Vanessa Freeman explains life as a ranch hand
"When I first joined the Sutherland Chuckwagon Racing Team a few years ago I didn't even know what chuckwagon racing really was, I just knew I wanted to travel around Alberta living the real cowboy lifestyle. Since then I couldn't see myself doing anything else during the spring and summer. The biggest thing for me was the way the Sutherland family treated us from day one, you are not just a ranch hand, for them you are a part of the team and a friend of the family. If you are passionate about horses then this is the place to be. The other ranch hands that you will work with will become friends and family to you and it's the best way to meet new people from around the world. It was for me, the best things I have done in my life and will forever be my best memories!' Luc Savoie - New Brunswick, Canada
BE A PART
· Physically fit, looking for a western experience, love to travel, enjoy working in the outdoors and with
horses, has a valid driver’s license, no horse experience required.
· Monthly salary starts approximately at $1675 before deductions ($1500 per month clear) with the
possibility of earning an end-of-the-season bonus.
· Accommodations at the ranch are provided – a trailer with a kitchen, two bathrooms, living/eating area,
one smaller bunk room and one larger bunk room. Accommodations on the road are a shared holiday
trailer and semi-truck sleeper.
· A strict non-smoking environment.
· You are required to bring your own bedding, towels and suitable work clothing.
· During spring training supper is provided, lunch consists of leftovers from the previous night’s supper
and breakfast is cereal, coffee and toast.
· Meals are not provided while travelling on the circuit. However, there are some sponsor barbeques and
the odd supper provided by management.
· Spring Training Schedule: 7 days a week – 8:00 am to 9:30 pm
o Truck training and stall cleaning – some of the crew will help with exercising the horses on a specially
designed truck system while the rest of the crew cleans stalls and prepares them for lunch.
o Horses go in for lunch and the crew breaks for lunch
o Hitching the wagon – After lunch we hook horses to the wagon and the crew helps harness, brush
and hook the horses up.
o Prepare the stalls for supper – clean bedding, clean water, feed
o Horses go in for supper and the crew heads to the ranch house for supper
o Animal care is crucial to our success and either before or after supper the crew is expected to help
tend to the horses’ needs (brushing, medication, leg wrapping)
· The Racing Season Schedule: 7 days a week – 8:00 am to 10:00 pm with free time
o Travel Days: pack up from the old location, travel to the new location and set up the barns and
corrals turn out the horses, prepare their stalls and feed and put them in for the night. These are
o Racing Days: A similar schedule to the spring training days except we typically don’t train. If we do
have to train it is done first thing in the morning. Races are usually in the evening so it makes the
day a bit longer, but you will usually find a few hours in the afternoon to either nap, wash clothes or
· We race chuckwagons throughout western Canada on the WPCA tour. Every week we travel to a new
location to compete, 10 different cities in all. For tour details please visit
· Spring training is at our ranch in Okotoks, AB
· Spring training – Late February to mid-May
· Circuit – End of May thru to end of August – 51 race days.
· Love to work outdoors with horses
· Want an authentic western experience
· Meet people from all over the world
· Enjoy travelling
· Independent worker
· Fill out the contact section on the home page of this or enter your information below.
· You will be asked to provide a resume via email.
· Management will reach out to you by phone to discuss the opportunity and to assess if you are a fit for
Check out the Sutherland Racing Crew Facebook page.