Record holder enjoys watching Stampede

Dennis Weinberger of Cochrane poses besides a picture of he and his horses that hadn’t been beaten in a Pull for five straight years. that is used to promote the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull.

Dennis Weinberger of Cochrane poses besides a picture of he and his horses that hadn’t been beaten in a Pull for five straight years. that is used to promote the Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull

There was someone definitely missing in this year’s competition at the 2013 Calgary Stampede Heavy Horse Pull.  He is dwarfed by his huge Belgian horses, but is a giant among teamsters in the Heavy Horse world.  He is Cochrane’s own Dennis Weinberger, one of the most winning drivers in Heavy Horse Pull competition in the history of the Calgary Stampede.
He has won the Heavy Horse Pull championship at the Stampede 18 times, in three different classes, light, middle and heavyweight, over the course of 17 years, before he retired from competing in Canada in 2012, right after he broke the record, again.  He also had a pair of Belgian horses that never lost a competition for five years straight.
“I hold the record here at 13,400 pounds,” Weinberger smiled.  “The record was 13,300 pounds when I broke it, and I had the record at 13,200 pounds before it was broken.”
Dennis Weinberger hasn’t retired entirely from the Heavy Horse Pull event, he still competes in the United States but not in Canada anymore.
“I moved all my pull horses to the States,” exclaimed Weinberger.  “I compete in the States but I don’t pull in Canada anymore.  When the Stampede is over I’ll fly down there and start competing.”
Weinberger says the teams are much more competitive in the United States and therefore it is much harder to win a competition.
“One weekend you may win it and the next weekend you place eighth, and there are only four feet apart between first place and eighth place,” Weinberger explained.  “It is a little different down there.  Nobody dominates!”
Since Weinberger has withdrawn from Canadian competition and competing at the Calgary Stampede he hasn’t really missed being part of the action, even though he grew up dreaming of attending the Calgary fair.
“I grew up in Saskatchewan and the idea of even coming to the Calgary Stampede was like going to another planet,” he laughed.  “So to be able to pull here, compete here, and then to go on to win here, that was like going to another universe.  It was a big deal to me for a long, long time, but after coming here for 17 years in a row, I really don’t miss it.  I am happy what I am doing right now.”
patrick.price@sunmedia.ca