Preserving a legacy

Shae Lynn Gareau took part in her first competitive chariot race at the third annual St. Louis Lions Club Pony Chariot and Chuckwagon Races on Saturday. (Josef Jacobson/Daily Herald)

Chariot racing dynasty continues as 14-year-old takes part in first competitive event

Shae Lynn Gareau attended her first chariot race when she was one week old and every summer since then she’s been watching from the bleachers.

That all changed this weekend as the 14-year-old Bellevue resident took part in her first chariot races on the competitive circuit at the third annual St. Louis Lions Club Pony Chariot and Chuckwagon Races.

Shae Lynn raced in the second heat on Saturday, finishing with a time of 58.38 seconds, a record that would stand until her father Kevin won his race in 56.38 seconds in Heat 7. The next day Shae Lynn finished in 59.44 seconds, good for a 16th place two-day total ranking of out of 50 chariots.

Chariot and chuckwagon racing runs in the Gareau family. Patriarch Gilles Gareau started racing in the early 1970s, with his sons Ben and Kevin picking up the sport in his wake. Shae Lynn is now the third-generation of Gareaus to race chariots.

“My dad has been racing, my grandpa’s been racing since they were kids and I was born in the summer, so I guess it’s just in my blood,” she said.

“I’ve always loved it. I love the horses, I love competing and I love the speed.”

“It’s something she grew up around all her life, she was born into it and so it’s something that you always want to see handed down generation-to-generation,” Kevin said.

“I’m very proud that she decided to do it and I’m going to help her every step of the way.”

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