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Prodael advancing from chariots to chuckwagons

Lots to learn when moving up to racing wagons.

In a sport where most drivers seem to follow in family footsteps, and once in the driver’s seat staying running rigs for years, Stephan Prodael is just a little different. 

Prodael is only 28, and still very much new to the sport of chariot and chuckwagon racing. 

“I got my start through Kit Talbot. He used to race. I was friends with his son so I came to a couple of shows,” he told Yorkton This Week just before the start of Eastern Professional Chariot & Chuckwagon Association races Sunday at Invermay Fair. 

From there Prodael, who hails from St. Gregor, SK., started to help out at races, and soon he was at the reins himself. 

“I started in chariots in 2011,” he said. 

Asked why he decided to run, Prodael paused a moment before answering “it’s just fun to do, and there’s lots of good people involved.” 

It helped too that wife Brittany is a barrel racer, “so she likes the horses,” he said, adding her father Grant Pocock raises quarter horses. 

For a number of years Prodael focused on chariots, but like most everyone in the sport, finally gravitated to chuckwagons. 

“I just started chuckwagons two years ago in 2019,” he said, adding that he still has limited experience with no racing in 2020 due to COVID-19, and Invermay being only his second event to-date in 2021. 

Prodael said he has lots to learn as there is simply more to racing chuckwagons. 

“It’s definitely more challenging. You have to learn how to drive them. There’s more to concentrate on,” he said. “. . . I’m definitely still learning. Every trip around the track on the wagon I’m learning something new.” 

Prodael likes racing though, and heads out to events as often as he can. 

“All the weekend shows. It’s hard to make the week shows,” he said, adding he works for Mumby Manufacturing Ltd at Muenster. 

When on the road Prodael carries seven horses to events. 

“It’s all the race horses I’ve got. They come along every weekend,” he said. 

While most of his horses were purchased, one was not, and that horse makes Prodael smile. 

“We have one horse on my wagon that we raised,” he said. “It feels good to have a horse you raised of your own on a hook.” 

While Prodael knows he still has much to learn, he is ready to go to school every weekend. 

“Getting into a wagon, I really enjoy running a wagon,” he said.