Watch the video above: Auction for Sask. chuckwagon driver
CALGARY – The Calgary Stampede has wrapped up for another year but one Saskatchewan chuckwagon driver’s career has wrapped up for good.
Tim Haroldson’s barn was auctioned off, just days after he was injured in a training exercise in Calgary.
It was a bittersweet day for his wife Melissa, who is focused on his recovery.
It’s been less than a week since her husband, Tim Haroldson, 48, was rushed to hospital.
“I didn’t realize he was hurt at first, I just heard there was an accident so I went to go out and help with the horses and they told me Tim was still in the infield so I went running over there and he was getting loaded in to an ambulance,” said Melissa.
The auction would have finalized Haroldson’s retirement after 15 years in chuckwagon racing but on July 8 the wagon rolled while coming around one of the barrels during morning training.
He has concussive symptoms, bleeding on his brain and a collapsed lung.
The Stampede reviewed the incident and initial indications are that there was nothing out of the ordinary in regards to the wagon, the horses or the tack.
One wagon horse collapsed and died after competing in the team’s training run. Results indicate the horse experienced a ruptured aneurysm.
“It’s to understand why he wasn’t able to finish off his last stampede of his career. I know there’s a reason for everything but I just know there’s no way I could ever understand it,” said Melissa.
The auction was planned before the crash and everything must go horses, wagon and all.
“This chuckwagon racing is not just a sport, it’s a passion and it becomes a way of life and to disperse of these horses and to do what they’re doing today is very emotional and for Tim not be here is even more so,” said Rob Bergevin, of VJV Foothills Livestock Auction.
Four horses are auctioned off Sunday, two of them were snagged by Tim’s friend Jerry Bremner. Bremner was driving the wagon when it rolled.
He hopes one day Haroldson, of Melfort, Sask., might want his horses back.
“I’ve trained with Tim for several years now and I know his horses and I’m just happy to have a couple of them and it keeps our connection together as well,” said Bremner.
Melissa says her husband remains in hospital and is improving daily.
“We’re not exactly sure what life holds for us but we’re going to get Tim home and healed up and figure things out from there,” said Melissa.
The auction netted close to $300,000.