The voice of the Calgary Stampede chuckwagon races, Joe Carbury, passed away Tuesday at the age of 91.

A longtime friend of Carbury's says it's a great loss for many in Calgary, and in the sporting world.

"You knew it was Joe Carbury, you didn't have to say his name," Keith Marrington told CBC News.

"Just by his thundering voice and how he called the chuckwagon race and how he was so graphic and how he interacted with the fans."

Marrington, the former race manager at Stampede Park, worked with Carbury for about 15 years. He said Carbury had a stroke about two weeks ago, but he was lucid right up until the end.

"He knew who I was," Marrington said, of his last visit with Carbury at the Colonel Belcher on Monday.

He loved the people

"As soon as I walked in and sat down he grabbed my hand. He couldn't speak very well, he was voice was really growly but he whispered," he said.

"Joe touched many parts of the sporting community in Calgary. Not only in the chuckwagon world and the horse racing world, he called football games and hockey games in his early career. He was just a great guy. He loved the people. He loved the wagon community. All we talked about was chuckwagon racing."

Stampede 30/30 - Joe Carbury retires0:33

Marrington said his fondest memories of Carbury used to come after the races.

"After the races he would always come down to the paddock and we would smoke a cigar and drink a bottle of scotch," Marrington said.

"We did that for the last 10 years that he called wagon racing. The paddock was a special place for him because it brought him back to those roots of horse racing."

Corrections

  • A previous version of this article stated Mr. Carbury was 88 at the time of his death. He was in fact 91.
    Oct 18, 2017 2:31 PM MT
With files from Diane Yanko