ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

VIDEO+STORY: Ruby Begonia trots to a close victory in the 50th Great Gobbler Gallop's first leg

Paycheck passed the finish line within milliseconds of Ruby Begonia's victory in a feather-biting race.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, left, wearing a black shirt, lends a hand to the Cuero race team as Ruby Begonia and Paycheck take off running at the start of the 50th year of turkey racing in Worthington's King Turkey Day celebration Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, left, wearing a black shirt, lends a hand to the Cuero race team as Ruby Begonia and Paycheck take off running at the start of the 50th year of turkey racing in Worthington's King Turkey Day celebration Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022.
Tim Middagh / The Globe
We are part of The Trust Project.

WORTHINGTON — In a startling show of athleticism not often seen in birds, Cuero, Texas’ rival Ruby Begonia crossed the finish line during the 50th Great Gobbler Gallop just seconds before Worthington’s Paycheck.

KING TURKEY DAY
The event came as part of the Cuero's ongoing partnership with Worthington for the Great Gobbler Gallop.
“Our turkey is way too friendly,” said Jason Johnson, team captain.
The meeting will include the election of new officers of the Board of Directors for the 2023 celebration.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a race that close!” proclaimed Gov. Tim Walz, who crossed the finish alongside the turkey race teams from Cuero and Worthington, having joined in for the 50th anniversary of the Turkey Race.

“We had a little time there when the bird wanted to stop and go shopping,” said Worthington Turkey Day Coach Doug Tate, speaking of Paycheck’s pit-stop into the crowd outside of Main Street Kids. Onlookers cheered — and scrambled to give the Worthington bird space — as the team members attempted to get Paycheck back on track.

"We did really well. We got a fast start," Tate added. "I think Paycheck got a little overconfident and wanted to sit in a chair for a little while. We got him off the chair and he ran hard all the way the rest of it. We thought we were gonna overtake 'em there but he got a little — well he ran by my parents and wanted to say hi there.”

Though he made up for lost time during the home stretch of the race, it wasn’t enough for Paycheck to match Ruby Begonia’s steady trot down the left-hand side of Main Street, as the Cuero race team herded her dutifully towards the finish line, and to victory.

ADVERTISEMENT

Finishing with an astonishing one minute and 23.15 seconds, with no penalties, Ruby Begonia truly embodied a steadiness to be admired in any winning bird during this year's race.

MORE WORTHINGTON
Everyone at the game got a free Dash for Cash ticket at the door when entering the gym.
You’ve likely heard by now the amazing feats these new Artificial Intelligence robots can accomplish. I’ve used it to create beautiful paintings in the style of Van Gogh...
You can help by either dropping off or mailing a check to the Intermediate School.

"We're good," said Joel Hilburn, captain of Team Ruby Begonia, who said he was not surprised by Ruby's victory. "It went great."

Though Paycheck crossed the finish line not even a full second behind Ruby Begonia, coming in at one minute and 24.15 seconds, he did accrue one five-second penalty. Paycheck’s official race time was recorded as one minute and 29.15 seconds.

“[He] came in hard with a good sprint at the end there,” said Turkey Handler Genny McCuen. “I think we’ll catch ‘em in Cuero.”

The Worthington turkey team will make the trip down to Cuero for an Oct. 8 race, where Ruby and Paycheck will again face off during the second heat of the Great Gobbler Gallup — and as everyone knows, it ain’t over till October.

Emma McNamee joined The Globe team in October 2021 as a reporter covering Crime & Courts, Politics, and the City beats. Born and raised in Duluth, Minn., McNamee left her hometown to attend school in Chicago at Columbia College. She graduated in 2021 with a degree in Multimedia Journalism, with a concentration in News & Feature Writing and a minor in Creative Writing.
What To Read Next
One passenger, still upside down inside the vehicle, had no pulse, was not breathing and was turning blue.
Follow the Globe Minute, our twice-weekly Worthington news and weather podcast, on Apple, Spotify, or Google Podcasts!
Prospective students may explore Diesel Technology, Dental Assistant, Electrician and Wind Energy Technology.
Members Only
Worthington Tax and Business Services' owner Bill Gordon added local and historical elements to the newly renovated office space on Third Avenue in downtown Worthington.