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With the sound of the horn every heart in the stadium leaps along with these hard running horses. Known for it’s tight turns at fast speeds the chuck wagon races are a favorite at all rodeos. Often called the mess wagon, the chuck wagon so called because it carried the (chuck) spuds, flowers, beans, and coffee was a traveling cafeteria for cowboys on the range in the days of the old west. Invented by pioneer rancher Charles Goodnight the chuck wagon was the heart of any outfit. The camp cook was always the first to strike out toward the next camp. When traveling became boring and tedious the rugged cowboys decided to race their wagons. The last to arrive was to pay for the first round at the town saloon. Perhaps the real reason for chuck wagon racing. Traveling was more than just a journey, it was now a competition between the chuck wagon drivers.
Today these chuck wagons race for entertainment. Unwritten rules require the lead driver to move his team to the outside portion of the arena, giving up the inside track so the other team can catch up. Pulled by specially bred teams of horses, these lightweight chuck wagons perform in ways the ranch wagon never could.
Now one of the most popular events at the rodeo the chuck wagon races feature teams racing up too 35 miles an hour, sometimes on two wheels, around the arena while the crowd cheer on there favorite team.
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