Ex­treme com­pet­i­tive­ness!

Calgary Sun - - NEWS - — MEGHAN POTKINS

doris Heintz has been on horse­back as long as she can re­mem­ber be­ing alive.

“My mom used to go get the cows when she preg­nant with me and my twin brother on her horse, so I’ve rid­den horses, lit­er­ally, all my life,” Heintz says.

the 82-year-old High river woman con­tin­ues to ranch and com­pete at ex­treme cow­boy rac­ing — a timed event com­bin­ing horse­man­ship and ob­sta­cles that mimic tra­di­tional ranch­ing tasks — at an age when most folks are well into their re­tire­ment.

“What else is there to do?” Heintz says, “I’m not a good golfer.”

the great-grand­mother raced for crowds gath­ered Fri­day at the Nutrien Western Event Cen­tre for the Ex­treme dog & Pony race. Heintz ex­pertly ma­noeu­vred her horse, Happy Chuck­les, through a series of ob­sta­cles in­clud­ing nar­row bridges and jumps that eluded com­peti­tors many decades her ju­nior.

She es­ti­mates she is the old­est rider com­pet­ing in the event in the u.S. or Canada and is one of only two Cana­di­ans to have been in­ducted into the Ex­treme Cow­boy Hall of Fame.

For the Heintz fam­ily, ex­treme cow­boy rac­ing is a fam­ily af­fair, with some­times three gen­er­a­tions of the clan com­pet­ing in the same events around North amer­ica.

doris’s son, rock, says he doesn’t mind giv­ing up a spot in the rank­ings — so long as it’s to a fam­ily mem­ber.

“un­til last year, we com­peted with my son, the three of us,” rock says. “I would rather lose a po­si­tion to one of them than a stranger. If one of my fam­ily can beat me, place ahead of me, do bet­ter, then bravo.”

KERIANNE SPROULE/POSTMEDIA

Doris Heintz, 82, com­petes in the Ex­treme Dog and Pony Race on Fri­day at the Calgary Stampede. Heintz is one of only two Cana­di­ans to have been in­ducted into the Ex­treme Cow­boy Hall of Fame.

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