From the frenzied bidding of the Calcutta auction Monday to the touching tribute to the life of a farmer at the wrap-up banquet on Saturday, the 67th Annual Farmers/Farmerettes Bonspiel stoked community warmth in the midst of winter deep-freeze conditions.
From Jan. 20-26 2013 agricultural experts and the business folk with whom they joined forces challenged each other in a quest for dominance at the Innisfail Curling Club.
ìIt just feels absolutely wonderful,î said Audrey Tedrick, as she emerged victorious along with the rest of her team. ìI've never won before.î
Lucille Turnquist, Bert Popovich, Janine Skulic and Tedrick of No Frills/BMO beat Complete Catering 8-5 to win the Ladies A Side final.
Jeff Bauer, Mitch Bauer, Stan Martin and Ivan Smith of Big Bend Market beat Llewellyn Plumbing/Dickson Fertilizer 8-2 to win the Mens A Side final.
Smith said he felt lucky to be paired with a group of three tight-knit curlers.
ìI just made sure I trusted in their expertise,î he said. ìIf you're willing to learn you can go far.î
He says the key to their success was making sure they had fun first.
ìIt made winning easier,î he said. ìI made sure I bought drinks after every game.î
A highlight of the winning game came when Stan Bauer slipped in the third end, though he claims Mitch tripped him.
ìHe was laughing before he hit the ice,î Smith said.
Flo Sharpe, Tammy Lind, Nola Stigings and Carolyn Kramer of Tri-S Fertilizer/Farm Credit Corp. won the Ladies B Side final, beating Sims Furnature/3R's Irlen Centre 10-6.
Curtis Weinrauch, Gary White, Ken Munro and Bruce Baker of Boston Pizza/Koch Fuels beat George's Farm Centre 8-7 to win the Mens B Side final.
Murray Stringer, 69, of Ellis Fabrications/Hometown Auto said their team was doing fine until the last game.
ìWe couldn't curl worth a hoot,î he said. ìWe couldn't buy a shot.î
Corinne Dixon, Shelly McLaren, Chris Donner and Dona Edger playing for Boston Pizza won the Ladies C Side final.
Doug Radomske, Greg Morris, Dan Sinclair and Paul Livingstone of Freeman Insurace won the Mens C Side final.
Dorothy Dixon, Barb Chatenay, Heather Cooper and Jackie Hodges of Central Alberta Co-op won the Ladies D Side final.
Larry Flesatti, Don Flesatti, Brad McDermid and Cory Marshall of Central Alberta Co-op won the Mens D Side final.
Tim Kreil of ATB Financial said he enjoyed the action on the rink as well as the meals and visiting with people.
ìWe'd been in it for years,î he said. ìWe enjoy curling as a team.î
This was Kevin Brock's first Farmers Bonspiel.
ìIt was tense and nerve-wracking,î he said describing the tied-up last end of the semi-final. ìWe didn't know who was going to win or lose.î
He won't soon forget the drama he got to experience first hand on the ice, even though they ended up losing.
ìThey just got that lucky last shot it,î he said. ìYou'd never expect it to be so much fun.î