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Ruby Begonia and the Race Teams

The 2016 Ruby Begonia Race Team

The 2016 Ruby Begonia Race Team

from left to right

Handler - Ken Klimitchek. Ken is our community race team member. Selected by the Cuero Turkeyfest Board of Directors, this year's community race team member has been involved in Turkeyfest both as volunteer and a board member for many years. Ken is also Vice President at Allied Feeds, Inc.; a long-time partner and sponsor of the Cuero Turkeyfest. Ken is a first-time race team member.

Coach - Brittany Garza. Brittany is a current Cuero Turkeyfest board member. Brittany was a Handler on the 2009 Ruby Begonia Race Team.

Captain - Brenda Martin. Brenda is a current Cuero Turkeyfest board member as well as this year's Secretary. Brenda was a Handler on the 2015 Ruby Begonia Race Team.

Handler - Keith Goebel. Keith is a current Cuero Turkeyfest board member. Keith is a first-time race team member.

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The 2015 Ruby Begonia Race Team

Going for a 4-peat! From left: Anthony Netardus, Brenda Martin, Laura Patek and Michael Ruschhaupt.
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Lone Star Bird

 So how did two towns separated by 1100 miles come to stage an annual turkey race? It started in 1973 when word got out that both Cuero, Texas and Worthington, Minnesota claimed to be the "Turkey Capital of the World" based on their long history of turkey production and turkey-related town festivals. In an effort to create a little PR and have some fun, the editors of The Cuero Record and Worthington Daily Globe newspapers hatched an idea to stage a turkey race to settle the "Turkey Capital" debate. The first heat would be held in Worthington during their King Turkey Day celebration in mid-September, with the second heat following a few weeks later down at Cuero's Turkeyfest. Each town would select a bird, name three people for the Race Team, and run two city blocks with their turkeys in front of a few thousand folks before the big parade. The rules were that you couldn't touch the bird while racing, and each turkeys individual times would be added together at the conclusion of the second heat. Adding penalties to the score, the bird with the fastest combined times would be declared the winner, and the town would be once and forever the "Turkey Capital of the World."
It turned out so good, that they decided to do it again the next year. And here we are, over four decades later, still racing turkeys.
To the winner: The Traveling Turkey Trophy of Tumultuous Triumph. To the (slow) runner-up: The Circulating Consolation Cup of Consummate Commiseration. Below is the records division from the National Turkey Racing Association of the best-of-the-best that have ever run with the "World's Fastest Turkey," Ruby Begonia.
For the Great Gobbler Gallop photo archive, go HERE.
For the Great Gobbler Gallop video archive, go HERE.
For more on Paycheck and King Turkey Day, visit: http://www.kingturkeyday.net/
Oh, and if you were curious, the above photo was taken in 1976 and features (L-R): Bubba Steen, Walter Duderstadt, Alan Kahlich, Bill Blackwell and Ruby Begonia. 
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National Turkey Racing Association Historical Archives

