Mark and Dina Sutherland are proud Albertans who believe in the power of community and the importance of family. They operate a 50-head thoroughbred horse ranch near Okotoks, Alberta.
Since 1967 the Sutherland name has been a part of the iconic sport of chuckwagon racing, starting with the patriarch, Kelly Sutherland, continuing with Mark and now Mark and Dina’s son Dayton. Whether it’s hosting groups behind the barns, driving across rural Alberta to get to the next competition, or welcoming guests to their ranch, they are always honoured to share the passion they have for their sport, the respect they have for their animals and the love they have for their family.
Kelly, the man who started it all and the greatest champion the sport has seen, carved out an unprecedented record of accomplishments. Known as The King, Kelly recently retired in 2017.
Growing up on the chuckwagon trail, Mark naturally followed his father's footsteps. Known as the Hi-Tech Redneck, for pioneering the use of a GPS (Global Positioning System), Mark works diligently to give back to various charities each year.
2013 saw Mark's son Dayton start his own outriding career and officially becoming a driver on the World Professional Chuckwagon Association as a driver in the later half of the 2016 race season. He has won several show championships as an outrider and won his first championship as a driver in 2018.
Knows as The King, with his signature thumbs up salute to the crowd and his eagle feather flying out the back of his hat, Kelly is the greatest champion and ambassador the sport of chuckwagon racing has ever seen. In 50 years of racing he has built a record that is unprecedent — 12 World Championship titles and 12 Calgary Stampede titles. Kelly Sutherland is the most decorated veteran ever to be involved in chuckawagon racing and his passion for the sport is undeniable. He has worked endlessly to promote and lead the sport into the future. His ability to capture media attention has made him one of the most iconic figures in western events. 2017 was an end of an era in the sport of chuckwagon racing with Kelly’s retirement. He will be remembered for his passion, dedication and raising the bar in regards to animal care and championships.
Known as the “High Tech Redneck,” for his use of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology as a tool for chuckwagon training, Mark is an exciting driver and a top promoter of the sport. He just celebrated his 26th anniversary as a driver and hosts his own annual charity poker tournament, raising over $700,000 for local charities. Mark is the 2010 WPCA Pro Tour Champion, he won the 2016 Guy Weadick Days in High River and the 2015 Ashley Richards Memorial in Saskatoon and most recently he was crowned the 2019 Ponoka Stampede Champion. Mark qualified for the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby’s sudden death final in 2009 and 2018, is a record three-time winner of the Calgary Stampede's Safe Drive Award for the least penalized driver, and won the 2009 WPCA Clean Drive Award-becoming just the 2nd driver to win both the Calgary Stampede and WPCA clean drive awards in a single year. Mark was honoured with the WPCA’s Chuckwagon Person of the Year in 2011 and won the Calgary Stampede‘s Orville Strandquist Award for the top Rookie Driver in 1996. Mark has qualified for the GMC Rangeland Derby’s “Semi-Final Saturday” four times. Qualifying for the 2015 Calgary Stampede semifinals was a highlight where Mark and Kelly, father and son, faced off for another time. Mark credits the time spent with his father both on and off the racetrack for getting him where he is today. "It is more than just training and travelling together; it is about setting goals and expectations. I have learned a lot from him. He was a leader in our sport; he advanced the sport like no one else," explained Mark. Mark's favourite part about chuckwagons is the powerful bonds he builds with the horses, describing himself as their scout, trainer, coach and teammate.
One of the youngest chuckwagon drivers on the World Professional Chuckwagon Tour, Dayton was named Top Rookie Driver in 2017. A third generation chuckwagon competitor, Dayton is the grandson of Kelly and the son of Mark. As a driver, Dayton started his career in 2015, competing at the Grande Prairie Stompede and Dawson Creek Fall Fair where he just missed qualifying for his first dash. He won his first show title as a driver in 2018 at the Battle of the Rockies in Rocky Mountain House, outrunning the pack by three seconds and successfully defended his title in 2019. He made his first debut as an outrider on the WPCA Pro Tour penalty free behind his father Mark on Father's Day during the 2013 Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede and filled in on the final night of the Strathmore Heritage Days behind his grandfather Kelly’s winning outfit that same year. In 2016, Dayton was the recipient of the Rod Glass Memorial Award for Most Improved Outrider and has won multiple show championships as an outrider. Dayton carries on the tradition of his grandfather and wears the signature eagle feather in his hat. He loves the sport of chuckwagon racing for the people he meets, the lifestyle it provides and the opportunity to work with horses.
The Sutherland Ranch consists of over 50 head of thoroughbred horses that have been bought from race tracks across North America. The barns allow for the horses to relax in the comforts of box stalls and play during the day in the spacious dirt and sand corrals. Spring training begins as soon as the snow leaves, which can be as early as late February and the racing season starts in Grande Prairie, Alberta at the end of May and continues into August. Nestled in the foothills, the ranch is conveniently located 15 minutes south of Calgary. Ranch owners, Mark and Dina Sutherland, feel fortunate to live where they do and to be able to live a life with horses. If you are interested in booking a tour simply fill out the contact information below.