Dorchester, born in Wetaskiwin, was the fourth son of Tom
and Joy Dorchester of Westerose. To the Dorchester family,
especially Dallas’s dad and older brothers who all competed
in some aspect of the sport, the chuckwagon circuit was a
way of life so it was a natural outcome for Dallas to follow
in their footsteps. However, added to his pedigree was an
attitude, drive and passion that propelled Dallas to achieve
his outstanding successes. In 1962 at the age of sixteen,
Dallas started his career as an outrider and then in 1965 he
moved into the wagon box. His last year of competition was
1997. Over his 35 year career in chuckwagon racing, Dallas
carved out one of the most impressive records the sport has
was only 11 he started riding as a jockey and rode race
horses until he was 16 at tracks throughout Alberta and BC.
As an outrider, Dallas won the Calgary Stampede Rangeland
Derby Championship three times; in 1968 with brother Garry
and again in 1970 and 1971 with his father Tom. He was
named the World Champion Outrider in 1977, the inaugural
year for the award.
Dallas won the
Calgary Stampede Rangeland
Derby Championship three times
first year as a driver, Dallas won two show championships,
the Handhills Stampede and the Owen Sound Stampede. He also
drove his first
outfit at the Calgary Stampede
and placed a very respectable 12th overall finishing his
rookie season in 9th place in the world standings.
year set the stage for what was to become one of the most
celebrated “Hall of Fame” careers in the sport of chuckwagon.
Dallas was the 1984 World Champion Chuckwagon Driver and won
more than 40 show championships in his illustrious career.
He twice won the Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby in 1984
and 1991 and made a total of eight appearances in the
Calgary Stampede Rangeland Derby’s sudden death championship
final heat. His record of five North American Chuckwagon
Championships and five Grande Prairie Stampede Championships
still stands to this day. From Cloverdale, BC to Morris,
Manitoba and every big show in between, Dallas Dorchester
won them all. His last major win came in 1996 when he
captured the Richard Cosgrave Memorial Award symbolic of the
Calgary Stampede Aggregate Champion.
From Cloverdale, BC to Morris,
Manitoba and every
big show in between, Dallas Dorchester won them all
to all of his success on the
racetrack, Dallas was a
founding member of the World Professional Chuckwagon
Association, served as a director for 20 years and devoted
much of himself to the growth and prosperity of chuckwagon
racing and the WPCA. His outstanding and significant
contributions to advancing and improving the overall status
and integrity of the WPCA and the sport of Chuckwagon Racing
earned him the WPCA “Chuckwagon Person of the Year” in 1995.
Dallas became only the second chuckwagon driver to be named
an honorary lifetime member of the Ponoka Stampede
Association and in addition he was honored by the Calgary
Exhibition and Stampede with the “Pioneers of Rodeo Award”.
He was the recipient of the World Professional Chuckwagon
Association’s “Special Tribute Award” in 2006 and the
“George Normand Lifetime Builder’s Award” in 2007.
Dorchester chuckwagon legacy continues and before he passed
away in 2008, Dallas was a mentor for third generation
family chuckwagon competitors including his son Tommy Quinn,
a two time World Champion Outrider as well as his nephews
Troy Dorchester and Rick Fraser, chuckwagon drivers who
still compete and are both award winners and multi show
champions. Dallas and Tommy Quinn were the first father and
son duo to each earn the World Champion Outrider crown.
winter months Dallas was very involved in the local sporting
community. For 30 years Dallas played hockey for Falun
teams and even played goal occasionally for the Wetaskiwin
Colonels. He also spent ten years coaching minor hockey in
Wetaskiwin. As well, he was an avid curler for most of
life; he was often involved in competitive zone play-offs
and in 2004 won the Canadian Cattleman’s Curling
chuckwagon involvement, Dallas also trained and raced
thoroughbred horses at tracks with parimutuel betting
including both Edmonton and Calgary. One year he was the
top trainer and won 36 races. Dallas also coordinated and
participated in the first ever “chucksled” races at the 1968
Wetaskiwin Winter Carnival where the event was held on the
snow at the Wetaskiwin Fair Grounds race track. Dallas won
the chucksled races in 1968 and 1969.
Dorchester was one of chuckwagon racing’s all time greatest
drivers, toughest competitors, most decorated champions and
one of the most outstanding ambassadors and individuals in
the history of the sport. He brought attention to names
that graced his chuckwagon’s canvas over the years, not
entirely because of the on track success, but for the class
and distinction that Dallas displayed as a representative of
individuals and organizations. He is indeed more than
deserving of being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County
Sports Hall of Fame.
about an inductee is collected from published sources,
sports archives, scrapbooks, anecdotal information
from family, friends and fans, and the athlete.
the best stories and personal insights are gleaned at the induction dinner from
the introductory comments or acceptance speech of the
inductee or their representative.
Where possible we have included this type of information for
opening comments made by Sandra Wright when speaking about
Dallas Dorchester just prior to his official induction.