Ruby Begonia Racing Legends Portrait Gallery

The National Turkey Racing Association  
2015 Race Team: Anthony Netardus, Brenda Martin, Laura Patek, Michael Ruschhaupt. 
2014 Race Team: Clint Clark, Kristie Tieken, Michael Ruschhaupt, Bill Matthys 
2013 Race Team: Clint Clark, Terri Warwas, Mary Beth Finney, Clayton Lantz. 
2012 Race Team: Richard Weber, Clayton Lantz, Linda Nemec, Greg Nemec 
2011 Race Team: Bobby Phillips, Linda Nemec, Amy Crain, Greg Nemec 
2010 Race Team: Bobby Phillips, Dawn Draper, Jason Rogers, Cory Thamm 
2009 Race Team: Jason Rogers, Glen Mutchler, Brittany Garza, Terri Warwas 
2008 Race Team: Jode Zavesky, Erik McCowan, Roxanne Hanselka, Terri Warwas 
2007 Race Team: Jamie Wright, Roxanne Hanselka, Debra Baros, Erik McCowan 
2006 Race Team: Jamie Wright, Leslie Voelkel Campos, Phyllis Foulds, Lloyd Copeland 
2005 Race Team: Lloyd Copeland, Jason Rogers, Erwin Rath, Rhonda Hudson 
2004 Race Team: Ty Whitfield, Clay Pullin, Stacy Cordes, Johnny Dietz 
1991 Race Team: Charlotte Henry, Helen Bulgerin, Jim Hargrove, Les Rabke. 
1982 Race Team: Ann Mary Vaghn, Bucky Sager, C.L. Duckett, Alan Kahlich.  
1979 Race Team: (L-R) Mike Milberry, Jim Voelkel, Turkeyfest President Jack Calk, and Bobby Hesse. 
1978 Race Team: Bob Hesse, Mary C. Kahlich, Jack Calk, & Ruby Begonia. 
1977 Race Team: Bill Blackwell, Mary C. Kahlich, Jack Calk 
1976 Race Team: Bubba Steen, Bill Blackwell, Alan Kahlich. 
1975 Race Team: Bubba Steen, Sherre Ernster, Alan Kahlich, with Ruby Begonia III. 
1974 Race Team (Pit Crew): Bubba Steen, Ken Long, Phil Ernster. With Sharon Steen and Sherre Ernster. 
1973 Race Team: Jack Hartsell, Ken Long, Bob Pickens 
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The All-Time Ruby Begonia Race Teams

