McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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June 4, 2010

Round 'em up! Wagon races set Saturday in Wilburton

McALESTER — The old west returns to Wilburton this weekend as the Ward Ranch hosts the inaugural What About Bob Classic Chuckwagon Race.

Slated for Saturday and Sunday, the race is the first of its kind in recent history in Oklahoma, according to organizers Mark and Bobbi Ward and Travis Hill.

Traditionally a mobile kitchen as settlers and cattle producers moved across the Plains, modern chuckwagons are now a popular racing vehicle.

“It’s sort of like redneck NASCAR racing,” said event organizer and participant Mark Ward.

The race course is a figure eight barrel obstacle, and chuckwagons pulled by mules, ponies or horses run the course. Teams consist of a driver, cook and outrider. The outrider must load the tent poles and stove at the start, then help teams stay on course, crossing the finish line along with the team.

Along with the races that start at 1 p.m. each day, there will also be food and tack vendors on site, and the $10 admission includes the races, the dances with live bands both Friday and Saturday night and camping for the weekend.

For more information, log on to or call 918-448-6694 or 918-429-5740.

For more on this story, see Friday's print edition of the McAlester News-Capital. For subscription information call 423-1700.

Contact Mandy Carter at


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