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.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
“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.