1973    Ken Long, Bob Perkins, Jack Harstsell
1974    Lias Bubba Steen, Barry Wineinger,  Phil Ernster
1975    Lias Bubba Steen,  Alan Kahlich,  Sherre Ernster
1976    Alan Kahlich- Captain, Lias Bubba Steen- Handler,  Bill Blackwell- Handler
1977    Bill Blackwell- Captain, Jack Calk- Handler, Mary C. Kahlich- Handler
1978    Jack Calk- Captain, Mary C. Kahlich- Handler, Bob Hesse- Handler
1979    Bob Hesse- Captain, Jim Voelkel- Handler, Mike Millberry- Handler
1980    Jack Calk- Coach, Mike Millberry- Captain, Jim Voelkel- Handler, Jim Conrad- Handler
1981    Mike Millberry- Coach, Jim Conrad- Captain,  C.L. Duckett- Handler,  Bucky Sager- Handler
1982    Alan Kahlich- Coach, C.L. Duckett- Captain, Bucky Sager- Handler, Ann Mary Vaghn- Handler
1983    Burns McAlister- Coach, Ann Mary Vaughn- Captain, David Kainer, Jay Bramlette
1984    Burns McAlister- Coach, Davis Kainer- Captain, Jay Bramlette, B.J. White
1985    Davis Kainer- Coach, B.J. White- Captain, Butch Prause
1986    David Kainer- Coach, Butch Prause- Captain, Robert Farris, Les Rabke
1987    B.J. White- Coach, Les Rabke- Captain, Jan Roberts, Albert Jahnsen
1988    C.L. Duckett- Coach, Jan Roberts, Albert Jahnsen, Jack Calk
1989    Butch Prause- Coach, Jack Calk- Captain, Clarence Wessels, Fred White
1990    Butch Prause- Coach, Clarence Wessels- Captain, Fred White, Helen R. Bulgerin
1991    Les Rabke- Coach, Helen Bulgerin- Captain, Charlotte Henry, Jim Hargrove
1992    Charlotte Henry- Coach, Brett Duckett- Captain, Neal Lapp, Glenn Rea
1993    Fred White- Coach, Brett Duckett- Captain, Neal Lapp, Susan Prause
1994    Jay Bramlette- Coach,  Susan Prause- Captain, Donald Hoy, Rick Wheeler
1995    Brett Duckett- Coach, Donald Hoy- Captain,  Leslie Voelkel, Corlis Riedesel
1996    Brett Duckett- Coach, Leslie Voelkel- Captain, Tony Allen,  Kay Lapp
1997    Rick Wheeler- Coach, Kay Lapp- Captain, Clay Pullin, Phil Grandjean
1998    Neal Lapp- Coach, Clay Pullin- Captain, Laura Duckett, Annette Rath
1999    Annette Rath- Coach, Laura Duckett- Captain, Tommy Isenberg, Arthur Velasquez
2000    Cynthia Martin- Coach, Tommy Isenberg- Captain, Sandy White, Ronnie Binz
2001    Susan Prause- Coach, Sandy White- Captain, Joe Adams, Ronnie Binz
2002    Erwin Rath- Coach, Tony Allen- Captain, Tim Riedesel, Diana Blank
2003    Stacy Cordes- Coach, Tim Riedesel- Captain, Ty Whitfield, Bill Hickey
2004    Clay Pullin- Coach, Stacy Cordes- Captain, Johnny Dietze, Ty Whitfield
2005    Jason Rogers- Coach, Erwin Rath Jr.- Captain, Lloyd Copeland- Handler, Rhonda Hudson- Handler
2006    Leslie Voelkel Campos- Coach, Lloyd Copeland- Captain, Jamie  Wright- Handler, Phyllis Foulds- Handler
2007    Jamie Wright- Coach, Roxanne Hanselka- Captain, Erik McCowan- Handler, Debra Baros- Handler
2008    Erik McCowan- Coach, Roxanne Hanselka- Captain, Terri Warwas- Handler, Jode Zavesky- Handler
2009    Terri Warwas- Coach, Jason Rogers- Captain,  Brittany Garza- Handler, Glen Mutchler- Handler
2010    Jason Rogers- Coach, Cory Thamm- Captain, Bobby Phillips- Handler, Dawn Draper- Handler
2011    Bobby Phillips- Coach, Linda Nemec- Captain, Greg Nemec- Handler, Amy Crain- Handler
2012    Linda Nemec- Coach, Greg Nemec- Captain, Clayton Lantz- Handler, Richard Weber- Handler
2013    Terri Warwas- Coach, Clayton Lantz- Captain,  Clint Clark- Handler, Mary Beth Finney- Handler
2014    Kristie Tieken- Coach, Clint Clark- Captain, Michael Ruschhaupt- Handler, Bill Matthys- Handler
2015    Michael Ruschhaupt- Coach, Brenda Martin- Captain, Laura Patek- Handler, Anthony Netardus, Handler
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The Winner's Circle

