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2023 Ponoka Stampede tarp auction rakes in $553,000 for world’s top chuckwagon drivers

Top-selling canvas was Wade Salmond’s for $27,000
Evan Magee, centre, takes the high bid For the second consecutive canvas auction at the Ponoka Stampede tarp auction May 5. Left is WPCA track announcer Les McIntyre, and right, world champion auctioneer Danny Skeels. (

2023 Ponoka Stampede tarp auction on May 5, was a record-breaking success with a combined sale total of $553,000 — up $163,250.00 over the 2022 total of $389,750.

The chuckwagon canvas auction offered advertising space for best 34 chuckwagon drivers in the world today plus two wildcard wagons on chuckwagon racing’s predominant racing circuit.

“If all of the chuckwagon canvas auctions in 2023 are an indication of the economic conditions year, the Ponoka Stampede outdid themselves,” stated a release from the World Pro Chuckwagon Association (WPCA).

“It was a tremendous sale to say the least.”

The event, held at the Stagecoach Saloon on the Ponoka Stampede grounds, was the last chuckwagon canvas auction for the 2023 WPCA Pro Tour.

For the second consecutive canvas auction, Evan Magee’s tarp was the top seller, going for $29,500 to Krycket Consulting.

Wade Salmond came in second with his canvas selling for $27,000 to Pidherney’s.

Rae Croteau Jr. was next, with high bidder Tech Group Inc. winning the auction for $24,000.

Right behind him was Kris Molle to Eagle Builders for $21,000.

The fifth-place seller was a three way tie at $20,000, between Chad Fike to Summit Fleet, Codey McCurrach to TOMCO Group of Companies and Troy Dorchester to Team Rig and Supply/PureChem Services/Newforce Energy Services.

The average bid was $15,361.11, with the median bid at $15,750.00. The low bid for the sale was an even $6,000.00.

In 2022, Kurt Bensmiller and Salmond topped the Ponoka Stampede tarp auction with bids for $20,000 each.

For full results of the 2023 Ponoka Stampede tarp auction, visit

The first two tarp auctions in Grande Prairie and Century Downs combined for over $900,000 in bids.

At the Grande Prairie Stompede Tarp Auction on April 1, the final bid total was $514,650. For the second consecutive year, Croteau Jr. topped the sale with a final bid of $30,000.

At the Century Downs Racetrack and Casino World Finals Tarp Auction three weeks later, $414,000 was the final bid total. Magee topped the first-ever Century Downs sale with a bid of $23,000.

The first stop of the WPCA Pro Tour is in Grande Prairie from May 31 to June 4.

The 87th Ponoka Stampede will feature the largest Dash for Cash prize in the Ponoka Stampede’s history with a purse of $75,000.

The six nights of pro chuckwagon racing at the Ponoka Stampede starts June 26.

Emily Jaycox

About the Author: Emily Jaycox

I'm a reporter for Ponoka News and have lived in Ponoka since 2015.
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