Big names in Canadian curling don’t get any bigger than Randy Ferbey, and one lucky Trail curler will be throwing rocks alongside the living Canadian legend when the 2017 Everest-Ferbey National Pro-Am hits the ice at the Canadian senior curling championship in Fredericton, N.B. Mar. 25.
Trail curler Murray Walsh was one-of-four Grand Prize winners selected from across Canada, and will travel to Fredericton to play in an eight-end game with a veritable who’s-who of Canadian curling royalty. Joining the six-time Brier and four-time World champion, Ferbey, will be Jennifer Jones, Brent Laing, Brad Jacobs, and Al Hackner. Rachel Homan, the current Canadian women’s champion, was originally scheduled to attend but a trip to the Women’s World curling championship will interrupt her previous commitment.
“It’s a first-class event,” Ferbey said in an interview. “They’ll have a lot of fun, and lots of interaction with the pros. It’s three days of first-class hotels, flights, and food – it’s unbelievable.”
Trail curler Richard Faunt was instrumental in getting the ball rolling and entered the Trail Curling Club into the draw, signing up all the senior aged curlers, 50-plus, in the Men’s Club and Super League. Ken Lunde of the Men’s club won the November monthly prize, and Walsh the BC-Yukon Grand Prize.
Ferbey phoned Walsh personally after the Feb. 15 draw, and the Trail curler almost blew his chance at the all-expenses paid trip-for-two, thinking it was a prank.
“I received a phone call from Randy Ferbey that sounded an awful lot like my friend Lefty,” said Walsh.
Ferbey told Walsh that he had just won an entry to the 2017 Everest-Ferbey National Pro-Am.
“Right,” said Murray.
Ferbey went on to tell Walsh that the event is part of the Everest Canadian Seniors Curling Championship held in Fredericton at the end of March. His assistant would contact Walsh later to arrange trip details. Still not convinced Murray hung up, and his wife Gaylene asked who called?
“Lefty, pretending to be Randy Ferbey,” Murray replied,
Gaylene told Murray that the call-display had a Calgary area code, and wondered why Lefty would call from Alberta? Murray pondered this a while, then called the Alberta number.
“Hello, Randy speaking,” was the response.
Murray apologized for his attitude, and told Randy that he sounded like his friend Lefty, whom he thought was messing with him.
Randy replied, “I have friends like that,” and chuckled.
Walsh says he is excited about the opportunity to curl with the legends, but he is nervous at the same time.
“It’s not every day a retiree curler gets to play with some of the greatest that ever played the game.”