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Ruby Begonia speeds ahead for a Texas Turkeyfest triumph, but Team Paycheck vows to fight on

“Our turkey is way too friendly,” said Jason Johnson, team captain.

Paycheck, of Worthington, gets back on track after a few detours on Saturday morning in Cuero.
Paycheck, of Worthington, gets back on track after a few detours on Saturday morning in Cuero.
Kit MacAvoy / The Victoria Advocate
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CUERO, Texas — Though he did his best, Paycheck failed to best his rival Ruby Begonia in the second leg of the Great Gobbler Gallop Saturday, and the Texan turkey’s triumph means that Cuero will be the official Turkey Capital of the World for a year.

KING TURKEY DAY
The event came as part of the Cuero's ongoing partnership with Worthington for the Great Gobbler Gallop.
The meeting will include the election of new officers of the Board of Directors for the 2023 celebration.
Event draws families back to their hometown.

“Our turkey is way too friendly,” said Jason Johnson, Paycheck's team captain. “He loves people, he loves the crowd — but once the turkey gets running, that thing is just fast.”

Paycheck’s speed burst came too late at Turkeyfest on Saturday, as he turned almost directly into the crowd while Ruby Begonia set a steady pace forward toward the finish line, leaving about a minute in between the bird’s times for the Cuero heat. As Paycheck had already been attempting to make up the gap between his 1 minute, 29.15 second time and Ruby’s 1 minute, 24.15 seconds from King Turkey Day in September, that left Ruby the clear winner.

Paycheck heads toward the finish line on Saturday morning in Cuero.
Paycheck heads toward the finish line on Saturday morning in Cuero.
Kit MacAvoy / The Victoria Advocate

Cuero gets to retain the Traveling Turkey Trophy of Tumultuous Triumph, and Worthington has earned the Circulating Consolation Cup of Consummate Commiseration.

It isn’t the end of the world for plucky Team Paycheck, though.

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Paycheck’s guides work to keep the bird on course during the Great Gobbler Gallop on Saturday morning in Cuero.
Paycheck’s guides work to keep the bird on course during the Great Gobbler Gallop on Saturday morning in Cuero.
Kit MacAvoy / The Victoria Advocate

“Next year we’re going to find a new supplement,” Johnson vowed. “Maybe we need to drug him before the race so he doesn’t want to be so friendly.”

On a more serious note, Johnson praised the people of Cuero, Turkeyfest and even the perfect weather.

The Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band crosses Main Street during the Turkeyfest Parade on Saturday in Cuero.
The Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band crosses Main Street during the Turkeyfest Parade on Saturday in Cuero.
Kit MacAvoy / The Victoria Advocate

“Everybody here is wonderful. The best thing about all of this is, for a couple of minutes you’re competitors, but every other moment you’re family,” he said. “Outside of (the competition), it’s all about the camaraderie and the friendship with the people we see down here. It’s amazing.”

The Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band was also in Cuero to help celebrate the Turkeyfest festivities.

Worthington flag twirlers form the vanguard of the Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band on Saturday in Cuero.
Worthington flag twirlers form the vanguard of the Spirit of Worthington Trojan Marching Band on Saturday in Cuero.
Kit MacAvoy / The Victoria Advocate
The Worthington High School Marching Band performs a set inspired by New York City during the Turkeyfest Parade on Saturday in Cuero.
The Worthington High School Marching Band performs a set inspired by New York City during the Turkeyfest Parade on Saturday in Cuero.
Kit MacAvoy / The Victoria Advocate
The Worthington High School Trojan Marching Band heads down Esplanade Street during the Turkeyfest Parade on Saturday in downtown Cuero.
The Worthington High School Trojan Marching Band heads down Esplanade Street during the Turkeyfest Parade on Saturday in downtown Cuero.
Kit MacAvoy / The Victoria Advocate

A 1999 graduate of Jackson County Central and a 2003 graduate of Augsburg College, Kari Lucin started writing for newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota in 2006. During her time as a reporter, she covered beats including education, watershed, county and agriculture, and frequently wrote about health and science. She has also served as an online content coordinator and an engagement specialist at various Forum Communications properties. She was a marketing assistant at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville for two years, where she did design work in addition to writing and social media management.

Lucin is currently a community editor with the Globe of Worthington.

Email: klucin@dglobe.com
Phone: (507) 376-7319
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If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of no more than five years in prison, a $10,000 fine, or both for each of the charges against him.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, a $10,000 fine, or both.
For incidents reported Jan. 22 through the early morning of Jan. 27.
“They’re totally new. They’re sophomores, they’ve never competed in BPA.”