A Proud Dad

My best memory of Stampede comes from 2009.

I entered my eight year old son into the Kids Tractor Pull Competition on a sunny afternoon. Never seeing this event before, I wasn't sure of what to expect. There were kids of all ages and sizes. The host explained how the competition worked, and mentioned that no child has a size or age advantage – which we saw again and again during the rounds that followed.

Each participants started their race – pedaling hard and fast on the toy tractors – with some of the youth advancing to the next round.

On the last round, it was my eight-year-old - two foot, eight inch son William, against a 12-year-old, five foot one inch boy from the farm. The weights were set onto the tractors and the horn sounded off. What was to happen next amazed me. The crowd gathered and cheered both boys on to the finish line, William was the first to cross, and the other boy came up short being eliminated from the event.

The host asked William if he wanted to try a little more weight, and the crowd cheered him on chanting his name over and over. I stood there in the bleachers not saying a word, only trying to hold back the tears of pride. William accepted the challenge and sat in his tractor seat.

The crowd had grown even bigger now due to the chanting of "William” over and over. The horn blasted and William started his pedal tractor moving down the course. As he reached the halfway point, the crowd chanted and stomped louder than ever. I stood there in tears – overwhelmed with pride – as I called his mother who was at home so she could hear the experience as well.

William came up 6 inches short of a full-pull, but as he got off, all the kids came over and high fived him. What a Memory, What a Stampede.

A proud Dad, Cliff Robillard