YEAR  1ST HEAT- King Turkey Day              2ND HEAT- Turkeyfest                             OVERALL WINNER
1973    Ruby Begonia: 1 min.52sec.                 Tomfoolery: 32.5sec.                                      Ruby Begonia
            Silverfoot: 5 min. 21sec.                        Ruby Begonia: 54sec.                                    Cuero, Texas
1974    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 56.3sec.              Paycheck: 28.5sec.                                         Paycheck
            Paycheck: 57.3sec.                                Ruby Begonia:  28.3sec.                             Worthington, MN
1975    Ruby Begonia: 1min .06sec.                  Paycheck: 1 min. 2sec.                                  Ruby Begonia
            Goferbroke: 1 min. 10.75sec.                 Ruby Begonia: 28.8sec.                                 Cuero, Texas
1976    Ruby Begonia: 2min. 35sec.                  Paycheck: 36.4sec.                                         Paycheck
            Paycheck: 1min. 14.9sec.                      Ruby Begonia:  31.4sec.                             Worthington, MN
1977    Ruby Begonia: 53.4sec.                         Paycheck: 25.6sec.                                         Paycheck
            Paycheck: 42.9sec.                                Ruby Begonia: 15.4sec.                              Worthington, MN
1978    Ruby Begonia: 2min. 41.9sec.               Paycheck: 27sec.                                             Paycheck
            Paycheck: 47sec.                                   Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 4.17sec.                   Worthington, MN
1979    Ruby Begonia: 57.6sec.                         Paycheck: 59sec.                                          Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 2min. 27sec.                         Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 39sec.                         Cuero, Texas
1980    Ruby Begonia: 1min. 54.9sec.               Paycheck: 1min. 45.4sec.                                Paycheck
            Paycheck: 1min. 24.9sec.                      Ruby Begonia:  1 min. 35.3sec.                  Worthington, MN
1981    Ruby Begonia: 51.9sec.                         Paycheck: 33.65sec.                                       Paycheck
            Paycheck: 1min. 21.9sec.                      Ruby Begonia:  1 min. 59.7sec.                  Worthington, MN
1982    Ruby Begonia: 1min. 43sec.                  Paycheck: 31.27sec.                                     Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 2 min. 58sec.                        Ruby Begonia:  31.65sec.                             Cuero, Texas
1983    Ruby Begonia: 51.1sec.                         Paycheck: 15.62sec.                                        Paycheck
            Paycheck: 26.2sec.                                Ruby Begonia:  14.39sec.                          Worthington, MN
1984    Ruby Begonia: 1min. 49.85sec.             Paycheck: 1 min. 18.65sec.                         Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 1min. 19.85sec.                    Ruby Begonia: 35.86sec.                              Cuero, Texas
1985    Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 48.04sec.            Paycheck: 1 min. 11sec.                                  Paycheck
            Paycheck: 2 min. 8.93sec.                     Ruby Begonia:  1 min. 15sec.                     Worthington, MN
1986    Ruby Begonia: 4min. 44sec.                  Paycheck: 1 min. 20sec.                                  Paycheck
            Paycheck: 3min. 18sec.                         Ruby Begonia:  1 min. 6sec.                        Worthington, MN
1987    Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 26.68sec.            Paycheck: 3 min. 84sec.                                 Paycheck
            Paycheck: 54.22sec.                              Ruby Begonia:  2 min. 8.65sec.                    Worthington, MN
1988    Ruby Begonia: 1min. 16sec.                  Paycheck: 1 min. 20.88sec.                           Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 2 min. 55sec.                        Ruby Begonia:  2 min. 10.88sec.                   Cuero, Texas
1989    Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 3sec.                   Paycheck: 52sec.                                              Paycheck
            Paycheck: 31sec.                                   Ruby Begonia:  50sec.                                Worthington, MN
1990    Ruby Begonia: 5 min. 30.63sec.            Paycheck: 1 min. 21.84sec.                              Paycheck
            Paycheck: 2 min. 19.99sec.                   Ruby Begonia:  1 min. 54.49sec.                 Worthington, MN
1991    Ruby Begonia: 4 min. 39.55sec.            Paycheck: 1 min. 28sec.                                   Paycheck
            Paycheck: 2 min. 31.75sec.                   Ruby Begonia:  2 min. 17sec.                      Worthington, MN
1992    Ruby Begonia: 4 min. 49sec.                 Paycheck: 6 min. 39sec.                                Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 2 min. 43.52sec.                   Ruby Begonia:  1 min. 11sec.                         Cuero, Texas
1993    Ruby Begonia: 4min. 09sec.                  Paycheck: 31.59sec.                                         Paycheck
            Paycheck: 3 min. 27sec.                        Ruby Begonia:  46.40sec.                           Worthington, MN
1994    Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 29.97sec.            Paycheck: 1 min. 33sec.                                   Paycheck   
            Paycheck: 1min. 21.16sec.                    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 11sec.                         Worthington, MN   
