Dayton Sutherland, the grandson of legendary Chuckwagon Driver Kelly Sutherland, will not be gunning for a spot in the Calgary Stampede for the foreseeable future. Currently a driver on the Western Chuckwagon Association, Sutherland says from a financial standpoint it’s simply unsustainable.
“You’ll definitely go broke, and it’s happened to the odd chuckwagon driver for sure.”
The 21-year-old Sutherland says it costs about $150,000 a year just in operating expenses to make it on the World Professional Chuckwagon Association. He says at this point in his career he will fully concentrate on the WCA, which has all its races in the Grande Prairie region.
“It was just time to take a step back. Financially, the association up here is far more rewarding in terms of your return on investment, especially if you’re not in Calgary.”
Sutherland, who finished 31st in the 2018 WPCA standings, says the circuit will also allow him to stay closer to his family. That includes the possibility of getting some extra coaching from his grandfather, the 12-time Stampede winner.
The third-year driver says the decision was a tough one and hopes one day he will be in a place to return for the chance at the sport’s biggest purse.
“It’s more of a survival move for me, this way I can build my barns up and if everything goes well hopefully I will return.”
Sutherland spent the last three years as an outrider at the Calgary Stampede.