Facebook Twitter

Sign up for email updates from Turkeyfest

Home > About Us > Cuero's Turkey History > Ruby Begonia and the Race Teams

Ruby Begonia and the Race Teams

The 2018 Ruby Begonia Race Team

1 of 2
The 2018 Ruby Begonia Race Team

Captain - Laura Patek
Coach - James Rath
Handler - Kenneth Schley
Handler - Kristie Tieken

2017 Ruby Begonia Race Team

The 2017 Ruby Begonia Race Team
from left to right

Keith Goebel - Captain
Denise Goebel - Handler / Community Race Team Member
Angie Cuellar - Coach
Jimmy Martin - Handler / Turkeyfest Volunteer Race Team Member

The 2016 Ruby Begonia Race Team

The 2016 Ruby Begonia Race Team
from left to right

Handler - Ken Klimitchek
Coach - Brittany Garza
Captain - Brenda Martin
Handler - Keith Goebel

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.

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

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

The Winner's Circle

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.
Back to