1995    Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 7.24sec.              Paycheck: 9 min. 33.54sec.                            Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 4 min. 26.77sec.                   Ruby Begonia: 6 min. 48.23sec.                      Cuero, Texas
1996    Ruby Begonia: 1min. 30.5sec.               Paycheck: 43sec.                                            Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 4 min. 18.29sec.                   Ruby Begonia: 45sec.                                      Cuero, Texas
1997    Ruby Begonia: 1min. 44.46sec.             Paycheck: 3 min. 45.39sec.                            Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 5 min. 12.39sec.                   Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 33.03sec.                      Cuero, Texas
1998    Ruby Begonia: 1min. 27.27sec.             Paycheck: 3 min.                                             Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 2 min. 25.09sec.                   Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 25sec.                            Cuero, Texas
1999    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 04sec.                 Paycheck: 48.27sec.                                        Paycheck
            Paycheck: 1 min. 10sec.                        Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 57sec.                         Worthington, MN
2000    Ruby Begonia: 3 min. 55sec.                 Paycheck: 2 min. 55sec.                                  Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 3 min. 09 sec.                       Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 59sec.                            Cuero, Texas
2001    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 33.8 sec.             Paycheck: 4 min. 37sec.                                  Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 5 min. 21.99 sec.                  Ruby Begonia: 47.35 sec.                                 Cuero, Texas
2002    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 15 sec.                Paycheck: 1 min.58 sec.                                  Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 39.9sec.                                Ruby Begonia: 52 sec.                                      Cuero, Texas
2003    Ruby Begonia: 2 min 14.63sec.             Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 27 sec.                            Paycheck  
            Paycheck:  1 min. 10.74 sec.                 Paycheck:  2 min. 38 sec.                             Worthington, MN
2004    Ruby Begonia:  2 min. 1 sec.                 Ruby Begonia:  54 sec.                                       Paycheck
            Paycheck:  43 sec.                                 Paycheck:  1 min. 44 sec.                             Worthington, MN
2005    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 46 sec.                Ruby Begonia:1 min .008 sec                         Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 2 min 16 sec.                        Paycheck:1 min 18 sec                                      Cuero, TX
2006    Ruby Begonia: 1m 5s                            Ruby Begonia: 54.15s                                     Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 2m 14.3s                              Paycheck: 1m 47.96s                                       Cuero, Texas
2007    Ruby Begonia: 4 min. 27 sec               Ruby Begonia: 5 min. 18.22 sec.                        Paycheck
            Paycheck: 57 sec.                                Paycheck: 4 min. 48.22 sec.                          Worthington, MN
2008    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 5.9 sec.              Ruby Begonia: 1min. 30.5 sec.                           Paycheck
            Paycheck: 37.74 sec.                            Paycheck: 1 min. 33.22 sec.                          Worthington, MN
2009    Ruby Begonia: 39.4 sec.                       Ruby Begonia: 31.06 sec.                                Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 35.17 sec.                            Paycheck: 36.58 sec.                                        Cuero, Texas
2010    Ruby Begonia: 1min 40.67 sec.            Ruby Begonia: 50.23 sec.                                   Paycheck         
            Paycheck: 37.25 sec.                            Paycheck: 29.32 sec.                                      Worthington, MN
2011    Ruby Begonia: 4 min 5 sec.                   Ruby Begonia: 4min. 14.84 sec.                          Paycheck
            Paycheck: 27.7 sec.                               Paycheck: 3 min. 39.02 sec.                           Worthington, MN
2012    Ruby Begonia: 2 min. 21.20 sec.           Ruby Begonia: 54.21 sec.                                 Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 4 min. 2.52 sec.                    Paycheck: 6 min. 56 sec.                                   Cuero, Texas
2013    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 18.12 sec.           Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 7 sec.                             Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 5 min. 56.3 sec.                    Paycheck: 5 min. 10 sec.                                   Cuero, Texas
2014    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 41.12 sec.           Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 39.06 sec.                      Ruby Begonia
            Paycheck: 1 min. 47.17 sec.                  Paycheck: 2 min. 27 sec.                                   Cuero, Texas
2015    Ruby Begonia: 1 min. 36.09 sec
            Paycheck: 1 min. 34.97 sec.
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