amateur events.

“For 50 years Kelly Sutherland has dedicated his life to the sport of chuckwagon racing and representing Grande Prairie on the world stage,” said Chuckwagon Heritage Foundation president Justin Tidd. “The Grande Prairie Chuckwagon Heritage Foundation is proud to be able to celebrate this amazing accomplishment with Kelly and Debbie and to honor ‘The King’ in his retirement from the sport he shared with the fans of chuckwagon racing for so many years.”

The Oct. 28th event starts at 6 p.m. and continues until 1 a.m. and will include a buffet meal, midnight lunch, special guest speakers and lots and lots of memories.

Cost is just $40 per person. Tickets can be purchased online at www.evergreenpark.ca, at Keddie’s Tack & Western Wear and the Evergreen Park office in the ENTREC Centre with the deadline to purchase Oct. 20.